Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) can be difficult to recognize because many of the characteristics seem normal. Everyone has narcissistic traits, but doctors diagnose NPD when these traits combine to present as a personality disorder that is persistent over time and difficult to change. A person with NPD may not realize that he or she has the condition and if aware of it, usually doesn't consider it a problem. Many people with NPD, especially men, appear to be very successful, but difficulties are often visible in significant areas of their lives, such as relationships.
A person with NPD often has an inflated sense of self-importance. This is combined with a lack of empathy, as they see things only from their perspective. It can be difficult for them to understand the importance of social norms, ethics, and laws, rather interpreting them as limitations in their own lives. They expect life to work according to their understanding. Underneath, they can be quite fragile because of the confusion their misperception brings. The sense of being "wounded" can result in extreme rage in some people with NPD. Others may project problems in their lives onto others, especially spouses and children.
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