Home \ Forums \ Parenting & Family Therapy \ Is Your Teen a Narcissist? Learn the Warning Signs and Treatment Options

20 replies, 17 commenters Last updated by Profile photo of Tim Tim 2 months, 1 week ago
  • Profile photo of goodoldrebelgoodoldrebel

    It seems that an overindulged child becomes incapable of self sufficiency. Being so ‘easy’ with your child actually makes it more difficult for them to live a productive life as they cannot accept having to not always get their way

  • Profile photo of Searching4helpSearching4help

    I agree with your comment. I am a stepmom to a 14 year old teen boy that has been diagnosed with narcissism and ODD (Obstinance defiance disorder.) His mom just let him do what he wanted when he wanted. He came to live with us last year when she had had enough. Now we are trying to cope with stopping the ….my way or i will make your life miserable attitude. Sadly I had a breaking point this week in that area and lost my cool with him. Home life with him is stressful and full of strife.

    • Profile photo of holdonholdon

      We too have a boy with both ODD and strong narcissistic tendencies — he came to us when he was 13, and we too struggle with a stressful home life and keeping our cool. I often wonder if we are a good place for him, or if he needs a more structured, rigid environment. /But it is when we lose our cool that I really question whether he should be with us.

  • Profile photo of BrightYellowBrightYellow

    Caring is when you can focus more on another’s well being than your own. In order to fully care, you must interpret a pertinent subject as either pleasant or unpleasant and then question how that fits in with others’ experiences: If the answer is pleasant, typically you get a pleasant relay response and if the answer is unpleasant you typically get no relay response- aside from relevant memories which is known as empathy. What makes someone have Antisocial Personality Disorder is if they have these last two reactions switched.
    Mean while, individuals who have Narcissistic Personality want to be the best to prove they are better than others like they think they are. However really this is steaming from a fear that they are less out of ignorance for what it means to care for another. This is because Narcissists, instead of asking how their experiences match with others, naturally think of how they are different instead.
    October 10th, 2015

  • Profile photo of ce8181@optonline.netce8181@optonline.net

    I am the parent of an adult child with NPD and I can not find anyone out there who can offer me advise on how to handle him, I dont know how to act, If I tell him what he is doing is not healthy he tail-spins into a depressin and stays in bed for days. If I tell him just good things I am not being true him and I feel like a horrible parent. we all walk on eggshells when we are around him and say only good things because we fear he may do something drastic if we dont. how and where do I get help on how to treat my own son. Its just a horrible feeling because my other two children and sick and tired of him and cant stand that we dont just yell at our son and tell him what he is doing is wrong and we arent going to take it anymore. Please help

    • Profile photo of espia8321espia8321

      my son is being always diagnosed with Asperger, but his narcissists features worry me a lot
      everywhere I look for advise, I see these negative and pessimistic articles about narcissism and no advice for parents
      I am sorry I don’t have the answer, but I understand exactly what you are going through
      I pray and surrender.

  • Profile photo of Sarah WadsworthSarah Wadsworth

    Hi, I too have a 13yo strongly traited narcissistic male child.
    He is an only child and I am a single mother.
    His father sees him about 15 hours every 3 weeks and then half the school holidays.
    I would say I have over compensated for the lack of father figure.
    We have always had a very rigid routine at home and he helps me with housework – vacuuming, cooking, washing and cleaning room.
    But it is his lack of empathy. I have watched this lack of empathy over the years.
    And he is academically gifted and has a full scholarship – this just feeds into his narcissism though – thinking he is smarter than everyone else.
    For a long time I thought (and still do) he has Asperger’s – rigid, clumsy, weird tics, tunnel interests, socially inept but as he is getting older he is gravitating towards some very anti-social interests – interested in graffiti, urbexing and finding these bad kids (ones who get expelled) to be-friend.
    So I have a problem child with a mixed picture here.
    I am tightening up on him more and more. He is making poor choices.
    I am sorry that I have obviously done some poor parenting here
    *Do you think I should send him to his fathers to live with when he looses the scholarship? I believe he needs more male figures in his life. His father lives in the next state. I believe the father needs to take a turn of parenting full time instead of being the fun dad. And I believe I need a break from this.
    What do you think?

    • Profile photo of GiuliaGiulia

      Looks much more like Aspergers than NPD.
      NPD and ASD are two different worlds.

