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Myths About Narcissistic Personality Disorder

3 Common Myths About Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Dr. David B Hawkins, director of the Marriage Recovery Center, dispels three most common myths about narcissistic personality disorder. He welcomes interaction with you and wants to encourage more dialogue about this phenomenon. Dr Hawkins welcomes discussion on this most difficult topic.

3 Common Myths About Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) has become a widely discussed topic, with many people quick to label individuals as narcissists based on certain traits. However, it is crucial to challenge some prevalent myths surrounding NPD and gain a more accurate understanding of this complex personality disorder. In this article, we will debunk three common myths about NPD, providing a clearer perspective on the condition and its treatment.

Myth 1: NPD Traits Equate to NPD Diagnosis

One widespread misconception about NPD is the assumption that if someone exhibits some narcissistic traits, they must have Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

It is important to recognize that NPD exists on a spectrum, ranging from mild to severe symptoms. While certain characteristics like self-centeredness, grandiosity, and a lack of empathy might be present in individuals, it does not necessarily mean they have a full-blown diagnosis of NPD.

In reality, many people may display some narcissistic traits without meeting the diagnostic criteria for NPD. It is essential not to rush into labeling someone and instead approach the situation with greater nuance and understanding of the disorder’s complexities.

Myth 2: NPD Is Prevalent Everywhere

Another prevalent myth is the belief that NPD is rampant and that narcissistic individuals can be found everywhere. This misconception has led to the unnecessary stigmatization of many individuals who may display some narcissistic traits but do not have a diagnosable disorder.

In truth, while narcissistic traits can be observed in some people, genuine NPD is relatively rare. Experienced mental health professionals, after careful evaluation, can identify those who truly have NPD. Making broad generalizations about the prevalence of NPD can lead to misdiagnoses and unjust judgments.

Myth 3: NPD Is Untreatable

Perhaps one of the most dangerous myths about NPD is the belief that individuals with this disorder are untreatable, dangerous, and should be avoided at all costs. This misconception only fuels fear and misunderstanding surrounding NPD.

In reality, NPD is treatable, especially when individuals seek help from skilled mental health professionals. Effective intervention, such as therapy and counseling, can significantly improve the lives of those with NPD and their relationships. Treatments often focus on teaching empathy, emotional intelligence, and communication skills, enabling individuals to develop healthier and more fulfilling connections with others.


It is essential to challenge the prevailing myths surrounding Narcissistic Personality Disorder and approach the topic with greater understanding and empathy. While narcissistic traits can be observed in many individuals, it is crucial not to jump to conclusions or stigmatize them. True NPD is a serious and complex personality disorder, and its diagnosis should only be made by qualified professionals through thorough evaluation.

By debunking these common myths, we can foster a more compassionate and accurate understanding of NPD, paving the way for effective treatments and better support for those affected by the disorder. Let us refrain from making blanket statements and instead approach each individual with empathy and openness to truly comprehend their unique situation.

To learn how we can help, reach out to us at (206) 219-0145 or info@marriagerecoverycenter.com to speak with a Client Care Specialist

Also read: What is Intimacy Anorexia and How to Handle it in Marriage

About Dr. Hawkins:

The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.

Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.

He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.

In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.


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