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July 04, 2021

July 04, 2021

July 04, 2021

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Narcissism and Substance Abuse

If you have a loved one or are personally struggling with Narcissism and alcoholism, contact our team today to speak with one of our kind and experienced intake specialists. American Addiction Institute of Mind and Medicine is located in Orange County, CA. Our highly experienced staff of mental health and addiction experts has experience with all personality disorders and different types of substance use disorders. This in-depth study of narcissists and coke addiction yielded some important results.

narcissists and substance abuse

People tend to repeat behaviors and cycles, enabling the trauma to continue in new relationships and generations. Although experts believe that genetic factors can make people up to 50% more inclined toward alcohol use disorder, addiction has many possible causes. These include environmental factors, social factors, and emotional factors. 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.

The Link Between Narcissism, Alcohol, and Drug Abuse

Narcissists with low self-esteem may gain acceptance from others or a sense of security through alcohol consumption or use it as a coping mechanism for dealing with distress. According to a 2009 article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the rates of drug addiction and alcoholism with NPD narcissism and alcoholism are 21.7% and 9.3% respectively, which is over 3% of the general population. Lastly, vulnerable narcissism was a significant predictor of problem expectations. Though it is against our prediction, it isn’t completely surprising that vulnerable narcissists expect to experience problems.

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. Grandiose narcissism is a personality factor contributing to the likelihood of alcohol consumption and a good evaluation of alcohol problems. Vulnerable narcissism, on the other hand, emerged as a risk factor for alcohol-related problems. Vulnerable narcissism also contributes to people’s expectation and recognition of alcohol problems.

How to cope with the challenges of relating with narcissists or addicted people

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. According to a 2018 article, due to the common co-occurrence of personality disorders and AUD, it is important that substance misuse services screen for personality disorders and vice versa. Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is an addictive disorder where people cannot control or stop their use of alcohol. People with AUD may be unable to reduce or stop drinking despite experiencing the negative effects of alcohol or a desire to quit. The concept of Machiavellianism was derived from Niccolò Machiavelli’s writings by the social psychologists Richard Christie and Florence Geis (57).

  • Stimulants are another people with narcissistic personality disorder commonly use.
  • Although it is a relatively new phenomenon, social media addiction has been around since the advent of sharing pictures and status updates online.
  • It is important to note that these are separate conditions, as addiction refers to a psychological or physical dependency on a substance, and narcissism is a personality disorder.
  • Ultimately, both narcissists and addicts only pay attention to the possibility of the reward and disregard the potential downside of their behaviour.

Similarly, using alcohol doesn’t mean a person with NPD has AUD, even if there have been incidents of extreme intoxication. 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. It also found that people who watch internet pornography are more likely to have narcissism than people who do not.

You have symptoms of anxiety and depression

Grandiose narcissism was a significant predictor of alcohol use and a positive problem evaluation while vulnerable narcissism was a significant predictor of alcohol-related problems, problem recognition, and problem expectancy. Stimulants are another people with narcissistic personality disorder commonly use. A possible reason includes the potential of increased energy and confidence while initially using stimulants. A person with narcissistic personality disorder may feel the need to maintain a successful appearance and sociability. When this task becomes difficult due to NPD, stimulants can boost performance.

  • When addiction and personality disorder become so deeply intertwined, it will take some extensive therapy to get back to normal living and a healthy state of mind.
  • This makes sense because cocaine is a drug that supercharges a person’s sense of ego and makes them feel more untouchable.
  • The treatment of NPD and AUD should ideally be delivered simultaneously, especially if there is severe addiction or depression.
  • Grandiose narcissism predicts drinking behavior independently of impulsivity, which indicates that other mechanisms might be relevant (24).

“To the extent that you can’t depend on people, you’ll depend on other sources to soothe yourself, like feeling special (narcissism) or watching pornography or getting drunk. But addiction makes us all more narcissistic—willing to lie, steal, cheat, and even exploit others to get our high.” One thing that has intrigued researchers about narcissists is that they are ultimately playing a losing game, and prone to self-defeating behaviors. 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.

For instance, the person who ends up being the primary “fixer” for a narcissist, with deep reflection may find that they relish the role of being needed. When it is expressed in such an unhealthy and unbalanced way without boundaries, the enabler is exhibiting their own inflated sense of self-importance. Risky behavior can be seen as a cry for attention since the people that care will feel compelled to come pick up the pieces and prove that they care.

  • However, with professional mental health and addiction treatment, many people can learn to manage their mental health symptoms and overcome their addiction.
  • People with narcissistic personality disorders share similar traits with addicts, and both types of narcissistic personality disorder may lead to addiction.
  • They create situations of accomplishment so that people will congratulate them, or even become envious of them, and act in ways that make others pay attention to them.

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. One example is being referred to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) on the presumption of AUD. In such cases, a person might start to question the diagnosis and abandon treatment altogether even if another condition, such as NPD, actually exists. NPD and AUD frequently co-exist and can increase the effects of each other.


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