Can a narcissist be cured? (9 methods)

This blog post aims to answer the question, “Can a narcissist be cured?” and explore the various aspects of a narcissist and their personality to help understand the answer. 

Can a narcissist be cured?

No, a narcissist cannot be cured. Narcissistic personality disorder is persistent, untreatable and extremely difficult to overcome. Treatment, on the other hand, can help alleviate some of the distressing symptoms associated with narcissistic personality disorder. 

The following are 9 treatment methods that can help manage narcissistic personality disorder –

  • Dialectic Behavior Therapy.
  • Mentalization-Based Treatment.
  • Schema Therapy.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy.
  • Behavioural Therapy.
  • Social Skills Training.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
  • Metacognitive Interpersonal Therapy. 
  • Medication.

These 9 treatment methods for a narcissist will be discussed in further detail below after taking a deeper look at who a  narcissist is.

Who is a narcissist?

A Narcissist is a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a mental disorder in which persons have an exaggerated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, difficult relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. 

It is one of the numerous forms of personality disorders. But underneath this confident front hides weak self-esteem that is easily shattered by the least criticism.

A narcissistic personality disorder can create issues in a variety of aspects of life, including relationships, employment, school, and finances. 

When they aren’t offered the particular favours or adulation they feel they deserve, people with narcissistic personality disorder may be generally sad and disappointed. Others may not enjoy being around them since they find their connections unfulfilling.

Talk therapy (psychotherapy) is used to treat narcissistic personality disorder.

Signs and Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder –

Narcissists are frequently characterised as arrogant, self-centred, demanding, and manipulative. However, the degree and scope of these symptoms might differ from person to person. Early adulthood is the onset of narcissistic personality disorder.

If you have five or more of the following characteristics, you may be labelled with narcissism:

Grandiosity.

  • Narcissists have an excessive feeling of self-importance.
  • Narcissists feel superior to others and think that they deserve preferential treatment.
  • A narcissist’s feelings are frequently accompanied by illusions of boundless prosperity, brilliance, power, beauty, or love.

Excessive need for admiration.

  • It is necessary for a narcissist to be the centre of attention.
  • Narcissists frequently monopolise conversations
  • Narcissists, when neglected, feel slighted, abused, drained, and angered.

Superficial and exploitative relationships.

  • Narcissists’ relationships are built on superficial characteristics rather than the unique features of others.
  • People are only appreciated by narcissists to the extent that they are perceived to be useful.

Lack of empathy.

  • The ability to care for the emotional needs or experiences of others particularly loved ones is severely limited or completely absent in narcissists.

Identity disturbance.

  • The sense of self of a narcissist is relatively shallow, extremely inflexible, and frequently weak.
  • Maintaining the belief that one is extraordinary is necessary for self-stability for a narcissist.
  • A narcissist’s grandiose concept of self is easily jeopardised.
  • Narcissists avoid or ignore realities that call their grandiosity into question.

Attachment and dependence problems.

  • Narcissists depend on environmental feedback.
  • Narcissists’ relationships exist solely to support a healthy self-image.
  • Narcissists’ interactions are fleeting.
  • Intimacy is forbidden by narcissists.

Feelings of emptiness and dullness on a regular basis.

  • When narcissists do not receive attention and appreciation, they feel empty, bored, sad, or restless.

Vulnerability to life changes.

  • Narcissists have difficulty sticking to realistic personal and professional objectives throughout time.
  • Compromises demanded by education, work, and relationships can be excruciating for narcissists.
  • Narcissists may experience “failure to launch” in young adulthood.

Suicide and suicidal ideation. 

  • Narcissists have increased tendencies for suicide and suicidal ideation due to narcissistic personality disorder.

What are these 9 treatment methods for a narcissist?

Dialectic Behaviour Therapy.

Dialectic Behaviour Therapy is a cognitive-behavioural therapy that aims to improve the patient’s capacity to regulate their powerful emotions and behaviours. Individual lessons are usually held once a week, complemented or followed by group sessions. Mindfulness, interpersonal skills, discomfort tolerance, and emotion management are all emphasised. 

For persons with Borderline Personality Disorder, DBT is the best clinically validated therapy strategy. It is also one of the most cost-effective therapy strategies since it targets symptoms directly and may be done in a group setting. It can also be less time-consuming than many other sorts of treatments.

Mentalization-Based Treatment.

This is a type of psychodynamic treatment in which the patient is taught to “mentalize,” or picture/imagine how others are feeling in reaction to her conduct and in general. 

It is less prescriptive than DBT and places a greater emphasis on the therapist-patient interaction. Because it is relationship-based and personalised, it might take a little longer and cost a little more than DBT.

Schema Therapy.

Schema Therapy combines approaches from four different types of well-established, tried-and-true therapies. The treatment’s purpose is to question the patient’s maladaptive “schemas,” or beliefs/feelings, that he or she developed as a kid. 

The therapist is effectively re-parenting the patient as part of this process. Schema Therapy takes longer, but it affects the patient on a deeper level. According to research, it may be more expensive, but it is still cost-efficient because it is so effective.

Psychodynamic Therapy.

This tried-and-true treatment is usually done one-on-one. Its goal is to assist the patient in discovering how her childhood influences her current life. 

The therapist-patient connection is utilised to assist the patient in understanding how her emotions, feelings, and actions influence others. Psychodynamic treatment is often more costly since it lasts longer.

Behavioural Therapy.

This is a rather specific therapy. It is usually applied to a single symptom that is the treatment’s emphasis. It works best when applied to a specific behaviour that a patient is seeking to cease, especially if the habit is caused by worry. 

As a result, it may be particularly useful in the treatment of anxiety-related personality disorders. It is one of the quickest and most cost-effective therapies since it is focused and specialised. However, it only addresses symptoms and does not address the fundamental psychological structure.

Social Skills Training.

Some personality disorders, particularly those involving psychosis, make it difficult for the patient to understand and read the behaviours and feelings of others and respond properly. 

Direct instruction in this area is typically beneficial for those with schizoid, schizotypal, and paranoid personality disorders. Group training for social skills is common. It is extremely cost-effective and can sometimes be rather brief because it is a targeted, instructional, group therapy.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

CBT aids in the identification of basic ideas of inferiority and their replacement with healthy alternatives.

Metacognitive Interpersonal Therapy. 

The purpose here is to assist people in modifying their unreasonable expectations of themselves in order to properly value their work.

Medication.

In the treatment of personality disorders, medication is a touchy subject. This is due to the fact that it does not treat the underlying condition. It can, however, be critical in lowering symptoms like anxiety, sadness, or psychosis so that treatment is more successful. 

Medication, when used correctly, may be a valuable tool in the treatment of all types of Personality Disorders.

There is no one-size-fits-all therapy. However, one thing that must be present in order for someone with a personality disorder to benefit from treatment is a genuine desire to change.

Conclusion – 

This blog post aimed to answer the question, “Can a narcissist be cured?” and reviewed the various aspects of a narcissist and the narcissistic personality disorder to help determine if a narcissist can be cured. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments you may have.

References –

Narcissistic Personality Disorder. WebMD. (2020, June 18). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/narcissistic-personality-disorder#:~:text=develop%20it%20later.-,Narcissistic%20Personality%20Disorder%20Treatment,Sometimes%20people%20call%20this%20psychotherapy.

Legg, T. J.  Can Narcissistic People Change? (2020, January 16). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/can-a-narcissist-change

Perina, K. 10 Stages in the Treatment of Narcissistic Disorders. (2019, August 3). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/understanding-narcissism/201908/10-stages-in-the-treatment-narcissistic-disorders

Fishman, S. Is Narcissism Treatable? (2021, June 4). Retrieved from https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/mental-health-and-behavior/is-narcissism-treatable

Can people with NPD be cured or is there a treatment? Quora. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/Can-people-with-NPD-be-cured-or-is-there-a-treatment

Saeed , K. Can Narcissism Be Cured? Too Many Tricksters Are Providing False Claims. (2019. January 9). Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/blog/liberation/2019/01/can-narcissism-be-cured-too-many-tricksters-are-providing-false-claims

Richter, Y.  Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatable? Exploring Treatment Options. (2018, July 26). Retrieved from https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/blog/is-narcissistic-personality-disorder-treatable-exploring-treatment-options/

Mayo Clinic Staff. Narcissistic personality disorder. (2017, November 18). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20366690

Stines, S. The Arduous Work of Treating Narcissism: A Therapist’s Guide. (2017, January 12). Retrieved from https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/arduous-work-of-treating-narcissism-therapists-guide-0112174

Human, D. Can a Narcissist be Cured with Therapy? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://m1psychology.com/can-a-narcissist-be-cured-with-therapy/

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