Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder.
The narcissist is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. Narcissistic personality disorder is closely linked to self-centeredness.
The cause of this disorder is unknown, according to Groopman and Cooper. However, they list the following factors identified by various researchers as possibilities.
- An oversensitive temperament at birth is the main symptomatic chronic form
- Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or abilities by adults
- Excessive admiration that is never balanced with realistic feedback
- Excessive praise for good behaviors or excessive criticism for poor behaviors in childhood
- Overindulgence and overvaluation by parents
- Severe emotional abuse in childhood
- Unpredictable or unreliable caregiving from parents
- Valued by parents as a means to regulate their own self-esteem
Some narcissistic traits are common and a normal developmental phase. When these traits are compounded by a failure of the interpersonal environment and continue into adulthood, they may intensify to the point where NPD is diagnosed. Some psychotherapists believe that the etiology of the disorder is, in Freudian terms, the result of fixation to early childhood development. If a child does not receive sufficient recognition for their talents during about ages 3–7 they will never mature and continue to be in the narcissistic early development stage.