Clinical Narcissism: What It Is, Symptoms And Treatment

Clinical Narcissism: What It Is, Symptoms And Treatment

Clinical narcissism is a mental disorder that is marked by an inflated sense of self-importance, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. If you think you or someone you know might be suffering from clinical narcissism, it’s important to seek treatment. In this blog post, we will discuss what clinical narcissism is, the symptoms, and some treatment options available. So, let’s get started.

What Is Clinical Narcissism?

What Is Clinical Narcissism?Clinical narcissism is described as a personality disorder that is also known as a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). This disorder is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a need for admiration, and attention. Individuals with this disorder often seek out positions of power or influence and may use others to achieve their goals.

It is often believed that narcissism is caused by unresolved childhood issues, such as abuse or neglect. However, it could also be the result of genetic factors. But moreover, this disorder causes trouble in other areas of an individual’s life.

According to studies, it is estimated that about 0.5 percent of the population suffers from this disorder. And while it is more common in men, women can also be affected by clinical narcissism. Because there is a lack of understanding surrounding this disorder, it often goes undiagnosed.

Therefore you should be aware of the symptoms to seek out help and treatment. Otherwise, it can be damaging not only to the sufferer but also to the people around them.

What Are The Symptoms?

There are a number of symptoms that are associated with clinical narcissism. Individuals who suffer from this disorder may:

  • Believe they are better than others: It is not uncommon for those with clinical narcissism to believe that they are better, smarter, or more important than other people. This sense of superiority can lead them to be dismissive and condescending towards others.
  • Be preoccupied with power: Those with clinical narcissism may be very focused on having power and control over others. They may crave admiration and attention, and feel the need to be the center of attention at all times.
  • Excessively self-absorbed: Individuals with clinical narcissism may be very self-absorbed and obsessed with their own appearance and achievements. They may have a strong sense of entitlement and expect others to cater to their needs and wants.
  • Seek attention and admiration: This seems to be a common theme among those with clinical narcissism; they often seek out attention and admiration from others. This need for validation can lead them to engage in risky or self-destructive behaviors.
  • Difficulty empathizing with others: Those with clinical narcissism may have trouble seeing things from other people’s perspectives. They may be insensitive to the needs and feelings of others, and may only be concerned with their own needs and wants.
  • Be manipulative: Clinical narcissists may use manipulation as a way to get what they want from others. They may use flattery or charm to control or take advantage of other people.
  • Overly competitive: Some individuals with clinical narcissism may have a strong need to be the best or most successful. They may be excessively competitive and always need to come out on top, even if it means putting others down in the process.

These are just common symptoms associated with clinical narcissism. If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from this disorder, it is important to seek professional help. A mental health professional can conduct a full evaluation and provide an accurate diagnosis.

What Causes Clinical Narcissism?

What Causes Clinical Narcissism?There are a few schools of thought when it comes to the cause of clinical narcissism. Some of the causes include:

  • Childhood trauma: In some cases, narcissism can be the result of childhood trauma. This could include physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
  • Unpredictable or negligent parenting: Another possible cause of clinical narcissism is unpredictable or negligent parenting. This type of parenting can lead to a feeling of abandonment and insecurity in children.
  • Genetic factors: There is also some evidence that suggests that clinical narcissism can be genetic. This means that it could be passed down from generation to generation.
  • Personality: It is also believed that personality plays a role in the development of clinical narcissism. People who are naturally outgoing and extroverted are more likely to develop a narcissistic personality disorder.
  • Anger issues: This might seem like an obvious one, but people with clinical narcissism often have difficulty controlling their anger. This can lead to outbursts and episodes of verbal or physical aggression.

While the exact cause of clinical narcissism is unknown, this disorder is thought to be the result of a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Therefore, you should be aware of the potential risk factors if you have a family history of narcissism.

How Does It Impact Life?

If you are suffering from clinical narcissism, you may find numerous negative consequences in your life. Some of these include:

Inability to maintain healthy relationships

This is very common in those with clinical narcissism. Because they view others as extensions of themselves, they often do not understand the concept of give-and-take in relationships. This lack of empathy can make it difficult to maintain long-term, healthy connections with others.

Problems at work

When you have clinical narcissism, you might have problems at work. You might have a hard time working with others, and you might find it difficult to take criticism. You might also have a hard time keeping a job because of your need for attention and admiration. If you do keep a job, you might use your position to get what you want or take advantage of others.

Extreme reactions to criticism

This is an extension of the fragile ego and thin skin that is typical of narcissists. They can’t handle even the slightest criticism without feeling like their entire world is crumbling down. This then leads to them lashing out in anger or resentment, or even withdrawing completely from the situation.

