The term “narcissist” has become a common label for any self-centered person. While self-absorbed individuals may be annoying, few suffer from the clinical diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Mental health professionals estimate that less than 5% of the United States’ population suffers from clinically diagnosable NPD. As with other mental health issues, NPD ranges from mild to severe cases.
It takes a trained clinician to determine if a person has NPD. A few of the traits a mental health professional looks for to diagnose the condition include:
- Inflated, grandiose sense of self-importance
- Attitude of entitlement
- Desire for unearned admiration and respect
- Fixation on fantasies of success, power, romance, etc.
- A belief that they are unique and exceptional and are only understood by special people
- Lack of empathy
Overall, narcissists are entirely focused on themselves. While they’re charming in the initial phases of a relationship, their true colors come out once the honeymoon phase is over. In conversation, they will consistently bring the topic of discussion back to them. They may be loud and obnoxious and generally lose all interest whenever someone else speaks.
While NPD is a mental illness, there are also plenty of people who have narcissistic tendencies without having a full-blown disorder. It’s important to differentiate between the two. Both can be challenging, but NPD is a serious mental health condition.
Narcissistic behavior is hard on a marriage, and those with NPD often do not cope well with the prospect of divorce. If you’re considering filing for divorce from a narcissist, it’s imperative to seek legal counsel, preferably from someone experienced in handling cases involving mental illness. For a divorce attorney in New Jersey who understands the complexities of these cases, contact Graziano Law.Can Marriage Counseling Help a Narcissist?
This depends on how severe the narcissism is. Those with milder forms of NPD may be open to it, but in many cases, a narcissist is unwilling to accept any responsibility. They don’t feel guilt, empathy, or remorse, so it can be difficult for counseling to make any difference.
If you’ve exhausted solutions for dealing with a narcissistic spouse, you may be considering filing for divorce. Before you take that step, contact Graziano Law to ensure you have proper legal representation.Coping With a Narcissist During a Divorce
A narcissist’s behavior may change violently if they’re threatened or criticized. If you’re filing for divorce from a narcissist, be prepared for drama. Since they feel superior to others, they can’t tolerate being challenged or held accountable—and a divorce will do both of those things.
Watch out for things like gaslighting, a technique many narcissists use to demoralize and undermine people around them. Victims may lose self-confidence after being repeatedly mocked, put down, dismissed, questioned, and lied to.
Under pressure, narcissists may erupt into a narcissistic rage, furious behavior that can quickly spiral out of control. It’s a tantrum to try and force people to do what they want.
Keep records of every exchange with a narcissist if you are pursuing a divorce. Get copies of important documents before revealing your plans, and take steps to bolster your ability to defend yourself. Remember, narcissists have no compunction about lying.Contact Graziano Law Today
Seek out an attorney with experience dealing with narcissists. At Graziano Law, our team understands New Jersey law and how it can affect divorce cases involving mental disorders. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.