If you or someone you know seems to be suffering from symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) the first step is to get an assessment. A doctor will do an initial mental health assessment and may carry out physical examinations to ensure no physical illness is causing the symptoms.
If no other cause is found, the doctor may refer to a psychiatrist or psychologist to help draw up a mental health care plan. They will talk to you, get to know you and ask you some questions to understand your history and how severe the symptoms are. Sometimes it may take weeks or months to be diagnosed.
To be diagnosed as having NPD, people must have:
- an exaggerated sense of self-importance
- fantasies of great success, power, attractiveness or intelligence
- believing themselves to be special, and only able to be understood by others who are also special
- an increased sense of entitlement
- a need for constant admiration or attention
- taking advantage of others, envying others, or believing others envy them
- arrogance or haughtiness
- a lack of empathy
Diagnosis is the first step towards wellness. Your doctor can recommend treatment and support to help you take the next step towards recovery.
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: December 2018