      Poor parenting is not the cause of ASD. However, he does need a different way of parenting.
      But bad parenting didn’t create his issue.
      Lack of father figure doesn’t change the social blindness issue. Even the best two parents families cannot erase the social blindness from ASD.

      Actually, ASD people are too naive socially speaking to exploit. To exploit, you need a sophisticated social thinking.
      ASD people are not as sophisticated as you think.

      Lack of empathy is better framed as social blindness. So, he cares about people, but doesn’t know how to act with them.
      He loves you, he cares about you, but he doesn’t know how to show you how he loves you.

      OTOH, people with NPD know how to feign empathy, but don’t feel actual empathy.
      NPD is being sophisticated to the point of exploiting other people. From what you describe, your teen doesn’t absolutely look like he is manipulating you.
      Actually, he is too socially clueless for manipulation. He is unable to feign empathy to take advantage of you. Why ? Again, social blindness.

      “And he is academically gifted and has a full scholarship – this just
      feeds into his narcissism though – thinking he is smarter than everyone
      Actually, that’s an inaccurate description of narcissism as NPD.
      why ? because it lacks the exploitative side of it. NPD thinks he is above the rules to exploit others.
      If your teen has ASD as you think, and the techniques for ASD work for him, continue with what works and try not to over-obsess about NPD. It will make more harm than good for you, and for him.

      ” He is making poor choices.”
      social blindness leads to poor choices. But he makes poor choices because he doesn’t know, not because he doesn’t care.
      Thinking that he makes poor choices because he doesn’t care is a NT interpretation, but it doesn’t help you parent him. And it actually worsens the issue.

      Think ASD as you speak Chinese and he speaks Japanese. However, he struggles with learning Chinese. What would you do ?

    • Profile photo of Ana CrespoAna Crespo

      Hi Sarah. I felt really identified with you as I am living almost an identical situation with my 14 yo daughter. I have been thinking in Aspergers too and now I am thinking about narcissism as a fact on her personality. My daughter is under treatment for severe depression and anxiety. The medication did not work properly and doctors are changing from one pill to another and still we are waiting for a reliable result. She did several “suicide attempts” that, in fact, were just very theatrical, a way to look for attention, maybe. I have to say that it is not easy to find help and support. I my case, doctors just treat the depression with pills but they don’t look behind for causes. The “therapy” my daughter is involved in is just a comedy that serves mainly for the therapist to earn her living, pretending doing but, in fact, selling smoke. If the father is not involved in the child’s life, I don’t think he is gonna be helpful but even he could have worsen the condition, which is absolutely true in my case. So, even if tired, we have to keep going, I really believe that if we, mothers, desert them, there is anybody else. I’d really like to keep in touch if you want. Just to support each other and share experiences can be helpful for us.

    • Profile photo of Sarah WadsworthSarah Wadsworth

      Yes Ana – my concerns is that if a teenager is attempting suicide even if acting out they could have an accidental death. Have you looked up Borderline Personality Disorder?
      I am happy to keep in contact
      my email is qldnurse1@gmail.com

    • Profile photo of Ana CrespoAna Crespo

      Thank you for your answer, Sara. Yes I have thought that too, but I am alone with my thoughts. I am the only one guessing and I am the one who make suggestion to the Doctors. They do not even attempt to give a name for this. When I do, they look at me and say “it could be, she has several treats but I don’t know her enough to make an statement. Finally do nothing but the pills and recommend “intensive therapy” that I am still looking for because her actual therapist is so overbooked that she only can give us one appointment per month or less and she spends half of the visit, updating her file with whatever it happened since our last visit that use to be a lot. I do not have too much expectations with professionals to be true.

      On the other hand, I know how dangerous her behavior can be and maybe she does not realize it. Last time it was in later May. She waited for me to fall asleep and then, at 2.00am she walked out the house with a kitchen knife. She wandered by the neighborhood and randomly chose a house and started scratching at the door with the knife. Residents called the police and when they arrived, she told them that she was looking for them to shot her. They drove her to the hospital. It was the third time this year. She spent 10 days in the behavioral health unit and was released with a new treatment and the same diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder Severe and Recurrent.
      I don’t know what is the name for this.
      If you have a FB, I would like to add or follow you. Thank You for listening.

    • Profile photo of Sarah WadsworthSarah Wadsworth

      Wondering about DBT for you daughter – dilectical behaviourla therapy.
      I am a mental health nurse and speciality area is Drug & Alcohol. I don’t think i mentioned this before.
      Live in Australia.