At Visions Treatment Centers, we approach teen narcissistic personality disorder treatment through intense one-on-one therapy, utilizing special techniques aimed at exploring adolescents’ interpersonal skills and self-image. Teen narcissistic personality disorder can be difficult to treat because narcissists typically do not accept they need help. Narcissistic personality disorder is described as a condition wherein a teen displays a long-term pattern of grandiosity and attention-seeking behavior.

They often see themselves as nothing less than perfect and reflect any form of criticism onto others. Someone who qualifies as a narcissist would be deeply insecure and would internalize any critique as a personal attack. They defend themselves via deeply condescending statements, snobbishness, aggression, and blame shifting. While they might intellectually understand some of their behavior is unwanted, they are incapable of feeling remorse or empathy, and do not internalize how others might feel emotional pain because of their abuse.

Characteristics of Teen Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Teens with narcissistic personality disorder are prone to escaping responsibility, lack empathy towards others, and are obsessed with receiving not just attention, but specifically admiration from others – and when they get the opposite, the resort to insults and aggressive behavior. A teen with narcissistic personality disorder may be prone to sudden shifts in mood.

They are typically skilled at manipulating others and understand how to be charming, affectionate, and seductive. They also display immense amounts of superficial confidence and self-assurance, although these constructs are entirely hollow and fall apart under sufficient pressure, leading to abusive and/or aggressive responses. Some characteristics of teen narcissistic personality disorder includes:

  • An incredibly inflated ego and sense of superiority
  • Preoccupied with self-image and accomplishments, alongside fantasies of future successes and power
  • Believe they are special and could only associate with others of the same “special status”
  • Manipulative, exploitative, and arrogant
  • Deeply envious of any success not their own (and thinks others are envious of them)
  • Requiring admiration; lacking empathy
  • Incredibly high expectations and a sense of entitlement


Researchers have not identified exactly why teens and adults develop narcissistic personalities, but it’s thought to be a combination of nature and nurture. In some cases, nature may play a greater role than nurture, and vice versa. While the potential to be a narcissist may run in the family, the development of narcissistic traits is often born either from lack of any consequence or responsibility during childhood, or an abusive childhood leading to narcissism as self-preservation.

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Teen Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment

Teen narcissistic personality disorder treatment largely depends on extremely specific talk therapy interventions. A teen who is convinced of their own grandeur can be difficult to treat, as they won’t accept there’s anything to treat. Narcissistic personality disorder treatment can help them better understand how to interact with others and lead a more comfortable life, develop a sense of empathy, and identify why or how they hurt others.

Because every case is unique, teen narcissistic personality disorder treatment depends on a thorough prior assessment. At Visions Treatment Centers, our teen narcissistic personality disorder treatment programs include (but is not limited to):

Talk Therapy

Different methods of talk therapy may be used to affect symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and reduce destructive habits while improving a teen’s emotional intelligence (and capacity for empathy). These methods include dialectical behavior therapy, transference-focused therapy (which can help teens identify their own problematic behavior), and schema-focused therapy.

Medication

Narcissistic personality disorder can cooccur with other mental health issues, particularly ones requiring antidepressants and/or antipsychotics such as bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. These medications do not affect the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder but can help reduce cooccurring symptoms and make psychotherapy more effective.

Teen narcissistic personality disorder treatment is a long-term process through a program aimed to address behavior, and help them develop better emotional intelligence, and learn to empathize with others. While teens with narcissistic personality disorder display a lack of empathy, some individuals can learn to get back in touch with their ability to feel for others.