Therapy can be short term to help you manage during times of stress or crisis. Therapy also can be provided on an ongoing basis to help you achieve and maintain your goals. This is especially important since narcissists are also master manipulators that can guilt trip enablers. Since this link is so strong, getting the proper therapy can create total healing from both issues.

  • Although it may be impossible to prevent NPD, people can take steps to reduce the risk of developing additional disorders through the understanding that it is common for substance misuse disorders to co-occur.
  • Above all, if a narcissist ever admits to an addiction or a destructive behavior yet continues engaging in the activity, it should be seen as a call for attention.
  • During an initial love-bombing phase, they seemed loving, kind, and generous.

They may ask the person to fill out a questionnaire about their behaviors. Narcissistic abuse is a type of emotional abuse carried out by a person who is a narcissist. People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) have a need for admiration and a lack of empathy. People also use the term “narcissist” casually to mean someone who is obsessed with themselves, often at the expense of their relationships with others.

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Almost two-thirds of patients with NPD also struggle with maintaining sobriety. People with AUD may have self-awareness of their condition and a desire to change. However, some with NPD may not be aware of how their behavior affects others. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. By building support from family and friends, you are more likely to stay on course with your dual treatment plan and avoid the stress that can make AUD and NPD worse.

  • They may respond with accusations of their own and redirect blame, saying things that are intended to hurt and belittle you.
  • This diagnosable medical disorder co-occurs simultaneously with Substance Use Disorder with greater frequency than you might imagine.
  • People who have experienced manipulation and abuse often feel confused and may blame themselves for their partner’s behavior.
  • People with AUD, also known as alcoholism, can display patterns of narcissism, including self-absorption and an underlying craving for admiration.
  • One example is being referred to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) on the presumption of AUD.

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. Although it is a relatively new phenomenon, social media addiction has been around since the advent of sharing pictures and status updates online. A therapist who specializes in abuse recovery can validate your experience, help you understand that you aren’t at fault, and offer support through the early stages of recovery.

You feel emotionally exhausted

Although people with AUD may relapse or have treatment setbacks, they can recover from the disorder. Learning healthy coping strategies can help them remain sober when they face narcissism and alcoholism triggers. To treat dual diagnosis, people will receive treatment options for both NPD and AUD. Individuals can discuss how NPD and AUD can affect the other with their doctor.

  • Our team of addiction professionals uses evidence-based techniques to help you achieve the best possible solution.
  • Narcissists tend to deny that they are addicted to drugs, regardless of what it looks like.
  • NPD and AUD frequently co-exist and can increase the effects of each other.
  • Grandiose narcissism was a positive predictor of alcohol consumption and a positive (i.e., good) evaluation of alcohol-related problems.

The results speak to the effects that different types of narcissism have on alcohol use, alcohol problems and attitudes towards alcohol problems among young adults. 345 college students (28% male, 72% female) from a Midwestern university were recruited from undergraduate psychology courses from April 2015 to October 2016. If you have NPD and AUD, finding support can be challenging because they are two separate disorders with two separate treatment approaches. Treating each condition independently can sometimes lead people to “choose one over the other,” especially if care is not coordinated.

The Addiction or Risky Behavior Could Feed the Need For Attention

If they can’t go to work, don’t see family, or can’t leave the home or access a phone, they are kept vulnerable to the abuser and the abuser’s version of reality. They deny things you know to be true, or dictate your own feelings to you in order to dismiss your sense of agency and what you’ve said about your experiences. In some cases, as with child abuse, a victim may become more attuned to feelings and perceptions of an abuser than their own.

narcissists and substance abuse

People seek to avoid these heartbreak variations but often find themselves deeply enmeshed in a similar adult situation. To cope with the abuse of living with a narcissistic abuser, the victim turns to self-medication through substance abuse. People with narcissistic personality disorders share similar traits with addicts, and both types of narcissistic personality disorder may lead to addiction.

This is accomplished in a similar manner to the way an addict ensures their drug supply is constant and secure, and highlights the likeness between narcissists and addiction. Treating NPD can be challenging and may require long-term therapy, but working alongside healthcare professionals can help people reduce symptoms. With treatment, those with NPD can live healthy lives with positive relationships.

narcissists and substance abuse

Risk factors for NPD include having difficult relationships with parents or caregivers during a person’s developmental years that may include excessive praise or criticism. Narcissism and alcoholism are different conditions, but they can occur simultaneously and may share some overlapping symptoms. While both conditions can be challenging, certain approaches can help individuals overcome the potential complications of these disorders. Table 1 Summary of the reviewed literature on Dark Triad traits in relation to substance use and addictive behaviors.


At three times the rate of the general population, approximately 9 percent of people diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder meet the criteria for drug abuse. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance and is considered more socially acceptable than other illegal drugs. The reduced concern about social judgment may make a person with narcissistic personality disorder more likely to use or abuse marijuana compared to other illicit substances. Substance use can exaggerate some narcissistic personality disorder symptoms, including lack of empathy, feelings of superiority and invincibility, and a sense of grandiosity.