Financial problems

It seems that many people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) have a lot of problems with money. They may overspend, be unable to stick to a budget, or make impulsive, risky financial decisions. Some research suggests that narcissists are more likely to experience financial difficulties than people without NPD.

Decreased quality of life

Decreased quality of lifeThis is one of the major negative impacts that a person can ever experience. It is not only the narcissist that suffers but also the people around them. The family, friends, and colleagues of a clinical narcissist often have to deal with their selfishness, manipulation, and lack of empathy which can lead to strained relationships.

So these are some common consequences that a person with clinical narcissism may have. It is important to understand that this is a disorder and if you think you may be suffering from it, please reach out to a mental health professional for help.

How To Diagnose It?

A diagnosis of clinical narcissism can only be made by a certified mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker. However, there are some general characteristics and behaviors that are commonly seen in people with this disorder. Only a professional can make an accurate diagnosis.

They use a complete procedure to diagnose clinical narcissism. Some methods might include:

  • Asking about your symptoms and how long you have been experiencing them
  • Conducting a psychological evaluation
  • Administering personality tests, such as the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI)
  • Reviewing your family history to look for any patterns of narcissistic behavior

Each method is used to help get a clear picture of your symptoms and how they are impacting your life. If you think you might have clinical narcissism, it’s important to seek professional help.

Therefore, before moving toward the treatment plan, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. It will help you to find the right choice as per your condition.

How Can It Be Treated?

If you are looking for help with clinical narcissism, there are definitely ways to treat your clinical narcissism. Some of the options include:


PsychotherapyPsychotherapy is described as a way to help people change their behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. This can be done through different types of therapy, like cognitive-behavioral therapy or talk therapy.

For instance, cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that would help you to understand the thoughts and feelings that contribute to your narcissism. You would also learn how to change these thoughts and behaviors.

Talk therapy is another option for treating clinical narcissism. This type of therapy can help you understand your relationships and how they may be affecting your narcissistic tendencies.

You will also learn how to communicate better and set boundaries in your relationships. Both of these types of therapy can be done with a therapist individually or in a group setting.

Group therapy

This can be helpful because you can share your experiences with others who understand what you are going through. You can also learn how to deal with a narcissist in a healthy way. Group therapy is more likely to help with clinical narcissism because you can get more support and feel less alone. Also, it aims at helping you understand yourself better and work on any issues you may have that make you more vulnerable to narcissists.

Join a support group

There are also support groups available for people struggling with clinical narcissism. These groups provide a safe and supportive environment where you can share your experiences and feelings with others who understand what you’re going through. These groups can also offer helpful coping and recovery strategies.

For instance, when someone joins a support group for people with clinical narcissism, they might be able to learn how to better deal with their symptoms. They can also learn how to manage their emotions and cope with triggers. Additionally, support groups can provide a sense of community and belonging.


This option is, however, not without its risks. Medication for clinical narcissism is not yet backed by scientific research and there are no FDA-approved medications to treat the disorder. This means that any medication prescribed would be off-label and come with a greater risk of side effects. That being said, some people with clinical narcissism may benefit from taking certain types of medication to help with symptoms. Commonly prescribed medications include:

As with any mental health disorder, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to work with a mental health professional to figure out the best treatment plan for you.

Self-help tips

Self-help tipsAlong with professional options, you may also be able to help yourself if you have clinical narcissism. Some things you can do include:

  • Educate yourself about the disorder and its effects
  • Focus on your own needs and wants rather than those of others
  • Set realistic goals for yourself
  • Work on building up your self-esteem
  • Challenge your negative thoughts
  • Understand others’ points of view
  • Learn to compromise and empathize with others
  • Seek out supportive relationships
  • Limit your social media use
  • Avoid putting yourself in situations where you will be judged or criticized harshly
  • Calm yourself

All of these things can be difficult, but if you are able to work on them, it can help lessen the symptoms of clinical narcissism and make your life more manageable. Remember that it may take some time and effort, but it is possible to make progress.

If you think you might have clinical narcissism, reach out to a mental health professional for help. Clinical narcissism is a serious disorder that can be difficult to manage on your own, but with treatment, you can live a happier, healthier life.


In conclusion, clinical narcissism is a serious personality disorder that can have a detrimental effect on an individual’s life. It can be extremely difficult to treat, but with the right help and support, people with this disorder can lead happy and fulfilling lives. If you think that you or someone you know may be suffering from clinical narcissism, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible.

Otherwise, this can lead to serious problems in all aspects of their lives. You can also contact Therapy Mantra if you want to know more about narcissistic personality disorder and its treatment. Our team of mental health experts will be happy to help you. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today! You can also book an online therapy session or download our free Android or iOS app.