Narcissistic personality disorder is rare. It affects more men than women. Narcissistic personality disorder often begins in early adulthood. Although some adolescents may seem to have traits of narcissism, this may simply be typical of the age and doesn't mean they'll go on to develop narcissistic personality disorder.
Although the cause of narcissistic personality disorder isn't known, some researchers think that extreme parenting behaviors, such as neglect or excessive indulgent praise, may be partially responsible.
Risk factors for narcissistic personality disorder may include:
- Parental disdain for fears and needs expressed during childhood
- Lack of affection and praise during childhood
- Neglect and emotional abuse in childhood
- Excessive praise and overindulgence
- Unpredictable or unreliable caregiving from parents
- Learning manipulative behaviors from parents
Children who learn from their parents that vulnerability is unacceptable may lose their ability to empathize with others' needs. They may also mask their emotional needs with grandiose, egotistical behavior that's calculated to make them seem emotionally "bulletproof."
Nov. 04, 2011
- Narcissistic personality disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Sept. 21, 2011.
- Skodol AE, et al. Personality disorders. In: Hales RE, et al., eds. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2008. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Sept. 21, 2011.
- Ronningstam E. Narcissistic personality disorder: A clinical perspective. Journal of Psychiatric Practice. 2011;17:89.
- Ronningstam E. Narcissistic personality disorder: A current review. Current Psychiatry Report. 2010;12:68.
- Young JQ. Narcissistic personality disorder. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..00023-9&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&sid=1208587682&uniqId=283290371-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..00023-9--sc0010. Accessed Sept. 21, 2011.
- Janowsky D. Personality disorders. In: Ebert MH, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Psychiatry. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3289431. Accessed Sept. 21, 2011.