Does Walter White have a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

In this blog, we will cover who is Walter White, what is a narcissistic personality disorder, the causes of narcissistic personality disorder, the symptoms of NPD, treatment of NPD and answer frequently asked questions. 

Does Walter White have a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

Yes, Walter White is a famous character from the show ‘Breaking Bad’ who displays clear signs of narcissistic personality disorder.

We will be discussing Walter White’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder in detail in the further sections, but before that, we should have a little knowledge about NPD.

Who is Walter White?

Walter White is the fictional character and protagonist of the famous American crime drama and Television series called Breaking Bad. 

He was portrayed as a high school chemistry teacher who learns that he had lung cancer so he was on a mission to secure his family’s financial future.

What is Narcissistic personality disorder?

A narcissistic personality disorder is one of several types of personality disorders which come under cluster B of the class of personality disorders in DSM-5. 

It is a mental health condition in which people possess an inflated sense of self-importance, need for excessive attention and acclaim, they always have troubled relationships, and also lack empathy towards others. 

However, all this behavior is often a mask, and behind it lies an extreme lack of confidence, fragile and sensitive self-esteem that is vulnerable to even the slightest criticism.

Narcissistic personality disorder can cause problems in most areas of life, such as school, relationships, financial affairs or work. 

People with narcissistic personality disorder are generally unhappy and extremely sensitive as they are often disappointed when they are not given the special favors or admiration they think they deserve. They may find their relationships unsatisfying, and people around them may not enjoy being around them. 

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Signs and symptoms of NPD

The signs and symptoms of a person with narcissistic personality disorders vary depending on the severity. 

  • They have a sense of self-importance which is very exaggerated.
  • They expect to be recognized by people and would want to be held as superior even without parallel achievements. 
  • They totally exaggerate their achievements and talents.
  • They posses a sense of entitlement and require consistent and excessive admiration
  • Preoccupation with fantasies regarding success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate can be seen. 
  • They believe that they are superior to most people and can only associate with people perceived as equally special.
  • Conversations with them always seem one-sided and they expect people to give them undivided attention. 
  • They expect special favors and do not like to be questioned.
  • They always try to take advantage of others to get what they want. 
  • They do not consider the needs and feelings of others.
  • They often are envious of others and also believe that others envy them

Causes of NPD

The causes of Narcissistic personality disorder or for that matter any personality disorder is not understood completely. The contributing factors can be neglect and abuse during childhood, parental pampering, unrealistic expectations, cultural influences, etc. 

Treatment of NPD


The treatment for Narcissistic personality disorder is centered around talk therapy, which is also called psychotherapy. With this psychotherapy, people will learn to relate better with others and in that way relationships can be more intimate, enjoyable and even rewarding. 

It also helps them understand other people’s perspective and helps them get the dynamics of how people think.  

The therapy sessions can help people form positive relationships in personal and professional lives. Recognizing and accepting incompetence is another aspect which can be learned. Learning how to be okay with yourself and how not attaining goals is sometimes okay can also be learned. 

Therapy approaches can always be useful and can be helpful in times of stress or problems. In the long term it can help you achieve your goals. Often therapy of someone diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder involves family members or significant others. This will help a lot because one of the main problems they deal with is interpersonal relationship conflict. 


Like with any other personality disorder, there is no medication which can be prescribed specifically for narcissistic personality disorder. Instead drugs can help relieve some symptoms which present with the disorder. For example, antidepressants or antianxiety drugs. 

Walter White and his display of a Personality Disorder in Breaking Bad

Walter White’s personality

The personality of Walter white was considered as a paradox; he was considered not only as kind and caring but also calculating, demanding, and ruthless. Broadly 5 parameters describe an individual’s personality. It is  the personality of a person which makes him/her unique and helps him/her stand out  from the common crowd. 

Progression of his personality related issues on the show

Narcissistic personality disorder involves a pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking  and the way you behave with others, being inconsiderate all the time, and having fear of missing out or not being admired every time and for everything you do. 


