Studies have shown links between narcissistic behavioral patterns and substance abuse issues (Calvert-Conley, 2020). Excessive drinking or drug use can cause a narcissist to spiral into destructive behavior, thus attracting attention and care from others. Drugs and alcohol can make them feel better about themselves or more control their perceived negative attributes by lifting their untreated depression and anxiety. With well-established measures of narcissistic personality traits abounding in the literature, Rogaza et al. note that these may not necessarily apply to the study of the cyclical nature of this quality. Furthermore, measures that do exist only separate narcissism into the two components of grandiose and vulnerable.

are addicts narcissists

Due to the relative novelty of this phenomenon, only little longitudinal and experimental research on its etiology is currently available [31, 55, 56]. Moreover, the available studies partly use different instruments to asses FA which limits the comparability of their results [57]. Therefore, similar to other forms of addictive behavior, its potential inclusion in the diagnostic manuals is controversially discussed in the literature [58, 59].

Breaking Free From Your Addiction

A person with this disorder will do whatever it takes to defend their fragile perception of themselves, typically by exaggerating it and forming a group of admirers that they can rely on. These admirers may even feel somewhat addicted to narcissist, stuck in a co-dependent relationship that could be enabling if that person is a narcissistic addict. A 2020 review of research on narcissism and substance use disorders concludes that low self-esteem that requires external validation from others can increase the risk of substance use disorders. It also highlights that a lack of empathy toward others and feelings of invulnerability allow people to continue the problematic use of drugs, despite the obvious damage they cause to the individual and the people around them. Adverse childhood experiences and military/combat PTSD are two areas of trauma with strong correlations to addiction (Calvert-Conley, 2018). A shocking 26% to 52% of people with substance abuse issues have also experienced post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration.
  • Living onsite while receiving therapy and other treatment means that 24/7 care and support are provided.
  • Similar to grandiose narcissists, they search for attention and admiration to confirm and to foster their belief of own uniqueness and superiority [4, 5].
  • This assumption should be further considered in longitudinal studies to investigate the hypothesized causality.

If you’re feeling this way, you’re likely feeling the toxic effects of co-dependency, and you too may want to seek professional treatment to better understand and manage your relationship. Individuals with narcissistic personalities tend to get admiration from others while also making sure they maintain emotional distance from them. Their narcissistic behaviour intensifies if they feel threatened or as though someone is getting too close to them. This behaviour often irritates or offends the other person thereby creating space between them. A narcissist will blame other people for their anger, allowing them to disregard reality and preserve their elevated sense of self. The authors of the review also suggest that people with narcissism may use drugs to achieve a state of superiority above others while also lessening feelings of inferiority, which fluctuating self-esteem can cause.

Is There a Connection Between Narcissism and Addiction?

One evening, after returning home from a date with yet another emotionally unavailable, narcissistic guy, I realized that I must do something to stop my sad trend. Narcissists are full of entitlement and lack empathy for others, so they may do whatever they want to others with no regard to their feelings. Alcoholics do the same when they put their drinking first without concern for how it affects others. Sexual narcissists can be resistant to treatment, which typically includes a form of interpersonal psychotherapy with a therapist or in a group setting. Hokemeyer says to deal with the realities of the situation, you can recognize that the best person to change in the relationship is you.

  • They will con a way to buy alcohol, drink in secret, and find a way to cover their drinking.
  • Both forms of narcissism share the core of the narcissistic self [2] including the strong belief in the own uniqueness and superiority, a high level of self-love, a strong sense of entitlement, and emphasis on self-serving bias.
  • Individuals can discuss how NPD and AUD can affect the other with their doctor.
  • Ultimately, both narcissists and addicts only pay attention to the possibility of the reward and disregard the potential downside of their behaviour.
  • If you’re feeling this way, you’re likely feeling the toxic effects of co-dependency, and you too may want to seek professional treatment to better understand and manage your relationship.

For example, anxiety symptoms might be reduced by the implementation of a (therapeutic) intervention. If the reduction of the anxiety symptoms contributes to the decrease of FA especially in individuals with enhanced levels of narcissism, then strong conclusions about causal impact can be drawn. Moreover, the current results shed at least partly light on the mechanisms that contribute to the development of FA in the narcissistic user group. This knowledge might covert narcissism and alcoholism be useful for developing intervention programs to prevent addictive media use and to protect the well-being of narcissistic individuals. A successful handling of the anxiety symptoms might reduce the risk of developing an emotional bond to the SNSs in individuals with enhanced levels of both vulnerable and grandiose narcissism. This knowledge might, on the one hand, contribute to the explanation of differences between vulnerable und grandiose narcissism.