Confidence or Narcissism?

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Do you know someone who exudes confidence in a gregarious way? Are you one of these people? While confidence is something we should all strive toward, some people have an illness that causes them to overcompensate making them seem selfish, unreasonable, and unable to express empathy. So how do you know if it is being confident or having Narcissist Personality Disorder?

What Is Narcissist Personality Disorder?

Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder that causes people to believe they are superior or special. Someone with NPD may focus on fantasies like how intelligent, beautiful, or successful they are. They are often known for their grandiosity, lack of empathy, and desire for affirmation and admiration. Friends and family might describe them as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. They may often try to only associate with other people that they think are special in some way. They do this because it helps to enhance their self-esteem which believe it or not, is quite fragile beneath the surface.

NPD can start in early adulthood, and for it to be classified as NPD, they have to exhibit symptoms in multiple situations such as at work or in relationships. They will likely seek attention and admiration excessively craving the knowledge of whether or not someone thinks highly of them. They have a very hard time with criticism because of their fragility. Criticism and defeat cal leave them feeling empty or humiliated.

Symptoms Of Narcissism

  • Exaggerating own importance
  • Preoccupied with fantasies of power, success, intelligence, or beauty
  • Believing they are special and can only be understood by special people
  • Requiring constant admiration and attention
  • Taking advantage of others to reach their own goals
  • Lacing empathy, disregarding feelings
  • Envious of others or believing that others are envious of them
  • Arrogant behavior and attitude

Causes of NPD

The majority of the patients who are diagnosed with NPD are male; the percentage is between 50 and 70%. It’s not uncommon for adolescents to show this kind of behavior, but that doesn’t mean that they will develop NPD later on in life. Scientists aren’t entirely sure how this disorder is developed, but they believe it could be genetic and environmental factors. Treatment of this disorder can be difficult, but luckily, scientists have discovered differences in their brain that could point to where this disorder comes from.

Scientists have discovered that the areas in the brain that control emotional empathy are smaller in the brains of people who have NPD. It’s not that these individuals don’t care to feel emotions for others, it is that they are unable. They also have found that the brain doesn’t react the way it is supposed to when someone with NPD thinks of themselves. Normally, your reward system will be stimulated when you have thoughts about yourself, making you feel good. People who have NPD lack this sensation which researchers believe is what drives them to seek out affirmation.

Treatment For NPD

Treatment for NPD isn’t easy by any means. Most of the people who have this personality disorder are very defensive and have such a thick veil of grandiosity they can’t see past it. This makes it difficult for them to acknowledge their problems so they can fix them. Therapy is often advised, both individual and group, because it can help them healthily relate to others.

Suggested Therapies For NPD

  • Mentalization-based therapy
  • Transference-focused psychotherapy
  • Schema-focused psychotherapy

Can CBD Oil Help With NPD?

There has yet to be a study that gives definitive evidence that CBD oil can help with NPD specifically. But CBD oil has shown to help with certain symptoms in other illnesses that can transfer over to this personality disorder.

While studying addiction and CBD oil, they found that CBD helps to regulate the reward system. They found that CBD oil helps to reduce cravings by preventing the reward system from being overactive while using a substance. Because CBD oil is a regulator, it is possible that it may work oppositely. By regulating the reward system, CBD oil may be able to help people with NPD get the sensation they have been looking for when thinking about themselves. However, there has yet to be a study to test this theory.

CBD oil has also shown in many studies to promote neurogenesis. This means that it helps your cells stay healthy and repair themselves. CBD even elevates a chemical called BDNF which acts as a brain fertilizer helping brain cells grow. If there is a lack in brain mass that leads to NPD, CBD oil may be able to help by repairing the damage that caused this. However, once again, there has yet to be a definitive study to confirm this theory.

 

Sarah Potts

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