With the ongoing storyline of the show. With time, Walter became sociopathic, the seasons progressed, but it didn’t feel like he was a victim of Clinical Narcissism.He never exhibited any sense of insubstantiality or exhausted self-worth. 

He turned selfish, exasperated, gluttonous, and distrustful. Now, this type of behavior is considered a personality disorder. Personality  disorders refer to certain abnormalities in the behavioral aspects of individuals that is  how they react to certain situations in their life. 

Any form of disability in an individual  which inhibits him/her from doing certain tasks which a normal person can easily do concludes the presence of a  disorder. Personality disorders lead to some form of  disturbance and changes in an individual’s personality. 

Inability to conform to social norms

These are conditions where an individual fails to behave in the desired manner and his thought process and mindset  are not in line with colloquial society’s norms and expectations.

While the term  narcissism may be used to describe a wide range and varieties of different kinds of intensities of this trait, clinical narcissism has a more firm definition rather than a flexible one.In order to be called one, you have to fulfill some criteria or meet some standards.  

These standards total nine trait points, of which if an individual encompasses at least five of these traits, they can be clinically diagnosed with a narcissistic personality  disorder. Walter White is one such individual. His daily interactions with others and his view of himself exemplify all of the traits linked to narcissistic personality disorder. 

Seeing and diligently observing the interactions (social and internal) of Walter White, one can  conclude that he might have a narcissistic personality disorder. 

Walter, in alliance with his overachieving mentality, encompasses all nine of these attributes. Walter dives deeper into his ego as he grows more accustomed to the world of meth cooking.He considered  himself as someone with large self-importance. 

Sense of superiority in White

He portrays a man who sees himself as superior to others and famous among other people in his profession and he sees himself  as someone more important than the people near him. The way he assumes that  everyone is familiar to him even when he is not familiar with the person he is talking to.  

People with this disorder never accept the fact that anything can be not in the way it should be and therefore, they never feel that something is wrong with them. Eventually, they never feel that they need help or treatment. The symptoms are similar to that of depression, drug or alcohol addiction, or any mental health-related disorder or problem.  

And, if you continue to insult yourself, hurt your self-esteem it may become difficult to  go, accept and follow the treatment. This disorder seems to affect more males as  compared to females and it can begin in early adulthood or teenage. 


Walter refuses to give up the power he has because he wants more.He believes that he  can be the most influential man in the business of Meth. Nevertheless, it has been the least studied personality disorder. 

And therefore, it is difficult to comment on the  reliability, validity, specificity, and sensitivity of diagnostic criteria along with the generality of the disorder. Till now, there have been no clinical trials that can examine  the effectiveness of any existing treatment for the disorder.

Walter is constantly trying to be better than everyone around him and he firmly believes that he can, and will, be the most successful player in the meth business, creating an empire. It is believed that  Walter was preoccupied with his fantasies of unlimited success and power. 


He seemed to have manipulated people in his favor to achieve what he wanted. He is the man that lacks the emotional maturity to be empaa thetic to those around him. 


We discussed who is Walter White, what is narcissistic personality disorder, symptoms of NPD, treatment of NPD, how Walter depicts all nine characteristics associated with the diagnosis of NPD.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Does Walter White have a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

What kind of personality disorder does Walter White have? 

Walter White is said to have a narcissistic personality disorder. 

Is Walter White the best character ever? 

According to the claims, Walter White is considered to be the most iconic character and has a very strong presence in the Breaking Bad Era. 

Why did Walter White quit Gray Matter?

Walter left Gretchen and Gray Matter because he felt inferior to her and her wealthy family, thus confirming that his ego and pride were the reasons why.

Is Walter White prideful? 

Yes, Walter White was indeed a very prideful character but that wasn’t the only highlight of his spotlight. Narcissism, greed, and ego were also his important attributes.

Is Walter White a psychopath? 

No, Walter White is definitely not a psychopath. Even though he’s hated Hank since as far as he can remember, he couldn’t even think about him being dead, and went to great lengths to try to save Hank. 

What mental illness does Jesse Pinkman have?

Jesse has PTSD from what we have known about him. He was also abused by his parents that resulted in this illness. 


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