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Types of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and How They’re Treated

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) can be a devastating mental disorder not only for those who suffer from it, but for their loved ones as well. And no two client experiences with NPD are the same: there are two main ways in which different types of narcissistic personality disorder present, with several subtypes that can occur from there.

Regardless of how this condition presents,  is narcissistic personality disorder treatable? Maybe someone close to you has narcissistic personality disorder and you’re trying to learn more about the disorder so you can find treatment for them or learn how to deal with narcissistic personality disorder’s challenges. Or, maybe you’re looking for help with NPD yourself. Read on to learn all about the types of narcissistic personality disorder.

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health disorder most commonly categorized by overblown confidence and a significant lack of empathy for others. Individuals who have a type of narcissistic personality disorder often can have trouble maintaining relationships and often those around them often suffer the consequences as well.

Narcissism can be broken down into two main categories:

1. Grandiose

Individuals with the grandiose NPD often have an inflated sense of ego or self-worth. This may make people on the periphery of their lives admire them, but those close to them may often be hurt by them. These individuals will vastly overestimate their own abilities, paint overblown pictures of themselves, and have a lack of self-awareness toward their own shortcomings. The grandiose type of narcissistic personality disorder can then be broken down into two other categories: adaptive and maladaptive.

    • Adaptive Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Adaptive narcissists, also known as ‘overt narcissists’, seek out positions of power and accolades. Sometimes, these individuals can be well suited for leadership positions and receive the admiration they so desire.

    • Maladaptive Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Those with the maladaptive type of narcissistic personality disorder tend to be individuals who manipulate and control those around them as a way to feed their own desires.

Grandiose narcissistic personality disorder can be a tricky type of narcissistic personality disorder to treat. Sometimes the symptoms can be mistaken for being positive attributes, but the lack of empathy can be a dead giveaway for the more sinister elements of the disorder.

2. Vulnerable

Those who are vulnerable, or ‘covert’, narcissists tend to be more withdrawn and introverted, and their narcissistic tendencies present differently. These individuals will often have an extremely low self-esteem and yield their narcissistic personalities to get praise without ever taking steps to earn that praise. Individuals who are covert narcissists can often wreak havoc on the emotions and psyche of those around them.

Knowing how to deal with narcissistic personality disorder can be difficult and dependent upon what type of narcissistic personality disorder a loved one is living with. Arming yourself with the knowledge of the exact details can make a path forward more clear.

Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatable?

A therapist takes notes

When an individual is figuring out how to deal with narcissistic personality disorder treatment can be confusing and seem inaccessible. Treatment will vary depending on the type of narcissistic personality disorder someone has. Treatment and therapy may also be necessary for those closest to the individual with narcissistic personality disorder. Whether you are seeking help for your own narcissistic personality disorder, treatment for a loved one, or support for the psychological effects of NPD abuse, there is help for narcissistic personality disorder.

Treatment for Those With Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder can vary, depending on the type of NPD someone is facing based on the types we mention above. Talk therapy may help an individual who is struggling. Psychotherapy techniques such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and hypnotherapy can also be added to treatment plans to navigate the complexities of this condition.

Narcissistic personality disorder can sometimes occur in conjunction with other mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety. Working with a licensed mental health counselor and potentially a primary care provider can help ensure a treatment plan is created that is suitable for long-term growth and symptom management.

Treatment For Family Living with Type of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Sometimes forgotten in the conversation around narcissistic personality disorder are those who are close to loved ones with the disorder and suffer as a result. Narcissistic personality disorder therapies are also available for the individuals who may struggle as a result of their loved one’s struggle with narcissistic personality disorder. When dealing with narcissistic personality disorder as a family or partner, healing has to occur on multiple fronts.

Miami Hypnosis and Therapy offers counseling and therapy in Miami for loved ones of individuals with narcissistic personality disorder as well as for the individuals struggling with narcissistic personality disorder.

Where Do You Start When Looking For Help?

Seeking out help for yourself or a loved one can be a confusing, overwhelming, and even scary experience. Social stigma, a lack of resources, and pride can stand in the way of individuals getting the help they need.

If you or a loved one is seeking help with any mental health disorder here are some tips to find the best possible care.

  • Reach out to a trusted medical provider who can provide you with resources a referrals
  • Research support groups and communities. Remember, you’re never alone
  • Lean on family and friends for support
  • Reach out to community organizations for advice and referral
  • Contact a therapist for a complimentary consultation to learn more about your options

There is no one pathway to healing. And there is no way one person could have all the answers. There is a community out there ready to help you and your loved ones deal with the challenges that narcissistic personality disorder presents.

How Miami Hypnosis and Therapy Can Help

Using an integrative and multi-faceted approach to psychotherapy, we can help you find the individualized therapy plan that works best for you. No matter the type of narcissistic personality disorder you or a loved one are dealing with, there is hope and help available. Contact us today to learn more and take these next steps forward.

Anna Marchenko

Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M. is the principal therapist at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy. She holds a bachelor's degree from NYU and dual masters degrees from Columbia University. Marchenko’s hypnosis certification is from the only hypnosis program in Florida that has been certified by the state’s Board of Education. She helps her clients by utilizing an integrative approach to psychotherapy, tailored to each individual’s mental health journey, drawing from hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, NLP therapy, EMDR, and more.

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