How is narcissistic personality disorder treated?

There is no known cure for narcissistic personality disorder, but counseling might help the person learn to relate to others in a more positive and rewarding way. One goal of counseling is to provide the person with greater insight into his or her problems and attitudes in the hope that this will change behavior. Another goal of therapy may be to help the person develop sturdier, less inflated self-esteem and more realistic expectations of others. Medication might be used to treat the distressing symptoms, such as anxiety or sad mood that might occur with this disorder.

What are the complications of narcissistic personality disorder?

People with NPD could be at risk for other emotional and behavioral disorders that result from the distress and long-term difficulties in relationships that occur with the condition. They might abuse drugs and/or alcohol as a way of coping with their symptoms.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/31/2015.


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  • Russ E, Shedler J, Bradley R, Westen D. Refining the construct of narcissistic personality disorder: diagnostic criteria and subtypes. Am J Psychiatry. 2008;165(11):1473-81.
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. American Psychiatric Association. Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Accessed 4/30/2015.

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