Narcissism and drug addiction often go hand-in-hand since individuals with narcissistic personalities need to find a way to escape their overwhelming emotional anxiety and pain. Similarly, most addicts have narcissistic traits. An addicted narcissist may have unique challenges in getting treatment, such as feelings of entitlement in addiction recovery, and so understanding the relationship between addiction and narcissism is important.
Do you know someone who appears to be completely absorbed in their own charm and greatness? If so, you probably think of them as a narcissist. It is normal for people to become overly proud of themselves on occasion, but it is an entirely different problem if they have narcissistic personality disorder. 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.
If a person you know is living with both narcissism and addiction, you may find yourself wondering how to deal with a narcissist drug addict, how to live with an alcoholic narcissist, or how to go about getting help for a narcissist. Being in a relationship with a narcissist addict is difficult. Like anyone facing challenges as a result of co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders, professional treatment is critical to recovery for a narcissist drug addict, and a healthier, more balanced life ahead.
What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
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.
Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder tend to be:
- Emotionally distant
- Devaluing of other people
They often display problematic and maladaptive behaviours that cause significant damage to their lives.
Can Someone Be Mildly Narcissistic?
People with covert narcissism are not as outwardly aggressive or boastful about themselves. More introverted, covert narcissists will often engage in self-deprecation and passive-aggression as a way to garner external attention or sympathy.
Addiction can also affect people with this type of narcissism. A covert narcissist alcoholic may highlight their drinking to get attention, but will internally believe that everything is under control and therefore be unwilling to take steps to change it. Covert narcissism and alcoholism can be more challenging to treat as a result, just as it is in other cases involving a narcissist and addiction.
How Do Narcissistic Drug Addicts Behave?
One study in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) highlighted the development of individuals with narcissistic personality disorder who went through an outpatient cocaine treatment course. This in-depth study of narcissists and coke addiction yielded some important results. The narcissists mostly had unrealistic demands for the therapist, other patients and anyone else involved in the treatment programme. When their criteria of perfection failed to be met by others, the narcissists usually quit treatment, spotlighting a key challenge in narcissism and addiction. Narcissists tend to deny that they are addicted to drugs, regardless of what it looks like. Addiction to a narcissist isn’t perceived as a problem; a narcissist addict will describe their drug use as boosting their energy and life.
How Are Narcissism And Drug Addiction Related?
The cycle of narcissistic personality disorder and addiction are quite similar. The cycle of addiction involves cravings, growing tolerance and withdrawal. Narcissists crave the feeling of superiority and they are always seeking new and better triumphs that lead to greater glory. When narcissists do not receive the admiration they crave, such as through criticism, indifference or disrespect, they exhibit significant distress. This is where the narcissist and addiction often intersect, in a place where their self-perception is challenged.
The Similarities Between Narcissism And Drug Addiction
The similarities between narcissism and drug addiction are that the individual depends on something external to fill the emptiness inside. The narcissist relies on admiration and attention from other people, which can be real or imagined, for their well-being. They create situations of accomplishment so that people will congratulate them, or even become envious of them, and act in ways that make others pay attention to them. 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.
People with narcissistic personality disorder put a lot of time and effort into crafting the situations and keeping up appearances in order to fill their emptiness. Nevertheless, the attention and admiration that they require increases over time, just like how an addict needs to increase their dose. When they feel as though they are not receiving the adequate amount of attention and admiration, they experience anxiety and, ultimately, depression that can lead to self-medication and addiction.
Other overlapping characteristics between narcissism and drug addiction include:
- Emotional avoidance
- Low self-esteem
- Controlling behaviour/manipulation
- Black & white thinking
Ultimately, both narcissists and addicts only pay attention to the possibility of the reward and disregard the potential downside of their behaviour.
Are All Alcoholics Narcissists?
No, not all addicts have narcissistic personality disorder, just as not every person with this disorder is a narcissist addict. Narcissism and alcoholism are separate conditions. However, people who are addicted to alcohol may display narcissistic traits that can seem like alcoholic narcissism as their dependency makes them more focused on feeding their addiction and less attuned to the needs of others.
