Alcoholic Narcissist: Relationship Between Alcohol And Narcissism

Someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) has an inflated ego. An alcohol use disorder occurs when a person becomes dependent on alcohol for a long period of time. Some people drink moderate amounts of alcohol and do not develop a disorder. At the Blackberry Center, our dual diagnosis program is tailored to each individual to treat their unique circumstances and symptoms. We specialize in guiding patients through the process of recovery step by step.

Can a narcissist stay sober?

Yes, I have seee seen some first class narcissists not only recover from addiction but stay in recovery for years. In AA they often become leaders who become advocates for recovery by becoming speakers at meetings. Not all make it and some resort back to previous behaviors and their drug of choice.

People in my world up to that point didn’t operate the way he did. I dismissed his irrational, abusive narcissism and alcoholism behavior as emotional wounds. I excused his lies, aggression and out of control drinking as a phase.

What Role Does Narcissism Play in Addiction?

They might infrequently have bouts of excessive drinking, for example, but find that it doesn’t affect their life and that it’s easy to cut back on alcohol (or to stop drinking entirely). Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical term for alcoholism. If alcohol misuse begins to impact your life, health, or safety, you might have AUD. Many people use the terms “alcohol use disorder” and “alcohol misuse” interchangeably, but they refer to two different things. Although alcohol misuse and AUD can cause someone to display narcissist-like behavior, this behavior might change when they’re sober or in recovery.

narcissist and alcohol

The complete sonnets and poems of Shakespeare (Shakespeare, 1912) recanted the Greek story of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection, while ignoring a chance for a real relationship. Psychoanalysts as early as Sigmund Freud (1914) described a developmental stage in children in which their egos lack concern for anyone else’s needs, which he referred to as primary narcissism. According to Freud, individuals severely traumatized during this developmental period never leave the ego-driven state, even as adults, leaving them incapable of caring for others.

AUD Prognosis

In both NPD and AUD, childhood trauma — including abuse and neglect — may be a risk factor. Further research into the causes of AUD might help experts develop more treatment options. People who are genetically predisposed to experience unpleasant side effects of drinking are less likely to drink often, making AUD unlikely. It’s worth noting that the DSM-5-TR doesn’t use the term “alcoholism,” but the term is still used colloquially to refer to AUD. In order to get a diagnosis of AUD, you have to fit certain diagnostic criteria as set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, Text Revision (DSM-5-TR).

narcissist and alcohol

Because of his alcoholic soul and narcissistic heart, I found myself in a twilight zone of manipulation. I was sucked into the vortex, and like a vampire, my emotions were sucked dry. We do not receive any compensation or commission for referrals to other treatment facilities. The helpline at is available 24/7 to discuss the treatment needs of yourself or a loved one.

Alcohol misuse vs. alcohol use disorder

They may believe that only their version of reality is accurate and are often unconcerned with the damage that their arrogant and manipulative behavior does to other people. When narcissism is combined with the cravings and impulses of alcoholism, this behavior only worsens. However, treatments like psychotherapy, group support, and self-care strategies can help people with either condition feel much better. Alcohol abuse disorder is characterized by periods of sobriety and relapse. Even so, with a combination of therapy, support, and persistence, around a third of people with AUD will maintain sobriety for at least a year and sometimes for decades.

Recognizing these commonalities can help you understand and cope with people who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, untreated alcoholism, or both. 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.

Setting Healthy Boundaries with an Alcoholic Narcissist

Participants were recruited through in-class and online announcements in undergraduate courses at a Midwestern university. Students between the ages of 18 and 25 were eligible to participate. Participants were told of the nature of the study and provided informed consent by agreeing to take the online survey. All procedures were approved by the institutional review board (IRB).

Narcissism is intense self-involvement to the extent that it makes the person overlook the needs of people around them. Although everybody may show narcissistic behavior occasionally, true narcissists often disregard other people and their feelings. In addition, they don’t seem to understand the effect their behavior has on other people. An individual may be an alcoholic narcissist, someone who has NPD and then develops alcohol addiction and dependence. In many other cases, an alcoholic doesn’t start with NPD. But their alcoholic personality leads them to act in ways that are similar to a narcissist.

Sober living

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