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Recognizing, Treating, and Coping With Narcissism

I stumbled into an unfortunate relationship with a man who exhibited all the classic NPD symptoms. It took me a year to break free.

Narcissus was so entranced with himself he wasted his life. Do you love someone like Narcissus?

Narcissus was so entranced with himself he wasted his life. Do you love someone like Narcissus?

Help for Your Mental Health

Despite working as a certified drug and alcohol counselor for several years, I had never treated a narcissist. While I'd noticed certain narcissistic traits in some people, it wasn't until I stumbled into an unfortunate relationship with a man who exhibited all the classical symptoms of narcissism that I was able to deeply understand the ways this disorder can affect a relationship.

Fortunately, I was able to get away from that relationship in about a year—though it proved costly to my finances and self-esteem. It took several years before I fully healed from the emotional damage I had experienced. Many people don't have the luxury of escaping. The narcissist in their lives may be a parent or sibling. It may be a spouse who controls the purse strings and emotionally abuses them until their self-esteem is nothing more than tattered shreds of a once-healthy ego.

That's why, for my 100th HubPages article, I'm tackling a tough topic to help others pinpoint whether their loved one has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), how to cope with narcissism in their lives, and what the experts have to say about treating it.

Does Narcissistic Personality Disorder develop during a toddler's years? Some experts think so.

Does Narcissistic Personality Disorder develop during a toddler's years? Some experts think so.

What Do You Think?

Diagnosing Narcissism

It has been said that we in an "age of entitlement" that has created an epidemic of narcissists in our society. University of Michigan professor Sara Konrath's studies appear to validate the claim.

One line of thinking claims that over-coddling, controlling parents contribute to the personality disorder. Others believe that toddlers whose emotional growth is traumatized right around the time most children learn to have empathy are more prone. A third line of thought is that narcissists are born egomaniacs.