Being close with an alcoholic narcissist can be emotionally draining, and it’s crucial to take care of yourself. These behaviors can give the narcissistic abuser a sense of control and a way to intimidate you. When other people point out their drinking problem, alcoholics react defensively. If they acknowledge their problem, it means they’ll have to take the difficult steps of addressing it. When drunk, they have an easier time seeing themselves as smarter and more powerful than everyone else.
- In turn, the attention and validation sought by individuals with narcissistic traits may be readily available when they consume alcohol.
- Lastly, vulnerable narcissism was a significant predictor of problem expectations.
- 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.
- Narcissistic abuse is a type of emotional abuse inflicted by a person who has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
They have a need for admiration and have difficulty empathizing with others. Substance abuse preys on one’s low self-esteem and some may be genetically predisposed. In 2008 the American Psychological Association described studies that showed at least half of an individual’s susceptibility to drug abuse and addiction could be linked to genetic factors.
Is There a Connection Between Alcoholism and Narcissism?
As a result, these individuals require others to affirm their importance and value. Once they receive this affirmation, they experience grandiosity and may behave in an arrogant and entitled way. However, without affirmation, the same individual may feel depressed and ashamed.
This pain is compounded when a serious personality disorder like narcissism is matched with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Some of the behaviors exhibited by dry drunks are very similar to those seen in people suffering from narcissistic personality disorder. These behaviors are also seen in people with alcoholism (also known as a severe alcohol use disorder) and drug use or substance use disorders. 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.
Gain Validation and Attention
The treatment of NPD and AUD should ideally be delivered simultaneously, especially if there is severe addiction or depression. With that said, there are challenges to delivering appropriate care for the dual diagnosis. 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. Support from loved ones can help people with NPD or AUD change their behavior and work toward recovery. Therapy, a strong support system, and self-care strategies can help you make a full recovery. Each person needs a different treatment method depending on their unique situation, and as such, not everyone will have the same treatment program.
These effects can contribute to the manifestation of narcissistic behaviors in individuals who may already possess narcissistic traits. In the next section, we will explore how alcoholism can contribute to the manifestation of narcissistic behaviors, further perpetuating the cycle of narcissism and alcoholism. Another factor that contributes to the link between narcissism and alcoholism is the tendency of narcissists to use alcohol as a means of escapism.
How to Leave an Alcoholic Narcissist?
A professional with expertise in narcissistic abuse counseling can help you cope with an unhealthy relationship and assist with narcissistic abuse recovery. In some cases, a counselor can help you and your partner develop healthier communication patterns. It’s important to remember that, even in the absence of narcissistic abuse, social isolation can contribute to depression, covert narcissism and alcoholism anxiety, and other mental health issues. If you know someone who regularly uses alcohol, it’s possible that narcissism might be one of the influencing factors. Research supports the link between some narcissistic traits and alcohol use. Partners or family members may also suffer from addictions due to the mental abuse suffered at the narcissist’s hands.