Letter for Monday, Feb. 6, 2017

• Personality disorder tough to treat

Personality disorder tough to treat

I recently ran across this mental disease called Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Does the following description of the disease remind you of anyone?

NPD is a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of understanding of others’ feelings. Those affected by it often spend a lot of time thinking about achieving power or success, or about their appearance. They often take advantage of the people around them. The behavior typically begins by early adulthood, and occurs across a variety of situations.

The cause of NPD is unknown, as it is a personality disorder. Diagnosis is by a healthcare professional interviewing the person. The condition needs to be differentiated from other disorders such as mania and substance use disorder.

Treatments have not been well studied. Therapy is often difficult as people with the disorder frequently do not consider themselves to have a problem. The personality was first described in 1925 by Robert Waelder while the current name for the condition came into use in 1968. About 1 percent of people are believed to be affected at some point in their life and it appears to occur more often in males than females and affects young people more than older people.

John Gordon, Princeville

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