Narcism and addiction: Is there a link?

You can connect with a mental health professional using the Healthline FindCare tool. However, treatments like psychotherapy, group support, and self-care strategies can help people with either condition feel much better. If you answered “yes” to most of the questions above, speaking with a therapist might be a good idea. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to look for mental health help if you’re experiencing something that causes you distress. If alcohol misuse begins to impact your life, health, or safety, you might have AUD.

  • The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
  • We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals.
  • Coming out to someone supportive is called a soft disclosure.1,2 No matter how awkward or vulnerable you feel, you already know they’re in your corner.
  • If you have a partner with sexual narcissism, you have the right to emotional intimacy and your own sexual pleasure.
  • These include environmental factors, social factors, and emotional factors.

They may marry, obtain a good job, and even have a family, but there is little peace behind the façade. To cope with the crippling self-doubt and self-hatred, many will turn to drugs and/or alcohol. Studies have shown links between narcissistic behavioral patterns and substance abuse issues (Calvert-Conley, 2020).

What is sexual narcissism?

Like the narrow lens of a microscope, it narrows the person’s view of the world and leads them to focus on it very self-centered. Narcissism is a character trait defining a person’s self-defense and their view of others. A person who develops this trait often finds it hard to recognize that they are not unique in the world. It occurs when denial of one’s own identity is coupled with an inability to relate to others and a desire for single-mindedness and self-sufficiency. 1It needs to be noted, though, that the effects are heterogeneous for the three traits, and particularly narcissism, is also related to reports of subjective well-being.

Co-occurring disorders are not uncommon in the recovery space, as the two disorders often feed off each other while the person is actively struggling. The best treatment option is to address both disorders simultaneously. Doing this helps the individual heal from both simultaneously, giving them a better chance at maintaining sobriety for the long-term.

The Effects of Narcissistic Substance Abuse. What Happens?

Now confused, the narcissistic ego feels threatened and the cycle repeats. One bolsters the ego of the narcissist and one unknowingly encourages the addiction. The narcissistic enabler minimizes all signs of addiction and fosters feelings of superiority over others. The addiction enabler is likewise blind to symptoms of addiction, therefore, justifying financially supporting it. In traditional types of addiction recovery programs, it is not unusual to find people that meet the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder NPD, even though they may never have been diagnosed. They also have a deep hatred of the self which they cover with a highly extroverted persona.

As with all personality disorders, NPD is a long-standing condition. In order to receive a diagnosis of NPD, someone needs to display the above symptoms over several years. The cycle of addiction with co-occurring disorders is even harder to overcome. It will require a combination of drug and alcohol addiction treatment and behavioral therapies. Yes, much evidence indicates a connection between narcissists and addicts.

Do narcissists become addicted to people?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlined the signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder. When narcissists do not get the praise and attention they seek, they often act out in extreme ways. When they do this, it can cause them to seek out drugs and alcohol in an attempt to deal with their emotional distress. However, this will often only provide temporary relief and cause them to continue using. Drinking is related to grandiose narcissism and self-esteem contingency (such as need for approval) (23). Grandiose narcissism predicts drinking behavior independently of impulsivity, which indicates that other mechanisms might be relevant (24).

Narcissism frequently has other symptoms such as depression, bipolar disorder (BPD), anxiety, and drug or alcohol abuse disorder. It can feel impossible to escape this situation, especially if you care for that person. We hope this article helps you understand how to help a narcissistic covert narcissism and alcoholism alcoholic or addict. You can call American Addiction Institute 24/7 for expert alcoholism treatment and substance use disorder help. This highlights further parallels between social anxiety and vulnerable narcissism, which display substantial conceptual and empirical overlaps (54).


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