Teen Narcissistic Disorder

Teen narcissistic disorder is one of the known teen personality disorders. Although this disorder is not very common, its occurrence in teens has increased in recent years. It is characterized by teens that have low self-esteem but begin to have grandiose views and fantasies about themselves. As per Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, about one percent of teens suffer from this disorder and most of the sufferers are male.

The name of this disorder has its roots in Greek mythology, where a young man named Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pond and drowned to get a closer look without caring about any ramifications. Similarly, teens suffering from this disorder tend to disregard the opinion and feelings of others, and practical ramifications, simply to uphold their own grandiose views, no matter the cost.

Causes and Symptoms of Teen Narcissistic Disorder

The exact causes of this disorder in teens are generally unknown. However, researchers suppose that possibly a co-relation of inconsistency, overindulgence, and condemnation by parents may trigger it.

Symptoms include:

  • False sense of dignity and importance
  • Boastful on the one hand but highly insecure on the other
  • Easily provoked
  • Extreme rages and anger
  • Overly sensitive to any comment
  • Envious of others
  • Mean personality and desire to inflict pain on others
  • Suspects others are jealous of his/her success
  • Internal feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation
  • Lack of empathy

Types of Teen Narcissistic Disorder

Different types of narcissistic personality disorder include:

An Unprincipled Narcissist – this narcissist is unprincipled and has no fear of any consequences. He may lie, cheat or steal and may lean towards anti-social behavioral patterns.

An Amorous Narcissist is one who exhibits the usual narcissistic traits together with traits of the histrionic, often defined by the game of erotic. Their skill lies in enticing and tempting the emotionally needy and naïve while fulfilling their own hedonistic desires and sexual appetites as they deem necessary.

A Compensatory Narcissist exhibits narcissistic personality traits with overly sensitive reactions to every criticism, leading to passive-aggressive tendencies.

An Elitist Narcissist holds extremely lofty views of him/herself that may result in a superiority complex and excessive boasting.

A Fanatic Narcissistic’s behavior is triggered by past trauma leading to unrealistic fantasies.

Treatment for Teen Narcissistic Disorder

Treatment for teen narcissistic disorder may include a mixture of psychotherapy, medication and other methods.

Psychotherapy: This method involves a long-term treatment plan guided by a professionally competent psychotherapist. The therapist begins by helping the teen to address their underlying insecurities, shame, depression, or other negative feelings and traits. A step-by-step encounter with a patient’s vulnerabilities enables him/her to deal with the illness and the subsequent ramifications and feelings, ultimately boosting a teen’s self confidence and providing him/her with independent tools to overcome their limitations.

Medication: In conjunction with other therapies, a medication regimen may be prescribed. Medication may be used to provide relief from symptoms of anxiety or depression. In such cases, medication is not prescribed as a cure for the narcissism, but rather to help manage the overwhelming feelings of low self-worth, guilt, and shame so that therapy for the narcissistic tendencies can be most effective.

Treatment at Hillcrest

Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center (Hillcrest) is a licensed, residential mental health facility in the tropical foothills of Agoura Hills, specializing in the treatment of teen narcissistic disorder, and guided by expert mental healthcare professionals and therapists who are committed to the long-lasting and sustained healing of each client, both during and post treatment. At Hillcrest, teen residential treatment is dynamic, multi-layered, varied and eclectic. In addition to individualized therapeutic programs designed specifically to suit each client’s condition and temperament, a range of extracurricular activities and hobbies are also offered to ensure healthy and fun outlets for each client depending on their skills and talents.

Hillcrest’s individualized approach allows for personal attention and care of the highest of standards for each client. By recognizing the unique nature and experience of each client, and valuing the distinct abilities and character traits that your loved ones bring to the Hillcrest program, positive healing attributes are maximized and strengthened, allowing each client to flourish while at Hillcrest, and moreover, to learn to nurture those positive characteristics to achieve independence and constructive impactful change upon re-entry and re-integration into the outside world.

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