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Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a type of mental condition. When a person suffers from it, he views himself as more important than he is, at least to others. He also tends to need and desire the admiration of others far more than most people consider normal. A person with this condition often disregards how other people feel and what they need, as he feels that others are inferior. However, this mental condition is complex, as the sufferer tends to have shaky self-esteem, even while he exaggerates his own importance.
This mental condition is categorized as a personality disorder. Narcissistic personality disorder, like similar disorders that affect the personality, is marked by personality traits and behaviors that cause distress in social situations and often strain personal relationships. These traits and behaviors may also cause problems with performance in school or at work. A person with this disorder may be seen as overly emotional and dramatic, which may eventually push family, friends, and associates away.
Typically, a person with NPD will believe he is better than others and may indulge in fantasies concerning amazing levels of success and far-reaching power. He may have an exaggerated view of his own attractiveness and achievements, and feel a need for continuous praise. He may set unreasonable goals and feel deeply wounded by any type of criticism.
When a person has narcissistic personality disorder, his relationships may be strained because he takes advantage of others and refuses to recognize their feelings. He may expect total cooperation with his plans and give the appearance of lacking emotions. A person with this disorder may feel that others are jealous of him, even as he feels jealous of others.
For some, it may be hard to distinguish narcissistic personality disorder from a high level of self-esteem. However, the difference is that a person with this disorder goes beyond feeling simply good about himself to putting himself high on a pedestal from which he can look down, with disdain, on others. People often view those with this condition as conceited and pretentious. They may accuse suffers of monopolizing conversations and being boastful.
No one knows for sure what causes this personality disorder. Some people think it may be genetic while others point to childhood traumas, abuse, and neglect as possible causes. In some cases, excessive childhood pampering may play a role. No matter what the cause, psychotherapy usually plays a major role in treatment.