Narcissism and Alcoholism: Is There a Link?

Individuals can discuss how NPD and AUD can affect the other with their doctor. NPD is a personality disorder, whereas AUD is a substance use disorder. With both conditions, the benefits of therapy depend on your willingness to work on yourself. To get started, contact a doctor or other healthcare professional, or reach out to a therapist. People with AUD or NPD might resist getting treatment or looking for help.

People who think that they may have an addiction or a personality disorder should consult a doctor or mental health professional for advice and treatment. Both grandiose and vulnerable narcissism are strong predictors of alcohol-related problems, according to a 2018 study of 345 college students. People with covert narcissism may also avoid social situations or relationships that lack clear benefits. People with covert narcissism “have to spend a lot of time making sure they don’t feel bad feelings, that they don’t feel imperfect or ashamed or limited or small,” he explains. Covert narcissists may not be aware of their toxic behaviors or they may not know their behavior is stemming from a personality disorder.

Signs Of Alcoholism

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are closely linked and can occur together as a dual diagnosis. NPD increases the risk of alcohol abuse as a means to escape difficult emotions. While diagnosis and treatment can be challenging, studies have shown that the successful treatment of a mental illness can lead to alcohol recovery in two out of every three cases. People with covert narcissism tend to use passive-aggressive behavior to belittle others and bolster their own egos. Examples of passive-aggressive behavior include derisory remarks masked as jokes, silent treatment in relationships, or refusing to do tasks they consider beneath them.

  • While the latter demands to be the center of attention, the former feels slighted that they’re not, or gets attention by playing the victim.
  • Vulnerable narcissism was a significant predictor of problem recognition.
  • 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).
  • Again, if care is not coordinated by a qualified mental health professional, the overlapping treatments can lead to drug interactions, unintended side effects, and the possible abandonment of treatment.

Overt behaviors are those that can be easily observed by others, such as those of the traditional narcissist described earlier. Covert behaviors, however, are those that are more subtle and a bit less obvious to others. There is much research to suggest a strong link between narcissism and problematic sexual behavior, notably infidelity and sexual assault.

What are some common phrases used by covert narcissists?

Reach out to loved ones you trust who can walk with you through the recovery journal. 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.

covert narcissism and alcoholism

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. Relationships with a covert narcissist who needs to overpower and have control in the relationship will eventually cause the other partner emotional pain. The overt narcissist is the one who easily shows self-importance and exaggerates accomplishments while seeking admiration from his audience. Exploiting others to serve one’s self is done without concern for and a lack of empathy for others.

What’s the Single Greatest Danger of Covert Narcissism?

A 2019 article in Frontiers in Psychiatry looks at the relationship between the problematic use of substances and narcissism, concluding that self-esteem plays a major role. As a result, these individuals require others to affirm covert narcissism and alcoholism their importance and value. Once they receive this affirmation, they experience grandiosity and may behave in an arrogant and entitled way. However, without affirmation, the same individual may feel depressed and ashamed.

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