The lesser known teen personality disorder known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), seemingly is on the increase. The disorder which is of a learned behavior nature, usually starts in the teen years.
Teenagers who suffer from personal low esteem begin to create fantasies about themselves, to believe in their own self importance, and grandiose themselves. In general they are in love with themselves, and it is of interest to noe, that the name Narcissus originate from a Greek mythological young man who fell in love with himself whilst seeing his image in a pond.
It is estimated that about 1% of the teenage population have NPD.
It is recognized that a certain degree of self importance exists within any teenager, and is usually accepted as being a healthy psychological sign despite the occasional display of arrogance and pride. Such healthy teens will not rely on other people to boost their independence and tend to spurn any sort of self grandiosity
But for the narcissistic disorder sufferer, they feel entitled to special attention, are unable to build a stable self image, and rely on fantasy and self grandiosity to build themselves up, and when their inflated self importance is scorned by others, become angry and violent.
Pathological Signs of Teen Narcissism (NPD)
n NPD teens will create fantasies that they are the centre of attraction, that they have exceptional powers, and will gain great success.
n The teen will expect special treatment in all things and overstress their capabilities and achievements.
n Show no consideration or respect for the feelings of others and often take advantage of other people.
n Will exhibit arrogance and act as if they have a high station in life.
n The NPD sufferer will seek constant praise and believe that he/she is the envy of all other people.
Narcissistic personality disorder is said to be primarily, a learned disorder, that is, that the narcissistic behavior of the teen, was not part of his/her original nature,e but has been picked up by outside environmental influences, possibly of parental or family association origin.
Some Learned Factors which may contribute to Teen Narcissism.
n Overindulging parents, basically that means that the teen has developed into a ‘spoilt brat’ and expects such treatment no matter what his/her situation is.
n Excessive praise being heaped upon the teen perhaps by parents attempting to increase their own self esteem.
n Unstable or unpredictable care and love being given by the parents.
n A natural oversensitive temperament.
n The learning of the ‘benefits’ of manipulative behavior from other outside sources.
Due to the already fragile mental state of the teen, the narcissism is hard to treat, quite often the teen will spurn any effort to help from a therapist, because the teen views such an approach, as a direct affront to just how the teen perceives him/her self.
The object of any treatment or counseling is to teach the teen to view him/her self on a more realistic level, and teach the teens how to adjust their values and personal thinking in the way they interact with other people, to a point where the teens can slowly see that they are not the most important beings in the world.