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Alcoholic Narcissist Alcohol And Narcissistic Personality Disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 22.6% of people with a personality disorder also have a substance use disorder (SUD), which can include alcohol use. Since this downward spiral can be so severe, it’s important to get a person with NPD immediate and complete medical and addiction recovery attention to save their life and their health. 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. Mental health professionals are quick to point this out since narcissistic relationships can only exist when there is some level of co-dependency. If you are in a close relationship with someone that you suspect has NPD, this is an important time to reflect on how you may also be displaying some of those traits by enabling them. In many cases, a narcissist’s drug or alcohol problem has nothing to do with a physical dependency.

narcissism and alcohol abuse

It is important to remember that no two people are the same, so there needs to be a tailored approach to each individual’s needs. 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 to Do If Someone You Know Has Both Alcoholic & Narcissistic Traits

Living with an alcoholic narcissist can be an emotional rollercoaster, and maintaining your equilibrium can be challenging in the face of their ever-changing emotions and demands. Contact friends, family, or support groups to share your experiences and feelings. Engaging in arguments with an alcoholic narcissist can be futile and emotionally draining. They will fabricate stories of victimization or exaggerate minor issues to gain validation and emotional support while using their drunken state to excuse their behavior. While on a drinking binge, a narcissist may start fabricating stories to secure the attention and sympathy of those around them. How narcissists behave when they drink depends on the individual and who they’re with.

This finding was echoed in a 2021 Rutgers study that identified an interaction between genes and environmental factors. In 2016, a survey revealed that 21 million Americans, or one in seven, suffer from a substance abuse disorder, and only 10% seek treatment (Hafner). 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.

The Addiction or Risky Behavior Could Feed the Need For Attention

Personality disorders are grouped into clusters based on similar traits. On the other hand, the term “alcoholic” describes someone who has an alcohol use disorder (AUD), which is the clinical term for an alcohol addiction. 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.

narcissism and alcohol abuse

The experience of having nothing to do, and no one to impress, fills them with dread because it brings with it a risk of self-reflection. Alcohol helps the narcissist overcome their deep-seated insecurities and gain confidence, increasing the likelihood of them experiencing problems with alcohol later on. Research suggests that narcissists suffer more stress than non-narcissists, possibly because they’re actually more insecure. This shouldn’t come as a surprise when considering why people are driven to drink.

It Can Be Tough to Deduce Whether the Narcissism or Addiction Is the Primary Factor

For AUD to be diagnosed, a person must meet one of four possible criteria for alcohol abuse, three of seven possible criteria for alcohol dependence, and two of 12 possible criteria for AUD symptoms. Personality disorders like NPD are those in which a person has a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning, and behaving. Substance abuse disorders like AUD are characterized by mental and physical addiction.

The impulsiveness factor is another way that these conditions are linked. A person that is more prone to impulses will also be less likely to think twice about binge drinking or using drugs. Furthermore, as alcohol reduces inhibitions, it may exacerbate other narcissistic behaviors, such as heightened self-absorption, denial, delusions of grandeur, and destructive tendencies.

Alcoholics may see others as people who can help them get attention or maintain their addiction, while narcissists may view others as people who can either boost or damage their self-esteem. When seeking treatment for alcohol addiction, it is important to locate a treatment program that offers a medically supervised detox program to help manage the dangerous withdrawal symptoms of alcohol. A person struggling with alcoholism can appear to dismiss friends and family to spend time with others that support their need to drink excessively. To family, it can appear that their loved one is putting these newfound friends ahead of them (similar to what a narcissist would do).

Meanwhile, alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol that adversely affects a person’s physical and mental health. 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. Narcissistic abuse is emotional abuse perpetrated by someone who is a narcissist. People who have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) lack empathy and need constant admiration. Whatever the case may be, people need effective alcoholism treatment A strong treatment program will address both the problematic drinking and any other psychological issues, including narcissistic tendencies.

People who are experiencing problems with alcohol, drugs, or sex should contact a doctor or mental health professional. A doctor can offer help and treatment to those dealing with addiction, which may involve suggesting lifestyle changes or rehabilitation clinics. A 2019 study involving young adults with covert narcissism and alcoholism vulnerable narcissism found that the disorder can cause overwhelming feelings of shame in the individual. The person then seeks out alcohol or substances to mediate these feelings, leading to more feelings of shame, and so on. This creates a pattern of dependent behavior, which is extremely harmful.

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