Sober living

Doctor explains the relationship between narcissistic personality disorder and alcoholism

They may find it hard to stop narcissism and alcoholism once they start. An example of this would be if the individual went to a party and stated they were only having a couple of drinks but late drinks more than intended. If you are in a relationship with an alcoholic narcissist or have one in your family, you already know how challenging it can be to deal with them. Because of their lack of self-accountability, choosing the right rehab program is an important factor in maintaining a long-term recovery. Inpatient rehab takes place in a residential facility where 24/7 care is provided. This type of treatment is well-suited for individuals who have struggled with their co-occurring disorders while dealing with problems at work or home. Alcohol addiction affects an alcoholic’s behavior and the way they treat people, as well.

  • As mentioned, narcissists and alcoholics do not like to be confronted on their behaviors or how they might affect others.
  • AA and other 12-step programs can also provide a valuable added layer of peer support for people quitting or cutting back on their drinking.
  • Both conditions may influence the other, and some symptoms or behaviors of each condition can overlap.
  • No matter how hard you try for things to be better and different, it is up to the individual to make the changes that are needed.

Narcissism is a personality disorder that may cause individuals to portray self-involved behaviors. Alcoholism is an addiction where the individual cannot control their alcohol use. Think about a typical alcoholic personality, the way that people with alcoholism relate to others and see themselves.

What does alcoholism look like in a person?

Narcissists often shame others to cover their own inadequacies. For alcoholics, drinking numbs or masks the shame they carry. People in an alcoholic’s life may notice their loved one’s behavior has changed. People in a narcissist’s life may feel the person’s core behavior is the same, no matter what. The narcissist-like behavior of some alcoholics may only be a result of their addiction—it may not be how they really are when sober.

mental health condition

In my last blog I discussed why substance abuse is often seen in people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or those with narcissistic traits. Today, I am going to expand on that topic and discuss similarities between narcissists and alcoholics. While I will use the term alcoholic, this information will apply to any person with a substance abuse problem, including drugs. Keep in mind that drug abuse can include illegal drugs and misuse of prescription drugs. There doesn’t appear to be a significant relationship between narcissistic personality disorder and substance use relapses. But, when people with both AUD and NPD go back to drinking, they will probably hide or deny it. They may also feel like they failed and blame someone else for their failure.

They struggle to take responsibility for their actions and behaviors

Individuals who suffer from alcohol use disorder are unable to reduce or stop drinking. Boundaries are essential in developing healthy relationships; especially if the person you are interacting with is an alcoholic narcissist. If restrictions are weak, you risk compromising your own safety and losing your freedom and personal space. Many boundaries established with a narcissist are also necessary with alcoholics, however, with alcoholic narcissists some more specific restrictions often also have to be implemented.

mental health

For each regression model, gender, social desirability, and alcohol use (in the models where it wasn’t the outcome) were entered at Step 1. Though age was collected, it was not controlled for due to the sample being so homogenous. At Step 2 the types of narcissism, vulnerable and grandiose, were simultaneously entered into the model. The narcissist and alcoholic both continue their behaviors through denial. For the narcissist, their feelings of grandiosity and superiority means they can do no wrong.

What do all alcoholics have in common?

Alcoholics will say they can stop drinking anytime they want. They will also deny when they had a drink or that their drinking has unhealthy consequences. Additionally, many alcoholics will lie about how many drinks they had or when they had their last drink. They are extremely self-interested and often don’t think of other people’s feelings and emotions. Both alcoholics and narcissists suffer from severe cravings.

What part of the brain is damaged in a narcissist?

Narcissistic traits have been linked to structural and functional brain networks, including the insular cortex, however, with inconsistent findings. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that subclinical narcissism is associated with variations in regional brain volumes in insular and prefrontal areas.

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