Author: Alex Thompson

Is There a Connection Between Narcissism and Alcoholism?

narcissism and alcoholism

A 2018 meta-analysis looked at the results of 62 studies and found that grandiose narcissism has a moderate association with increased social network use. It found that individuals with grandiose narcissism have more friends and followers, post more often, and spend more time on social media than other people. The cycle of addiction and narcissism is complex and can be challenging to break. Narcissism and alcoholism can reinforce each other, aggravating the severity of both conditions. While grandiose narcissists possess high self-esteem, vulnerable narcissists tend to have low self-esteem.

It can be hard to discern even from a clinical perspective if alcoholism is separate from narcissism. The takeaway is that the individual needs treatment to make significant changes in their life. Depending on the severity of the problem, residential or inpatient treatment may be necessary. Once detox is completed and sobriety has begun, outpatient therapy can be beneficial. It is also recommended to utilize family or couples counseling to heal relationships as well. This article discusses the similarities and differences between people with narcissistic personality disorder and those with alcohol use disorder.

The narcissist-like behavior of some alcoholics may only be a result of their addiction—it may not be how they really are when sober. And while there are some links between alcoholism and narcissism overall, the connection isn’t as straightforward as some might think. A 2014 study looking at infidelity also found that people with narcissism were more likely to be unfaithful during a relationship. A 2015 study of college sexual assaults revealed that perpetrators scored highly on a narcissistic personality scale after completing a questionnaire. People with vulnerable narcissism tend to show avoidant, defensive, or hypersensitive behaviors, and they often experience feelings of rage at a perceived lack of esteem or respect. People with grandiose narcissism tend to have very high self-esteem, behave in a dominant way, and overestimate their own capabilities.

A common experience of those on the path to recovery from an alcoholic narcissist is the rediscovery of empathy. For a narcissist, it can be challenging to maintain a genuine connection with others, as they tend to have a strong need for attention and a sense of entitlement. As they work through their 12-step program, they may begin to confront the manipulative and self-destructive tendencies in their behavior. At Sabino Recovery, a renowned addiction treatment center, you will have access to expert resources and support tailor-made to treat the psychological and emotional consequences of alcoholic narcissism.

Can alcoholism cause narcissistic personality disorder?

If the person does not want to enter treatment or change, there may not be hope for healing. The best thing to do at that point is to seek out individual therapy for yourself and work on setting firmer boundaries. Are you in a relationship with someone who puts themself and their drinking before others? It can be hard to hold a connection with someone who appears to only think about themselves. A loved one’s drinking and selfish behavior can be devastating and cause a great deal of pain and disappointment.

  1. Understanding the link between your addiction and narcissism allows you to be more mindful of the factors that contribute to your drinking problem.
  2. The coexistence of NPD and alcohol addiction can lead to a range of mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and distress.
  3. You should start by exploring peer support groups like Al-Anon that help families and loved ones living with people with AUD.
  4. Treating NPD can be challenging and may require long-term therapy, but working alongside healthcare professionals can help people reduce symptoms.
  5. For females, it is not advisable to consume more than one unit of alcohol per day.

Understanding alcoholic narcissism involves recognizing the combination of narcissistic traits and alcohol addiction, and being aware of the complex nature of this dual condition. Several therapeutic approaches may help manage personality disorders and address addiction. Psychotherapy, a popular treatment for narcissistic personality disorder, can be beneficial in improving empathy and building healthy relationships. To tackle alcohol use disorders, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be quite effective in learning to identify triggers and cope with cravings.

What Are the Stages of Alcoholism?

A narcissist will believe that they are prevalent and well-liked and deserve to be a leader without necessarily having the traits. They are deeply resentful of others who have what they desire yet believe people are very jealous of them. Narcissists are also incredibly talented at probing for attention and compliments, such as referring to themselves as ugly, fat, or stupid. Positive affirmations from others discounting the negativity will build up the narcissist’s insatiable need for attention and accolades.

narcissism and alcoholism

For a person to recover fully, they’ll generally need treatment that addresses both disorders. A person with narcissistic personality disorder may have an inflated or grandiose sense of self-importance or worth and experience feelings of entitlement. 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.

Narcissism and sex addiction

When it comes to alcohol addiction and narcissism, there are some uncanny similarities that can leave loved ones confused, frustrated, and emotionally drained. There is much research to suggest a strong link between narcissism and problematic sexual behavior, notably infidelity and sexual assault. The same factors that drive the problematic use of alcohol and drugs can also drive sex addiction.

By way of example, a person must meet five of nine possible criteria for NPD to be diagnosed, ranging from grandiosity to a lack of empathy. People with a pattern of narcissism often turn to alcohol to reinforce a false sense of grandiosity. People with AUD, also known as alcoholism, can display patterns of narcissism, including self-absorption and an underlying craving for admiration.

Similarly, using alcohol doesn’t mean a person with NPD has AUD, even if there have been incidents of extreme intoxication. Both AUD and NPD have distinctive symptoms and features that occur independently of each other. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today.

All personality and substance abuse disorders are diagnosed based on a strict set of criteria described in the DSM-5. While there is room for interpretation, a person with NPD and/or AUD must meet a minimum standard before a diagnosis can be delivered with confidence. Making a dual diagnosis of NPD and AUD can be challenging and something that only a qualified mental health professional can make. If people have risk factors for AUD, feel they are drinking excessively, or cannot control their alcohol intake, they can speak with a healthcare professional.

NPD is a mental health condition in which a person displays a pattern of grandiose behavior, lack of empathy for others, and need for excessive attention and admiration [2]. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are closely linked and can occur together as a dual diagnosis. NPD increases the risk of alcohol abuse as a means to escape difficult emotions. While diagnosis and treatment can be challenging, studies have shown that the successful treatment of a mental illness can lead to alcohol recovery in two out of every three cases. Narcissism is a personality trait where people may feel a need for admiration, show a lack of empathy, or be self-involved.

For instance, NPD and AUD both involve psychotherapy, but the formats for each can vary. For NPD, it may involve individual or group counseling using cognitive behavioral therapy, schema-focused therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. For AUD, group approaches such as AA and other twelve-step addiction programs are common. Alcohol use disorder is a type of substance abuse disorder where a person cannot control or stop their alcohol use. Partners or family members may also suffer from addictions due to the mental abuse suffered at the narcissist’s hands.

Alcoholics can undergo similar shifts when under the influence and can seem like a different person in a matter of a few drinks. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a disorder in which someone acts selfishly and thinks highly of themselves. In reality, these behaviors are often a mask for an individual’s fragile self-esteem and self-image. By building support from family and friends, you are more likely to stay on course with your dual treatment plan and avoid the stress that can make AUD and NPD worse. They also have a deep hatred of the self which they cover with a highly extroverted persona.