People with narcissistic personality disorders may wish to control their sexual partner’s behavior for their own satisfaction, and they may have an inflated sense of sexual entitlement. Narcissism is a personality disorder that shares many common traits with addiction. There are two types of narcissism, both of which may lead to tendencies in people that can, in turn, encourage addictive behaviors. If you or a loved one needs help for a substance use disorder and a co-occurring  mental health disorder, you can find help for both at Chapters Recovery Center. We can provide a medically supervised detox (a necessity for alcohol withdrawal) and a range of outpatient programs, beginning with the most intensive partial hospitalization program (PHP). They include an extensive range of disorders that affect your behavior, thinking, and mood.

Even with therapy, progress can be slow in changing the core behaviors. Lastly, don’t be afraid to set boundaries and find support in family and friends. Remember that a person with both alcoholic and narcissistic traits may need to get professional help before they can have a healthy relationship with you again.

Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, complicated disease that is hallmarked by an unmanageable compulsion to drink alcohol. Regardless of consequences, an alcoholic will find a reason to drink, even if they have to make one up and deny the actual repercussions. An alcoholic can exhibit symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), but usually not enough to be diagnosed. The results speak to the effects that different types of narcissism have on alcohol use, alcohol problems and attitudes towards alcohol problems among young adults. In a conflict, a narcissist will turn everything around on you, gaslight, and refuse to apologize or agree to change.

  1. With NPD, for example, there are no drugs specifically used for the treatment of the personality disorder, but antidepressants or anxiolytics may be prescribed if depression or anxiety is present.
  2. People with narcissistic personality disorders share similar traits with addicts, and both types of narcissistic personality disorder may lead to addiction.
  3. The association remained intact even when researchers accounted for general psychological distress as a trigger for coping responses like alcohol use.

Narcissism involves manipulation, taking advantage of the kindness of others, and selfish behaviors. The care team helps clients overcome these symptoms and develop a healthy support system. Individuals with NPD may do whatever it takes to achieve power, sober living houses beauty, and admiration, even if it causes great harm, like Narcissus in the Greek tragedy. Risk-taking behaviors, including alcohol and drug abuse, are common in individuals with NPD. Discover the types of behavioral addictions beyond substance abuse.

Dry Drunk and Narcissism

When dealing with the complex relationship between narcissism and alcoholism, seeking help and support is crucial for individuals who are impacted by these conditions. Treatment approaches that address both narcissism and alcoholism can provide comprehensive support and guidance. Additionally, therapy and recovery strategies play a vital role in the journey towards healing and growth. Understanding the reinforcing patterns and negative consequences of the narcissism-alcoholism cycle is crucial in developing effective treatment approaches. By addressing both conditions simultaneously, individuals can break free from this destructive cycle and work towards a healthier and more fulfilling life. The disinhibiting effects of alcohol can amplify narcissistic tendencies, such as an inflated sense of self-importance, a need for admiration and attention, and a lack of empathy for others.

But it’s unlikely they’ll reveal the whole, unadulterated truth, regardless of how much they drink. Because of this skewed worldview, narcissists hardly ever acknowledge anyone else’s truth, and nor will 4 ways to make amends in recovery getting them drunk bring them any closer to achieving that. As far as the narcissist is concerned, they tell the truth 99% of the time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that truth aligns with yours.

Dual diagnosis

People who think that they may have an addiction or a personality disorder should consult a doctor or mental health professional for advice and treatment. This study concluded that people with grandiose narcissism are more able to evaluate and recognize their problems with alcohol than people with vulnerable narcissism. People in the latter group are less able to recognize that they have a problem and are, 15 of the best sobriety podcasts to listen to in recovery therefore, less likely to be ready to change their behaviors. A 2019 study involving young adults with vulnerable narcissism found that the disorder can cause overwhelming feelings of shame in the individual. The person then seeks out alcohol or substances to mediate these feelings, leading to more feelings of shame, and so on. This creates a pattern of dependent behavior, which is extremely harmful.

