Being a survivor of NPD Abuse and all it entails, and the vast amounts of research I have had to do in order to heal…in light of the countless journals, studies and writings of prominent Mental Health Professionals, the APA, and advocates against Domestic Violence…I have NOT come across one source that says NPD can be treated with any success or be cured. That is because Narcissists, like Psychopaths and ASPD disordered individuals, like most abusers know how to MANIPULATE and so, what they do is CON their way out of a diagnosis and oftentimes, fool the therapists into thinking the victim is the abuser. Don’t take my word for it…here are some references…Let the buyer beware…the majority defines the norm, and the majority unfortunately does not seem to support an ‘alternative view’. The problem for those of us in the NPD camp is that there is a greater amount of ‘credible’ research when it comes to Psychopaths and Sociopaths and while many share the same traits along the spectrum, it is difficult at best to gage exactly what the prospects are for Narcissists. I am aware that many seem to feel that because borderlines CAN feel, and love, they stand a better chance at recovery; however, Narcissists and Sociopaths share so many traits it would be fair to say they’re two sides of the SAME coin…I’ve often held when we speak of a psychopath’s inability to attach, or love and their lack of empathy and remorse we might as well toss Narcissists in the same group; however, there are distinctions and most of it I presume has to do with what is the driving force behind WHAT they do. For this discourse, I’ve been limited in my ability to obtain concrete and solid statements as they pertain to NPD; however, the sources used very well could apply to most if not all on the spectrum with perhaps the exception of borderlines. Nonetheless, I caution you – do not underestimate the damage a borderline can do. Untreated, borderlines are very well are just as damaging…
“Psychologists call psychopathy “pathological.” They state that psychopaths suffer from a severe “personality disorder,” not just normal human flaws that can be worked on and ameliorated. Sandra L. Brown, M.A. underscores in How to spot a dangerous man before you get involved that “Pathology is forever.” (23) It’s the result of a faulty brain wiring, sometimes coupled with emotional trauma that occurs during childhood development, which can’t be altered in any significant way once the psychopath reaches adulthood. Brown doesn’t mince words when she describes a psychopath as “an emotional predator” who represents “the pinnacle of poisonous and pathological dating choices.” (179) When involved with such an individual, she cautions, “You will never change his physiology or his bad wiring. You will never love him into safety, sanity, or sanctity.”
“According to a chapter about treatment in Christopher J. Patrick’s Handbook of Psychopathy, there is little evidence of a cure or any effective treatment for psychopathy; no medications can instill empathy, and psychopaths who undergo traditional talk therapy might become more adept at manipulating others and more likely to commit crime. Others suggest that psychopaths may benefit as much as others from therapy, at least in terms of effect on behavior even if not on the central personality traits. According to Hare, the consensus among researchers in this area is that psychopathy stems from a specific neurological disorder which is present from birth, although a 2008 review indicated multiple causes and variation between individuals. Hare estimates that about one percent of the US population are psychopaths.
“Psychopaths are always able to justify their actions, no matter how brutal. They have, “an ability to rationalize their behavior so that it appears warranted, reasonable, and justified,” says Dr. Cleckley. Dr. Hare added, “Psychopaths show a stunning lack of concern for the devastating effects their actions have on others. Often they are completely forthright about the matter, calmly stating that they have no sense of guilt, [and] are not sorry for the pain and destruction they have caused,” which, says Dr. Hare, “is associated with a remarkable ability to rationalize their behavior.”
Psychopathy is usually untreatable. Most therapists won’t work with them because they often end up damaged in the process. Dr. Hare explained, “Such counseling would be wasted on psychopaths.” Some of them will even reflect the wishes of the therapist and pretend to be getting better.”
AND… JUST WHO IS DR. ROBERT HARE?….Dr. Robert Hare according to Wiki: Dr. Robert Hare
“Narcissists are generally not candidates for conventional analytical treatment, since psychological analysis is a dialogue and narcissism is a soliloquy. Because of narcissists’ incapacity for genuine relationship, their treatment tends to be of the “Band-Aid” variety that deals with specific acute difficulties, such as depression, which can be treated with drugs. Part of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is the conviction is that “I’m okay, it’s everybody else who’s not okay,” so narcissists rarely seek treatment voluntarily. Some wait until they are in such bad shape that they require hospitalization. Because narcissists’ self-image is so scanty and fragile, they depend on the reflection of themselves in others’ perception to be aware of themselves; sometimes it is really as if these people do not have bodies, have no real material existence. Therefore, social isolation, such as comes following the loss of a job, the failure of a marriage, or the alienation of friends and family, has swift and terrible effects on narcissists. Their thinking quickly deteriorates into chaotic incoherency and disorganization. For this reason, when they do receive treatment, the therapists’ first order of business is to restore and fortify the narcissists’ ego defenses — i.e., the therapist must help the narcissist recover the habitual grandiose and self-obsessed self-image. When reasonably recovered, the narcissist usually leaves therapy before any work can be done on the underlying personality disorder.”
Translation on the above: Since the Narcissist’s baseline is severely pathological and disordered, if and when he becomes ‘disordered’ the treatment is to help return him to his original baseline of severely pathological and disordered (ie., habitually grandiose and self obsessed)…
In a nutshell, Narcissism cannot be cured but victims and therapists alike CAN be abused and manipulated…
Here is an article on a study on the brains of psychopaths: A Neuro Scientist Uncovers a Dark Secret
Below a Visual:
Unless you are a Neurosurgeon and there is a return of Lobotomies as an effective form of Mental Health Treatment…you as a layperson, a victim, or a mental health professional CANNOT cure a Narcissist.
But Wait! (you might exclaim)… “The above referenced applies to Psychopaths and I’m talking about a Narcissist…”
RIGHT! Exactly…so, follow the trail….
Many engage in active discussions labeling these sick individuals referring to them as: Sociopaths, Psychopaths, Narcissists, Nuts…pick your adjective whatever you like. What is important to remember, many of these disordered individuals SHARE key traits.
Narcissism will more than likely be re-classified in the Updated DSM in 2013 according to rumor. When that happens, the ten classified Personality Disorders as they currently exist will be modified and combined as falling into one or a combination of Five Categories. To understand it better you can read more here: (http://www.shrink4men.com/2010/12/01/narcissistic-personality-disorder-and-histrionic-personality-disorder-to-be-eliminated-in-the-dsm-v-welcome-to-starbucks-diagnostics/)
Nonetheless, if you have a general understanding…See: Psychopathy it doesn’t matter what we would like to think, or what version of Personality Disorder Word Scrabble we are playing…Psychopaths, Anti Socials, and by default Narcissists lack empathy, remorse and/or a conscience…Not all psychopaths kill but they can and it is the lack of conscience, empathy and remorse that makes them dangerous….
SO…let the buyer beware – you can choose to stay stuck in an illusion or you can save yourself before it’s too late…if you have it within yourself to be a willing doormat, sacrifice yourself and slowly be hollowed from the inside out while simultaneously managing the Narcissist’s life for him…then by all means, do exercise alternative methods of coping in a relationship with a narcissist; however, if you wish to have some semblance of sanity and peace…clarity and hope…do the research, do the work, heal and be safe.
Ultimately, the responsibility and volition rests on you to make an informed decision…
If you’re still waivering…here’s something sobering to ponder in between darning socks and dodging psychological blows to your mind…
For an explanation behind the politics see also: