Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Substance Abuse


If a person’s life balance is thrown out of whack over a substance they’re overconsuming, and if they are constantly failing attempts to quit, they most likely have an abuse issue. This substance abuse is only multiplied when they’re also seeking relief from cognitive perceptions that aren’t aligned with reality. The impulsiveness factor is another way that these conditions are linked. A person that is more prone to impulses will also be less likely to think twice about binge drinking or using drugs.

narcissism and alcohol abuse

One of the hallmarks of personality disorders is that affected individuals don’t perceive reality the same way as most people, which is why all the best reasoning you have put forward hasn’t been effective. In these cases, the right type of professional assistance is vital for both intervention and treatment. Therefore, simultaneous treatment of alcoholism and narcissistic personality disorder is essential. If only one condition is treated, the person’s chances of relapse will increase. For example, alcoholism can cause people to become defensive of their addiction. For each regression model, gender, social desirability, and alcohol use (in the models where it wasn’t the outcome) were entered at Step 1. Though age was collected, it was not controlled for due to the sample being so homogenous.

Which 12-Step Program Is Right For Me?

When someone asks them to change their ways, narcissists think the other person is being selfish and that the other person should change. They literally can’t understand why what they’re doing is wrong, because to acknowledge any fault in their own behavior would put the entire fantasy – and therefore their whole foundation of self-worth – at risk. If this family member also has issues with substance abuse, then you’ve probably found it impossible to get him or her to admit there’s even a problem, let alone agree to go to rehab. Historically, Alcoholics Anonymous “recognizes pathological narcissism as a central problem in alcoholism” (Levin, 1987, p. 332; for a clinical sample, see Sawrie, Watson, Sherbak, Greene, & Arredondo, 1997). During cognitive behavioral therapy , a person identifies thought patterns that lead them toward abusive behaviors. With the help of a therapist, they work to overcome those patterns.

At Step 2 the types of narcissism, vulnerable and grandiose, were simultaneously entered into the model. Non-drinkers were excluded from the alcohol problems model and participants that did not complete the questionnaire for the outcome variable were excluded from the appropriate model causing different degrees of freedom. There are diagnostic criteria you can check within the DSM to see how many signs of alcoholism or narcissism apply to your partner. You may have some idea that you’re dealing with an alcoholic narcissist, but the two conditions are complex and can only be diagnosed by a medical professional. These are not diagnostic tools, but can be helpful to give you an idea so you can have an honest conversation with yourself and, when ready, your healthcare providers.

Narcissistic grandiosity and risky health behaviors in college students

This can fuel the feelings of self-importance in someone with narcissism. Answer these questions and you can be part of the solution for alcoholism and narcissism.

Does the NARC regret losing you?

It is common for people with a narcissistic personality disorder to regret discarding or losing someone, but it does not mean what you might think. If they feel regret, it is not because they hurt you. It is for losing something that they value.

Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available. For many of these individuals, alcohol leads to significant disruptions in their everyday life. However, it is https://ecosoberhouse.com/ more likely that the alcoholic is trying to surround themselves with others that support these extreme drinking habits. I could not be more grateful for having the opportunity to come to Little Creek Lodge. Little Creek has saved my life and I can see why it is one of the best programs in the country.

Ways To Forgive Yourself In Recovery

When a person is living this cycle of impulsiveness, they are more likely to develop a substance abuse problem. Risky behavior can be seen as a cry for attention since the people that care will feel compelled to come pick up the pieces and prove that they care. Keep an open mind and feel free to get a few different medical opinions. Getting a handle on NPD is especially crucial once the use of alcohol or drugs comes into play.

narcissism and alcohol abuse

In order to fully overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it’s important to address the specific challenges a person faces with NPD and how this relates to their substance use. If only the addiction itself is treated, the chances of relapse are extremely high. Professional and personalized dual diagnosis treatment is necessary when considering substance abuse and a co-occurring disorder like NPD. In addition to problem recognition, important factors that might maintain or change drinking behavior are expectancies and evaluations of problems. Although you may be convinced you’re dealing with a narcissist and that they have an alcohol use disorder, only a qualified healthcare provider can make a formal diagnosis. Beyond that, only the person with narcissism or with an alcohol use disorder can do the work involved in changing their narcissistic thought patterns and drinking behaviors. You can help by seeking support for yourself and knowing when it’s time to enforce more boundaries or leave.

Grandiose and Vulnerable Narcissism: Associations with Alcohol Use, Alcohol Problems and Problem Recognition

Narcissistic personality disorder and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand. This is because individuals with NPD typically seek out ways to escape their overwhelming emotional anxiety and pain. In a similar fashion, individuals with substance use disorder sometimes display narcissistic traits. To continue, individuals with narcissism may struggle from feelings of isolation that cause a compulsion to self-medicate with substances. Individuals with NPD may be distrustful of, insecure about, or feel superior to those around them – causing them to be unable to connect with their peers. NPD is a co-occurring disorder with substance abuse and addiction – more than 40 percent of people diagnosed with NPD end up developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol. A dual diagnosis of NPD and addiction must be effectively treated by fully understanding the relationship between substance abuse and its co-occuring disorder.

The belief in their superiority gives them, in their minds, license to treat others however they like. Narcissists surround themselves with people who will provide the constant, over-the-top narcissism and alcohol abuse praise needed to confirm their superior status on an ongoing basis. They also prefer the company of people who they can manipulate and control, emotionally and physically.

Mental Health

She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine. All Addiction Resource content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible. Frequently lie or manipulate to earn forgiveness, deny their actions or blame other people for their behavior.

What turns a narcissist off?

The best way to shut down a narcissist is to not engage with them at all and to go no contact. People that are narcissistic want things from you – they want your attention and your emotional reaction.


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