If you suspect that someone you know has narcissistic personality disorder and alcoholism, you may be wondering how to deal with a drunk narcissist, or how do narcissists act when they’re drunk. Someone with alcoholism and narcissism will experience the same range of effects of intoxication that a person without narcissism will have, but will likely have a stronger denial about negative impacts of their drinking, and be highly sensitive to any criticism about it.
What Happens When A Narcissist Uses Drugs?
When an addiction and mental disorder coexist, the person suffers from a co-occurring disorder, or dual diagnosis. It is important to note that these are separate conditions, as addiction refers to a psychological or physical dependency on a substance, and narcissism is a personality disorder. Narcissism is a type of personality disorder that is commonly linked with addiction, therefore comprehensive treatment is often required to achieve the best results.
A standard inpatient dual diagnosis programme includes many of the same components as an addiction treatment programme. However, there is a greater emphasis on intake evaluation, which requires proper assessment before creating a tailored treatment plan, and therapy that addresses both issues. Comprehensive treatment often includes:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- 12 Step programmes
- Holistic therapies
- Psychodynamic therapy
It is important for those with dual diagnosis to find a treatment centre that specialises in co-occurring disorders in order to be effective.
Narcissist withdrawal symptoms, whether it’s about narcissist drugs alcohol, will be the same as someone without the disorder, and will require the same professional medical supervision. Therefore, choosing a treatment centre that has the right type of detox facilities is also an important factor to consider.
Can Narcissists Have Other Types of Addiction?
Can narcissists become addicted to a person? Can someone have a narcissist spending addiction? Yes, people with narcissistic personality disorders can have obsessive, unhealthy relationships with other people, as well as develop process addictions like overspending or gambling. However, with professional mental health and addiction treatment, many people can learn to manage their mental health symptoms and overcome their addiction.
If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, you may be wondering if you’re addicted to a narcissist, and what withdrawing from a narcissist might be like. 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.
How Rehab Thailand Can Help a Person with Narcissism and Drug Addiction
Can a narcissist recover from drug addiction? And can you recover from narcissism? It can be very challenging to get a person with narcissistic personality disorder into treatment, especially because it is highly unlikely that they will admit they have a problem with addiction. Yet, if you know a person with this disorder who really requires help, look for a way to offer them a helping hand. They may be reluctant to admit that they need you, even if they know it. Narcissists and addiction have their own unique treatment needs, and finding a treatment centre that can focus on narcissist rehabilitation is important.
If you have noticed signs of narcissism and drug addiction in yourself or someone you love, it is time to get help. The Dawn Wellness Centre and Rehab Thailand offers highly-personalised and integrated treatment plans for co-occurring disorders, addiction and other issues. Our team of addiction professionals uses evidence-based techniques to help you achieve the best possible solution.
You might be wondering what a recovered narcissist looks like. They look like the best version of themselves – more secure, happier, and healthier. Contact The Dawn today to receive a no obligation assessment and find out what help is available.
Q: Can a narcissist be an addict?
A: People with narcissistic personality disorder put a lot of time and effort into crafting the situations and keeping up appearances in order to fill their emptiness. When they feel as though they are not receiving the adequate amount of attention and admiration, they experience anxiety and, ultimately, depression that can lead to self-medication and addiction.
Q: Are all addicts narcissists?
A: No, not all addicts have narcissistic personality disorder, just as not every person with this disorder is a narcissist addict. Narcissism and alcoholism are separate conditions. However, people who are addicted to alcohol may display narcissistic traits as their dependency makes them more focused on feeding their addiction and less attuned to the needs of others.
Q: What makes a narcissist addictive?
A: Narcissism and drug addiction often go hand-in-hand since individuals with narcissistic personalities need to find a way to escape their overwhelming emotional anxiety and pain. Similarly, most addicts have narcissistic traits. An addicted narcissist may have unique challenges in getting treatment, such as entitlement in addiction recovery, and so understanding the relationship between addiction and narcissism is important.
Q: What is the difference between narcissist and addict?
A: When an addiction and mental disorder coexist, the person suffers from a co-occurring disorder, or dual diagnosis. It is important to note that these are separate conditions; addiction refers to a psychological or physical dependency on a substance. Narcissism is a type of personality disorder commonly linked with addiction, therefore comprehensive treatment is often required to achieve the best results.