What types of questions are asked in a narcissistic personality disorder quiz?

Medically reviewed by Majesty Purvis
Updated January 25, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

People often use the word “narcissist” without understanding what it means. Some may use it to describe a person diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), whereas others might use it to describe someone showcasing arrogance. 

However, it can be essential to make a distinction. People can have narcissistic tendencies without being diagnosed with NPD. NPD is a diagnosable personality disorder that can significantly impact a person’s life, which involves narcissistic traits and other symptoms. Someone with narcissistic traits may not meet the full diagnostic criteria of NPD but can still act narcissistically. 

To understand NPD, looking at the official symptom list and understanding the treatments available for those living with the condition can be beneficial.

Unpacking negative beliefs caused by NPD can be difficult

What is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)?

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a cluster B personality disorder in the DSM-5. Someone living with NPD may focus on self-fulfillment with little empathy or care for others. They may see people as a means to an end and constantly consider how to achieve their goals at the expense of others. However, unlike other conditions, people with NPD often have low self-esteem. 

Symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder can be challenging to diagnose and requires a thorough evaluation and assessment performed by a mental health professional. This requirement may be complex because some people with NPD may not know they are living with a mental illness.

Psychotherapists often look at patterns of behavior and functioning. Like other personality disorders, narcissistic personality disorder is thought to develop due to a mix of environmental and biological factors. Specifically, early rejection during childhood is linked with developing narcissistic personality traits.

If you think you are living with or married to a narcissist, try not to jump to conclusions. Knowing what symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder to look for can help determine if you or someone you know may benefit from support.

According to the DSM-5, NPD includes a desire for admiration, a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, and a lack of empathy. For an NPD diagnosis, the person must exhibit at least five of the following symptoms: 

  • A grandiose sense of self-importance
  • A preoccupation with fantasies of success, brilliance, power, beauty, or idealistic love
  • A belief that they are special and that no one can understand them
  • A need for excessive admiration
  • A sense of entitlement
  • A tendency to take advantage of others to achieve their own ends
  • A lack of empathy and difficulty identifying the needs of others
  • Envy for others or a belief that others are envious of them
  • Arrogant, haughty attitudes and behaviors

How can you tell the difference between NPD and arrogance?

Arrogance is a personality trait that involves a high sense of self-importance. However, NPD involves high self-importance alongside symptoms of believing they are more important than others. An arrogant person may have an inflated sense of self-worth and difficulty with criticism but can recognize (and sometimes attempt to exploit) the feelings or needs of others.

Arrogant people may have cultivated their sense of superiority due to their achievements. A narcissistic person has an innate sense of superiority that might occur regardless of their success or accomplishments. For those with NPD, the sense of superiority comes from within, and these people may hold onto this feeling regardless of whether others like or dislike them.  

How is NPD diagnosed? 

Like other personality disorders, NPD is assessed through clinical interviews and formal assessments administered by a licensed mental health professional. The practitioner may get a family history and refer the client for an evaluation to rule out underlying medical issues. If the diagnosis is made through an official psychiatric assessment, the psychiatrist or psychologist offering the evaluation may offer treatment recommendations afterward. 

Getty/Israel Sebastian
Unpacking negative beliefs caused by NPD can be difficult

The treatment process

Treatment for NPD often involves psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT can help clients uncover underlying beliefs that support the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings often present in this condition. Therapy can also support a person in repairing and building relationships with loved ones they have intentionally or unintentionally harmed. Although NPD is not curable, it may be successfully managed through ongoing professional support.  

While no medication exists to treat the disorder, it may effectively treat some underlying conditions that can worsen the problem. For example, medications can effectively treat depression and anxiety, which may appear along with narcissistic personality disorder. Look at all your treatment options and discuss your treatment plan with your therapist or psychiatrist before starting, changing, or stopping a medication. 

Counseling options 

If you face barriers to counseling, you’re not alone. Many people experience financial and locational difficulties that make it challenging to reach out for support. In these cases, online counseling through a platform like BetterHelp may be an option. 

Online counseling can be effective for NPD. Ongoing counseling can help people with this mental illness gain more insight into their behaviors, develop healthy self-esteem, have more realistic expectations of others, and work through empathetic exercises. Although symptoms of NPD can continue to last throughout life, you can choose how you move forward and make changes. In addition, studies have proven that online therapy for personality disorders is as effective as in-person therapy. 

When you connect with an online therapist, you can receive cost-effective care. You can also stay discreet by choosing a nickname to use in the app or website when you speak to your therapist. Your therapy experience can be unique to your needs, and you can choose whether to speak to your provider over the phone, via video chat, or through live messaging. 


Narcissistic personality disorder is challenging to diagnose. However, if you have narcissistic traits, you might not necessarily have NPD. To understand this diagnosis and know whether you might be living with it, consider contacting a therapist online or in your area for guidance.

Work through personality disorder symptoms

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started