Blog Details

NCCYW / Sober living / The Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Addiction SpringerLink

The Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Addiction SpringerLink

While both conditions can be challenging, certain approaches can help individuals overcome the potential complications of these disorders. You should start by exploring peer support groups like Al-Anon that help families and loved ones living with people with AUD. You can also find narcissist abuse support groups, both online or in-person, through organizations like Help Within Reach.

alcoholism and narcissistic personality disorder

Due to how narcissism can distort an individual’s perceptions of themselves and the world around them, a case can be made for this being the trigger of alcohol use disorder. Narcissism is partially a self learned-behavior and can also partially be a genetic trait. The good news is that Narcissistic Personality Disorder and alcoholism can be treated. However, there are essential things that you need to know before getting help from a treatment center for your loved one. Many Narcissists do not want or refuse help because they are entirely convinced that they are in the right.

Understanding the Connection Between Narcissism and Alcoholism

This can seriously affect neurotransmitter production and distribution, impacting an individual’s emotions and thought processes. With excessive drinking, such changes to the body can result in serious harm being done. The liver, largely responsible for processing alcohol through the system, can become severely damaged with prolonged exposure. Equally, those who experience intense bouts of worthlessness put a big emotional demand on those around them.

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. This article looks at the links between narcissism and addiction and explains why people with narcissism may be more likely than other people to engage in addictive behaviors.

Family Programs

Think about a typical alcoholic personality, the way that people with alcoholism relate to others and see themselves. Consider the similarities with the list we shared earlier on abusive personality disorder signs. Adverse childhood experiences and military/combat PTSD are two areas of trauma with strong correlations to addiction (Calvert-Conley, 2018).

Someone who is subjected to a lot of stress in their day-to-day life – either due to their job or a traumatic event – will be more inclined to consume and rely upon alcohol to cope. Those who do not receive support narcissism and alcoholism for their narcissism are at risk of developing multiple problems in their day-to-day life. While such issues do not primarily affect physical health, they can be equally devastating to long-term well-being.

Treating Alcoholism and Narcissism

Someone who has a diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) experiences grandiose, arrogant behavior patterns that are coupled with a lack of empathy and need to be admired. These behaviors are at the expense of other people, including loved ones. Alcoholism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder have some overlapping behaviors. Understanding how these two separate disorders are similar may offer some insight into the type of addiction treatment that would be most beneficial.

Making a dual diagnosis of NPD and AUD can be challenging and something that only a qualified mental health professional can make. Once the body has achieved sobriety, alcohol rehab supports individuals in identifying why their condition developed in the first place. In the cases where Narcissistic Personality Disorder plays a factor, this is the stage of treatment where it is addressed. If the brain is consistently subjected to this interference, it can struggle to sustain and regulate its activity.

Is It Possible To Prevent Narcissists From Drinking?

Alcoholism can exacerbate the symptoms of narcissism and make them more pronounced, leading to impulsive behavior, difficulty expressing emotions, and an inability to take responsibility for one’s actions. I have seen first-hand how narcissists employ control and gaslighting throughout a marriage—and then continue these well-honed techniques in a divorce—to manipulate the process to their advantage. This technique minimises an individual’s ability to deny concerns by outnumbering them. A narcissist will struggle to challenge the genuine worries of so many people, but even if they do not immediately agree to seek help, the event can work to get them thinking.

When it comes to understanding the origins of their narcissism, an individual will be supported in recognising why they feel so superior to others and how such thoughts can be flawed and damaging. Many addictive substances trigger withdrawal symptoms when an individual has become dependent on them and is sober. Denial can develop into overconfidence, a superiority complex, and contempt for those who suggest that an individual’s drinking has gotten out of hand. Consuming high volumes of alcohol will interrupt the brain’s regular functioning.