Narcissism and Devaluing Others: An Exploration of Impaired Control Over Drinking as a Mediating Mechanism of Alcohol-Related Problems PMC

Rates of NPD were significantly greater among men than women with alcohol and drug abuse and dependence, nicotine dependence, MDD, bipolar I disorder, and anxiety disorders except panic disorder with agoraphobia. While these findings are novel, they should be considered an initial investigation of these associations. This study has several limitations including the use of a cross-sectional design and a sample consisting of college students in emerging adulthood. Future investigators should be encouraged to examine this pattern of relationships with a sample of individuals in treatment for alcohol use disorders (AUDs).

are most narcissists alcoholics

Learning to recognize these tendencies can help you better cope with narcissistic behaviors and establish your own boundaries. When seeking treatment for alcohol addiction, it is important to locate a treatment program that offers a medically supervised detox program to help manage the dangerous withdrawal symptoms of alcohol. A person struggling with alcoholism can appear to dismiss friends and family to spend time with others that support their need to drink excessively. To family, it can appear that their loved one is putting these newfound friends ahead of them (similar to what a narcissist would do).

Grandiose and Vulnerable Narcissism: Associations with Alcohol Use, Alcohol Problems and Problem Recognition

However, without affirmation, the same individual may feel depressed and ashamed. Therefore, the presence or absence of external validations of their value determines whether a person may have the traits of grandiose narcissism or vulnerable narcissism. It is important to note, however, that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) does not distinguish between types of narcissism. The idea of vulnerable versus grandiose narcissism comes from the psychodynamic idea that people with narcissistic traits believe they need to be perfect to be okay.

Those respondents consenting to participate after receiving this information were interviewed. The research protocol, including informed consent procedures, received full ethical review and approval from the U.S. This was measured by the Readiness to Change Ruler for Decreased Drinking.37 Participants rated their level on the ruler ranging from 0 (Never think about my drinking) to 10 (My drinking has changed. I now drink less than before). The Daily Drinking Questionnaire – Revised (DDQ-R) assessed typical drinks per week in the past 30 days.35 Participants gave the number of standard drinks typically consumed and number of hours typically spent drinking for each day in an average week.

Treating Alcoholism and Narcissism

Both are mental health conditions that can damage relationships, cause personal distress, and undermine a person’s quality of life and sense of well-being. Common narcissistic traits of NPD include grandiosity, inflated self-image and self-worth, as well as a lack of empathy. We were unable to reinterview respondents to the Wave 1 interview who were deceased or covert narcissism and alcoholism unable or unwilling to participate. Although the NESARC included a group quarters sampling frame, some special populations were not included in the sample, e.g., individuals under age 18 years and those incarcerated or hospitalized during the interview periods. Both grandiose narcissism and vulnerable narcissism show a strong link to substance use disorders.

  • With NPD, for example, there are no drugs specifically used for the treatment of the personality disorder, but antidepressants or anxiolytics may be prescribed if depression or anxiety is present.
  • There are two types of narcissism, both of which may lead to tendencies in people that can, in turn, encourage addictive behaviors.
  • With that said, there are challenges to delivering appropriate care for the dual diagnosis.
  • Rates of alcohol abuse and dependence and any drug use disorder were greater among men with NPD than among women with NPD, whereas women with NPD had greater rates of MDD and anxiety disorders except panic disorder without agoraphobia and social phobia.

Alternative models propose two or three factors named fearless dominance/boldness, self-centered impulsivity/disinhibition, and coldheartedness/meanness (63, 68). At variance with 1 epidemiologic study39 that found no sex differences in prevalence of NPD, this study found higher rates of NPD among men than among women. No clinical or epidemiologic studies have examined the relationship between race-ethnicity and NPD. The absence of such data is striking,79 given the substantial extent to which culture is intertwined with personality.

3. Narcissism and Alcohol Use

Threatened egotism was listed as a factor that motivated increased alcohol use. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is one of the Cluster B personality disorders, which are characterized by unpredictable and emotional behavior. Personality disorders are grouped into clusters based on similar traits.

It can help them learn ways to develop empathy for others, assess their capabilities realistically, and improve their ability to regulate their emotions. 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. This article discusses the similarities and differences between people with narcissistic personality disorder and those with alcohol use disorder. Taken together, self-regulatory mechanisms—particularly the regulation of a chronically instable self-esteem—play a major role in the relation between narcissism and addictive behavior.

Similarities and Differences: Narcissism and Alcoholism

However, it’s recommended that both conditions are treated at the same time to improve your likelihood of recovery. Relapse is a common experience among people who are recovering from AUD. You can take steps to prevent relapse, such as recognizing your triggers and joining a support group. If you do relapse, try to seek help again — it’s still possible to make a full recovery.

are most narcissists alcoholics