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Adolescence and Narcissistic Disorder—

One of the less common adolescent personality disorders, but one that is nevertheless growing, is narcissistic personality disorder. This is the only learned personality disorder, and usually begins in the adolescent years. Teenagers with low self-esteems begin to develop fantasies and grandiose views of themselves when they have narcissistic personality disorders. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, about one percent of the population (and one percent of teenagers) suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. Most narcissists (between an estimated 50 and 75 percent) are male.

The history of narcissistic personality disorder:

The name for narcissistic personality disorder comes from Greek mythology. In the tale, a young man, Narcissus, spurned those who sought his love. He was very good-looking, and quite full of himself. In fact, he was so good-looking that he thought himself as beautiful as the gods. No woman or man could please him. Then, one day, he fell in love with the reflection of himself in a pond. He stared at the reflection, reveling in its beauty, until he wasted away. Other stories end with him falling into the pond and drowning as he moves closer to get a better look. Like Narcissus, adolescents with narcissistic personality disorder have an exaggerated sense of self-importance, and rarely consider others' feelings, preferring to seek the attention that confirms their own grandiose ideas.

Difference between adolescent narcissism and adolescent narcissistic personality disorder:

A certain degree of selfishness, self-importance and narcissism is to be expected during the teenager years. Indeed, when one has a personality style considered narcissistic, he or she is usually a general healthy person in a psychological regard. However, such people, although arrogant and proud at times, do not rely on others to help them maintain a healthy self-esteem, and they do not cherish unrealistic images of their skills and abilities.

On the other hand, adolescent narcissistic personality disorder takes a different form. Teenagers with this personality disorder are unable to establish a stable self-image that includes an accurate assessment of skills. They feel entitled to special treatment, and when they receive perceived slights to their grandiose perception of their own skills and importance, they may become angry and sometimes violent.

Some signs of pathological narcissism - adolescent narcissistic personality disorder:

· Arrogant and haughty behavior
· Belief that others envy the person
· Does not consider others' feelings
· Expectations of special treatment
· Exploits other people
· Fantasies about having exceptional success, attractiveness or power
· Need for constant praise and validation
· Over-emphasis on achievements and exaggeration of one's skills

Developmental factors that contribute to adolescent narcissistic personality disorder:

· Excessive admiration that does not receive a balance of realistic feedback
· Learned manipulative behaviors from other sources
· Overindulgence from parents
· Oversensitive temperament from birth
· Parents over-praise and value as a way to increase their own self-esteem
· Severe childhood emotional abuse
· Unreliable or unpredictable care giving from parents

Treating adolescent narcissistic personality disorder:

It is very difficult to treat teenager narcissistic personality disorder because an adolescent is usually already in such a fragile mental state. Often, treatment is met with contempt, as the teenager perceives the therapist-client relationship as one that does not properly affirm the adolescent's perception of self. The goal is teach the teenager to value him or herself on a more realistic level and to adjust one's thinking about others' value in relation to his or her own. Exercises to help the adolescent develop empathy for others are part of the treatment of this personality disorder. Medication is usually not used, except sparingly in cases where depression and anxiety come out as symptoms while the adolescent struggles to cope with a new reality.

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betty said...

This sounds exactly like my daughter. She is 21 and thinks that she is better than everyone because she graduaated from high school with honors. She hasn't done anything since.

Unknown said...

I'm struggling with my 19 year old son and apparently narcissism...I am at a loss what to do with him now... he's just finished high school classes to go to graduation and is planning on moving to a small town to be with a 15 year old girlfriend... he has never had a job and expect them to be given disability benefits because his father has a disease. He refuses to talk to counselors because he doesn't think anyone understands what's going on in his brain. He says I may have given birth to him but I have never been a mother to him. He claims he was not raised with a father figure...although we have live with my dad for 20 years and now have got a new dad for him when I got remarried years ago... I've also done my best with biological father involved although that's also been difficult because of his emotional troubles. Can I get through to him that he needs help... how do I live with him if he refuses to get help.... how do I live with myself if he chooses to leave?

Tired said...

I wish mines would just move the fuck ot. I'm tired and shes a threat around my toddler

Unknown said...

My son age 19 also recently diagnosed bi polar has almost destroyed me in trying to save him. He is now in jail and I have literally no physical emotional mental financial resources to continue to advocate and he has no one else left for family or who really cares. It is heartbreaking butI can only save me. I seometimes beliebe he l0ves and cares so much and I feel so sad for him but he has used people used me and I know my life is in just as much danger as his. He is 19 . I am 52 and I have lost everything amd everyone due to trying to help a teen who will have no one if I step away. But I have no choice. I wont survive. Its severe abuse that no human being can withstand. And the narcissists private life is so different for those who have to live with them that the scariest most dangerous part is that people dont see how much danger I live in. I believe in evil. I know my son isnt evil but only evil can be so cruel so diabolical and so far outside anything people would believe if they didnt live in my sh0es. I am terrified and in shock and absolutely non functional while my son is carrying on in jail much better off than me. People think im the one with the anxiety over- reacting and my son gets into legal trouble after trouble and yet evil has destroyed my life my relationnships and ironically people see him as a poor victim and even if he is a victim , I am a victim too. Its horrifying and my life is so unbalanced no sleep no foid no rest for days that i cant even go out and think peopke will see me as normal. God left me with no choice but to totally remove myself. I will be lucky if i can get my own life bacjk together ..its breaking me beyond human limits yet I kbnow my son will have no one to care or advocate for him but i cant as im dying. I physically and every way cannot even care for myself or my cats and now am isolated as my sons chaos and suicide and rage and hosputal ER then he ran to anpther state and is on probation so i spent 3 weeks fighting finding saving his lufeand from warrants leading to prison. And i have to save me. No one that has not dealt with narcissism would even believe me, at times I dont even believe how crazy and how illogical and how nightmarishly scartly and dangerous this is. I know its Evil as its like the heaviest blunt force trauma that could hit your heart and mind and every aspect 0f sanity or reality is gone. Leaving you lost and without the resources to go on. I love my son but I am terrified.

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