Going through social media feeds, you would notice the increased number of people calling their spouse a narcissist, even for the slightest reason. People seem to throw the “Narc” word easily at anyone, not minding the reputational damage it could cause. “Narcissist” isn’t just a curse word like “stupid” or “foolish” It is a sickness, a personality disorder, and as such, should only be used when you have hard evidence, preferably a medical diagnosis.
Handling a Relationship Space on Quora, I have seen many wild accusations of one spouse slandering the other with claims of being a narcissist. For a period, I had to stop sharing and accepting such posts entirely on Loversbud Space for a while in a bid to keep the Space clean from hate posts in the guise of a victim’s cry.
What I find most baffling is that many who accuse their partners of being a narc, don’t know how to properly identify a narcissist. If their partners act selfishly, or have high self-esteem, or show some signs of a narc, they instantly stamp the person with the label of a narc.
Have you ever had a health issue and then tried to find out what might be the cause from Google? If you haven’t done it, thank God. As for us who had tried it would know how troubling it is when google starts showing you strange illnesses that match the symptoms you are having to the T. You could actually get depressed by what they would suggest to you. Only for you to go to your doctor, and after proper tests have been carried out, you discover it was something completely different from what you saw online, although the symptoms were uncannily alike.
The same thing applies to when people go to google in search of answers regarding their suspicion of whether they are dating a narcissist. You may see the symptoms you are familiar with and go, “I Knew It, He Is A Total Narc” while in reality, your spouse isn’t a narc.
To solve this problem and take the guesswork away knowing if you are dating a narcissist, I did a little digging on how the experts ie. Therapists, psychologists, etc diagnose a person with NPD and the tools they use.
Tools used by experts to identify a narcissist
At the time of this writing, there is no specific lab test that can be performed to diagnose NPD. Doctors and therapists rely on unique data collection techniques, specialized in capturing specific traits in a person that indicates if the person has NPD.
These tools and scoring systems are complex and better administered and scored by professionals. Do not try to use them without professional guidance.
1. Narcissistic personality inventory (NPI)
NPI is one of the most used tools in the measure of nonclinical narcissism. The original NPI has 40 items, hence called NPI-40, and was created in 1984. A new NPI was created out of the original in 2006, and it constituted 16 items and is called NPI-16. NPI-40 is still the most used.
To know if your spouse possesses narcissistic traits, you can get the person to take the self-report NPI-40 test.
Here is a sample of it. You can print it out for ease of use. It also includes a scoring system, that way you can get an instant result and know for a fact if you are in a relationship with a narc.
2. Grandiose Narcissistic Scale
This is used to measure/identify a grandiose narcissist. It has 33 items and it is a reflection of the seven factors of NPI-40
3. Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (HSNS)
HSNS primary purpose is to measure/identify a hypersensitive narcissist by correlating 2 other measures of narcissism
4. Personality Disorder Questionnaire (PDQ)
This is a broader instrument used in measuring an array of disorders which includes NPD.
5. Pathological Narcissism Inventory(PNI)
PNI is used in measuring pathological narcissism; it has 53 items that have seven subscales, which measure the different characteristics of pathological narcissism.
6. Five Factor Narcissism Inventory (FFNI)
This is basically another tool used to measure the traits of narcissism and can also measure grandiose and vulnerable narcissism using a 5-factor model.
A simplified method of knowing if you’re dating a narcissist
You do not have to give your spouse all those tests to verify if your spouse is a narcissist. If you wish to know for a fact if you are dating a narcissist, the best and simpler way to do so is by making your partner take the self-report NPI-40 test. It comes with a score sheet to help you grade the answer. If the score is high, then you have to consult with a medical practitioner who would do further testing and come up with a definite diagnosis.
In a situation where your spouse is unwilling to take the NPI-40 self-report test, another way recommended by American Psychiatric Association is that a narc would have at least 5 of these 9 characteristics.
- A grandiose sense of self-importance
- A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
- A belief that he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions
- A need for excessive admiration
- A sense of entitlement
- Interpersonally exploitative behavior
- A lack of empathy
- Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her
- A demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes
If your partner possesses a minimum of 5 out of these 9 traits, then you need to go to a therapist for proper testing, and a final diagnosis would be given. Your spouse would also undergo therapy to help to manage the disorder if your spouse is willing. Therapy isn’t just going to affect the person’s life alone, it would have tremendous benefits for your relationship.
It is not in our hands to diagnose a person with NPD. All we can do is take the self-report test and leave it to the experts to diagnose the narcissists.
Here are some renowned hospitals that could diagnose and offer therapeutic treatment to your spouse if he or she is a Narcissist.
Mayo Clinic has ranked number 1 in the US over 5 times and is the current best hospital in the US (as of the time of this writing)
They offer world-class treatment for people with NPD. What better hands to help diagnose and treat your narcissistic spouse other than the best hospital in the US
Located in Atlanta and Chicago, they have been helping people with Narcissism to manage their symptoms since 1989. Their approach of treatment involves a unique brain-body approach that has the least toxic, most effective strategies.
If you are unable to go there in person due to pandemic restrictions, they also offer telepsychiatry services.
If you are not satisfied with these options, you could search for a better alternative in your current location.
Having a narcissistic partner doesn’t mean the relationship has to end, as long as the person is willing to accept help, you both have a shot at making the relationship work.
https://curelifeworks.com › P…PDF
PDQ-4 – Cure LifeWorks
American Psychiatric Association. Personality disorders. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc; 2013.