Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder


Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder overestimate their abilities and exaggerate their achievements (called grandiosity).

They think they are better than others, unique, or special.

When they overestimate their own worth and achievements, they often also underestimate the worth and achievements of others.

Fantasies of Specialness

Individuals with this disorder are preoccupied with fantasies of great achievements – of being admired for their overwhelming intelligence or beauty, of having prestige and influence, or of experiencing a great love.

They feel they should associate only with others as special and talented as themselves, not ordinary people.

They use this association with extraordinary people to support and enhance their self-esteem.

Need for Admiration

Because individuals with narcissistic personality disorder need to be excessively admired, their self-esteem depends on being thought well of by others.

Thus, their self-esteem is usually very fragile.

They are often watching to see what others think of them and evaluating how well they are doing.

Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder are sensitive to and bothered by criticism by others and by failure, which makes them feel humiliated and defeated.

They may respond with rage or contempt, or they may viciously counterattack. Or they may withdraw or outwardly accept the situation in an effort to protect their sense of self-importance.

They may avoid situations in which they can fail.