Is There a Connection Between Narcissism and Alcoholism?

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Yes, it is common for individuals with narcissistic personality disorder to struggle with substance abuse. This is because they may use drugs or alcohol to cope with feelings of inadequacy or enhance their sense of superiority. Overall, the results of this study demonstrate the difference between the two types of narcissism and how they relate to alcohol outcomes in a college sample.

are alcoholics narcissists

Why Narcissists Are at Risk of Alcohol Addiction

  • This may include practicing mindfulness, engaging in physical activity, or finding creative outlets for stress relief.
  • The researchers found that grandiose narcissism, i.e., overt narcissism, was a positive predictor of alcohol consumption.
  • 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.
  • While narcissism and alcoholism don’t always occur together, there are some reasons why narcissists might be more prone to developing an alcohol use disorder than the average person.
  • In addition, future research could include more ethnically diverse samples to determine if the associations found here differ for students of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is one of the Cluster B personality disorders, which are characterized by unpredictable and emotional behavior. In contrast, vulnerable narcissism, or covert narcissism, was a risk factor for future alcohol-related problems. Compared to grandiose narcissists, people in this group were more likely to acknowledge that they had a problem. If someone already scores highly on the narcissistic front, adding alcohol will only exacerbate those narcissistic traits, making their behavior even more grandiose, controlling, and attention-seeking than normal. Alcohol lowers inhibitions, making it easier for narcissists to act on their desires and impulses without feeling restrained by social norms or consequences. When discussing the relationship between narcissism and alcoholism, it’s helpful to divide narcissists into two distinct groups.

  • Treatment can help someone with NPD and AUD to change their behavior and reduce the level of dysfunction that these two conditions have in their daily life.
  • The journey towards recovery may involve ups and downs, but with the right support and dedication, it is possible to break free from the grip of alcoholism and narcissism.
  • Their self-absorbed behavior can make it difficult for them to truly connect with others, leading to superficial relationships that lack depth and meaning.
  • Treating alcoholic narcissism requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both the alcohol addiction and the underlying narcissistic traits.

Is it common for narcissistic individuals to struggle with substance abuse?

For some people, alcohol use becomes regular and problematic and may lead to dependence. Healthcare professionals and psychologists may use a set of criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) to diagnose narcissism or AUD. Similarly, using alcohol doesn’t mean a person with NPD has AUD, even if there have been incidents of extreme intoxication.

Narcissism and sex addiction

Coping with an alcoholic narcissist can be challenging, and setting clear boundaries to protect yourself is important. This may mean limiting your exposure to their behavior or seeking support from friends and family. 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. Drinking when consequences are obviously damaging or will cause major losses, are both signs of severe alcohol abuse.

Alcoholism Treatment Options

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. It is important to note that people with an addiction do not always show signs of a narcissistic personality disorder and that people with narcissism do not always develop an addiction. 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. Both Sober House grandiose and vulnerable narcissism are strong predictors of alcohol-related problems, according to a 2018 study of 345 college students. A 2020 review of research on narcissism and substance use disorders concludes that low self-esteem that requires external validation from others can increase the risk of substance use disorders. Whether a person is a covert narcissist, alcoholic with narcissistic personality traits, or a person with a dual diagnosis, finding a treatment program that meets their needs is very important.

Similarities and Differences: Narcissism and Alcoholism

  • This can lead to manipulative and controlling behaviors, as well as emotional and psychological abuse.
  • If the situation becomes physically or emotionally unsafe, prioritize your safety.
  • Future research should evaluate potential mechanisms driving these associations, such as mediators that might explain associations or moderators that might strengthen relationships found in this study.
  • In some cases, the person can fail to recognize how drinking is negatively affecting their life, and accuse others of being extreme.
  • Healthcare professionals and psychologists may use a set of criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) to diagnose narcissism or AUD.
  • When a narcissist gets drunk, the situation can quickly deteriorate as their grandiose behavior becomes increasingly exaggerated.
  • While both conditions can be challenging, certain approaches can help individuals overcome the potential complications of these disorders.

They meticulously evaluate and review all medical content before publication to ensure it is medically accurate and aligned with current discussions and research developments in mental health. Treatment can help someone with NPD and AUD to change their behavior and reduce the level of dysfunction that these two conditions have in their daily life. When a person has two conditions, the best option is often to treat the two conditions simultaneously. Narcissism and alcoholism are two distinct conditions but share some traits. Similarly, people with dual diagnosis can manage their symptoms with appropriate treatment.

  • Grandiose narcissism was a positive predictor of alcohol consumption and a positive (i.e., good) evaluation of alcohol-related problems.
  • According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 22.6% of people with a personality disorder may also have a substance misuse disorder.
  • A loved one’s drinking and selfish behavior can be devastating and cause a great deal of pain and disappointment.
  • A psychiatrist may carry out a standard psychiatric interview, which healthcare professionals use to diagnose personality disorders.
  • If someone you know has alcoholic narcissist symptoms, don’t neglect your own needs.
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