Codependent individuals may develop a strong sense of responsibility for the alcoholic narcissist’s well-being, feeling compelled to fix or rescue them from their destructive behaviors. They may make excuses for the alcoholic’s actions, cover up their mistakes, or enable their substance abuse by providing financial support or covering up the consequences of their drinking. Both NPD and AUD are mental health conditions classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5).

narcissism and alcoholism

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. BetterHelp offers affordable mental health care via phone, video, or live-chat. They are extremely self-interested and often don’t think of other people’s feelings and emotions.

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Treating both disorders while at a recovery treatment center can help a person remain sober once they’ve completed the program. Individuals who are experiencing these symptoms would benefit from considering a treatment program for alcohol abuse. Alcoholism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder have some overlapping behaviors. Understanding how these two separate disorders are similar may offer some insight into the type of addiction treatment that would be most beneficial. Are you in a relationship with someone who puts themself and their drinking before others? It can be hard to hold a connection with someone who appears to only think about themselves.

The combination of a self-obsessed narcissist who never considers your feeling and an alcoholic who blames their need to drink on you can quickly destroy the strongest bond. Avoid enabling the alcoholic narcissist’s destructive behaviors by refusing to make excuses for their actions. According to some of my clients who’ve had experience with alcoholic narcissists, they might tell a few select half-truths when drunk and even reveal something of their underlying insecurities. Furthermore, as alcohol reduces inhibitions, it may exacerbate other narcissistic behaviors, such as heightened self-absorption, denial, delusions of grandeur, and destructive tendencies. The National Institute of Mental Health asserts that 22.6% of people suffering from a personality disorder may also have substance misuse problems.

Treatment for Alcoholism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Grandiose narcissists have an inflated sense of self, an unshakeable belief in their own superiority, and a lack of empathy for those around them. We talk loudly, interrupt people, and generally behave as if no one else’s feelings matter. When we drink, our inhibitions fall away, and we start to believe we are the most attractive, funniest, and cleverest person in the room.

  • Similarly, using alcohol doesn’t mean a person with NPD has AUD, even if there have been incidents of extreme intoxication.
  • Personality disorders are mental health conditions involving pervasive and often destructive personality traits.
  • Once detox is completed and sobriety has begun, outpatient therapy can be beneficial.
  • Unfortunately, many addicts are experts at hiding their addictive behaviors.
  • When dealing with the complex and challenging combination of alcoholism and narcissism, seeking help and recovery is crucial for both the individual and their loved ones.

Dry-drunk individuals may also exhibit narcissistic behaviors as they struggle to cope with unresolved emotional issues and challenges. When discussing the relationship between narcissism and alcoholism, it’s helpful to divide narcissists into two distinct groups. One of the most significant impacts of being in a relationship with an alcoholic narcissist is the constant need for attention. They may always demand your attention, leaving little room for you to focus on your needs and desires.

Why Narcissists Are at Risk of Alcohol Addiction

Depending on who you ask, you might be told to drink a few glasses of red wine a day or to avoid alcohol altogether. The reasons for such recommendations are many, but, by and large, they tend to stem from a study someone read about or saw reported in the news. Your therapist can help you feel heard and understood and provide a safe space for you to explore your feelings and experiences.

narcissism and alcoholism