One limitation of this study is the lack of diversity in the sample’s age (18–25) and race (88% Caucasian). Some research has found racial differences in regards to college drinking. Little is known about narcissism and drinking in college students, a population that is at high risk for alcohol-related problems. No studies examined associations between narcissism and alcohol problems, problem expectancies, problem evaluation and readiness to change.

Simine Vazire and David Funder decided to look into what caused these self-defeating behaviors, asking was it a function of conscious cognitive and affective processes or something else. They honed in on impulsivity and conducted a meta-analysis of the existing literature. If so, that seems to make the kinship ties of narcissism and addiction even more evident. One thing that has intrigued researchers about narcissists is that they are ultimately playing a losing game, and prone to self-defeating behaviors. They fail to keep promises, fulfill obligations, or pay attention to what other people need.

Their behavior is destructive.

In order to receive a diagnosis of NPD, someone needs to display the above symptoms over several years. A 2018 study found that people with personality disorders were more likely to have AUD at some point in their lives. A 2018 study examined the link between narcissism and alcohol use based on a survey of 345 college students. It found that narcissism was a predictor of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems. Traits like narcissism and personality disorders like NPD are long-standing.

Narcissism and alcohol use disorder

Many people struggling with substance misuse have co-occurring mental health disorders. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) share unique risk factors and often overlap with other conditions. Pathways Recovery Center uses evidence-based treatments to help clients with narcissism and alcoholism. While alcohol use disorder and narcissism occur together relatively often, this doesn’t necessarily mean that NPD causes alcohol problems. It is, however, possible that individuals who experience distress or dysfunction as a result of NPD may turn to alcohol consumption as a coping mechanism, placing them at higher risk of developing AUD. The current study contributed to the literature in the following ways.

Threatened egotism was listed as a factor that motivated increased alcohol use. Patience and support are therefore needed to ensure the best possible outcomes. Without treatment, people with NPD have trouble maintaining positive relationships and are vulnerable to abusing drugs and alcohol to cope with difficult emotions. Again, if care is not coordinated by a qualified mental health professional, the overlapping treatments can lead to drug interactions, unintended side effects, and the possible abandonment of treatment. Making a dual diagnosis of NPD and AUD can be challenging and something that only a qualified mental health professional can make.

The Narcissist’s Relationship With Alcohol

While narcissism is a personality disorder and alcoholism is an addiction, narcissists and alcoholics share several characteristics. Recognizing these commonalities can help you understand and cope with people who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, untreated alcoholism, or both. Healthcare professionals may ask people about their drinking habits to assess AUD. A psychiatrist may carry out a standard psychiatric interview, which healthcare professionals use to diagnose personality disorders. Healthcare professionals may also use the Narcissistic Personality Inventory to diagnose narcissism.

In order to have a diagnosis of NPD, they’ll have to consistently show the relevant symptoms over a period of many years. Similarly, many people who misuse alcohol might display very few signs of narcissism. A personality disorder is a type of mental illness where the person has a strict and unhealthy pattern of thinking, behaving, and functioning. People treated for addiction are more likely to have a personality disorder. The Canadian guidance recommends that two drinks or fewer per week will likely avoid health consequences related to alcohol consumption. It says that consuming three to six drinks per week increases the risk of developing cancer, and seven or more drinks per week also significantly increases the risk of heart disease or stroke.

By educating yourself, you can also educate them about what AUD and NPD are about. You can take them with you to your next appointment to talk with your healthcare provider. Alternatively, you can access support symptoms for each condition separately. Take our short alcohol quiz to learn where you fall on the drinking spectrum and if you might benefit from quitting or cutting back on alcohol. Although it is a relatively new phenomenon, social media addiction has been around since the advent of sharing pictures and status updates online. A 2014 study into narcissism and the use of internet pornography found a direct correlation between hours spent viewing pornographic material and the extent of narcissism.

Dr. Jenni Jacobsen is a licensed social worker and behavioral health consultant. She has a PhD in clinical psychology and teaches college curriculum in the areas of mental health and addiction. is a patient-first health technology company driven by its mission to make optimal mental health attainable for everyone. With a focus on expanding care access, empowering patient choice, and enhancing care quality, the company delivers innovative solutions that support individuals throughout their mental health journey. People with both NPD and AUD are often treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

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