What is included in the treatment of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)?

Updated: May 16, 2018
  • Author: Sheenie Ambardar, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

Long-term, consistent outpatient care is the approach of choice in the treatment of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). This usually involves a combination of psychotherapy and medication management.

The mainstay of treatment is individual psychotherapy—specifically, psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Other therapeutic modalities used to treat the disorder include group, family, and couples therapy, as well as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and short-term objective-focused psychotherapy. [14] Psychotropic medications are not specifically used to treat NPD but are often used to treat concomitant anxiety, depression, impulsivity, or other mood disturbances.

If the patient acutely decompensates or becomes a danger to self or others, inpatient treatment is warranted. As a rule, shorter hospital stays are best for patients with NPD; prolonged time in the hospital will do little to change the underlying severity of the illness. Hospitalization should only be used as a temporizing measure to allow stabilization of environmental stressors, adjustment of medication dosages, or both. [15]


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