Can Narcissism be cured? It is a heartbreaking question to have to answer but the truth is most likely no — it probably cannot… and here’s why.
Narcissism — a word used in the psychology field to discuss people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or “NPD” — is not a sickness. It is not an illness.
People who are diagnosed with it do not, technically speaking, have a disease or even truly a dysfunction. What they do have is a highly efficient and self-serving personality type — and a personality type is not something that is broken.
Technically speaking, it simply is what it is.
People with NPD are who they are — it is up to their friends, loved ones, family members, bosses, co-workers, peer groups, parents, siblings, grandparents, and ultimately children to decide whether or not to enable and overlook their toxic personality traits and abuse or not.
If they choose to stay, the only functional option is for victims of an abusive Narcissist to learn how to depersonalize abuse, protect themselves physically and emotionally, and go gray rock until such a time they feel it is either safe to leave or act on the realization that staying is a waste of time and they have had enough.
PSYCHOANALYSIS is the preferred first course of mental health treatment for such individuals in order to confirm diagnosis alone. A Narcissist presents with predictable self-centeredness that tends to have arisen during early childhood.
The narcissist fails socially to exhibit a normal range of emotional understanding in part because they lack empathy. Arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of a mental disorder, parents handicap small children when they under-parent and/or subject a child to witnessing trauma, suffering from neglect, or targeting them for abuse.
However, Behavioral Therapists who specialize in working to properly socialize people with Traumatic Brain Injuries or Cluster B personality disorders seem to connect most naturally with disordered individuals.
If a fundamentally narcissistic person wishes to change a dysfunctional social habit or personal pattern, working with a behaviorist who understands the goal is not to develop empathy or change the nature of the Narcissist in any way can be quite helpful.
If and when a Narcissist decided they want to change — rather than “improve” something about themselves, working with a behavioral specialist to develop a routine to help mock (meaning imitate — not ridicule) more empathetic social behaviors for no other reason than to allow the Narcissist the opportunity to derive public or private social benefits can be moderately effective if and when Narcissism is present in thinking pattern alone — not neurologically inspired in some profoundly neurologically compromising way.
People who are narcissistic about a few things but who display the capacity to experience a full range of emotion — most importantly empathy — fall into an entirely different level of classification.
Sometimes reading a helpful article about what Narcissistic Abuse is is all the provocation they need to start self-examining their own behaviors and making amends with people they hurt on purpose in the past or inadvertently.
However, if they have NPD, expect resistance, blame-shifting, invalidating, writing revisionist history, and blaming the victim instead of assuming personal responsibility for their behavior.
Because true Narcissists who have NPD — no matter whether they are Overt, Covert, Somatic, Cerebral, or a generalize mix of malignant behaviors — are at their core functionally unable.
They have such a grandiose sense of entitlement that in their mind not only do they deserve the right to be able to say or do or think whatever they want, but they also have little to no respect for the feelings, emotions, personal boundaries, and relationships with other people.
If you are looking to save someone, try starting with yourself first.
Then, save your children or unaware, People-Pleasing family members when and if you feel it’s possible.
Resist the urge to martyr yourself in order to protect abusive people’s secrets.
Then, give yourself a big hug if there is no one left lurking around from your toxic family or narcissistic peer group once you finally decide to break the cycle.
If you have made it this far in life, know that your success rate in overcoming obstacles and surviving tough circumstances is 100%. Keep up the good work.
Better to have no family or friends than to be surrounded by people who only have their own best interests in mind at all times, never once considering the very real possibility you have an actual right to protect, self-care for, and advocate equally strongly for yours.