People with narcissistic personalities have an exaggerated sense of self importance and are absorbed
by fantasies of unlimited success, and exhibitionistically seek constant attention. Extreme swings between
over idealization and devaluation characterize the relationships of these persons who also display marked
entitlement, interpersonal exploitiveness, and over sensitivity to failure. The person with this disorder is prone
to making incessant and frequently urgent demands relating to what may be seen as a minor problem. As in
the case of the hypochondriacal patient, the complaints and entitlement of the narcissistic patient may be caused
by genuine but assiduously concealed emotional pain and unhappiness. The narcissistic personality is commonly
seen in people with other personality disorders so treating it independently may not be appropriate. Some
patients with narcissistic personalities are characterized by a tendency to complain of multiple somatic
symptoms. These patients have been classified under a variety of terms including histrionic (hysterical)
personality disorder, primitive hysteric, or somatization disorder.
Treatment strategies for personality disorders will vary although some basic general concepts can be applied.
Motivation for treatment/therapy often comes from someone other than the person involved so the patient often
feels that the reason for therapy are foreign to him or that he is being victimized.
Over the long term, the anxiety and depression of personality disorders are rarely eliminated by
pharmacotherapy and drug abuse is a common complication of prescribing drugs to people with
Commonly, most therapeutic gains are made only in the setting of long term relationships with another
person, who must be flexible, reassuring and usually more active than passive. Patients need to be
confronted with the way their behavior affects other people. Frequently, limits on behavior need to be set
and reality issues dealt with. In many cases the family should be involved, since group pressure seems to
be effective. Group and family treatment, group living situations, therapeutic social clubs, milieu hospital therapy,
can all be important in treatment. The patient's self esteem must be supported while his maladaptive modes
of behavior are confronted.
Please Note: As with all depressive illnesses, it is important that Muslims attempt to get advice from a
Muslim psychologist, psychiatrist, physician, or counselor. For patients that are unable to find a Muslim
physician in their area specializing in psychology, it would still be helpful if they were able to consult with a
Muslim clinician and receive advice or assistant with ensuring that the treatment program outlined is in
accordance with Islamic principles