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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Treating Narcissism



Can a narcissistic person be changed? Can a person married to one expect change, or just resolve to continue to suffer, or leave? Are they dangerous?


Narcissism is a pattern of behaviors where a person is infatuated and obsessed with one's own self to the exclusion of others.  A person with narcissistic personality disorder spends most of his or her time pursuing his or her own personal gratification, dominance and ambition.

Narcissism is named after the ancient Greek myth of Narcissus who was a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo. In punishment of his cruelty, he was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water.

Narcissistic personality disorder is treated with counseling and therapy, and while full recovery is rare, people with this disorder can improve and develop appropriate relationships with others.

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Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati