Author: Gary Jackson

Narcissism and Alcoholism: Similarities, Differences, Diagnosis

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. Narcissism may leave people more prone to problematic substance use, including alcohol use disorder, as well as other forms of addiction, such as sex addiction and social media addiction. Although it may be impossible to prevent NPD, people can take steps to reduce the risk of developing additional disorders through the understanding that it is common for substance misuse disorders to co-occur. Also, people with AUD might seem to behave similarly to people with narcissistic traits.

Narcissism is a personality disorder that shares many common traits with addiction. There are two types of narcissism, both of which may lead to tendencies in people that can, in turn, encourage addictive behaviors. Narcissistic personality disorder can be one of the more challenging mental health conditions to treat. Even with therapy, progress can be slow in changing the core behaviors.

Narcissism and social media addiction

A lack of empathy makes it hard for someone with covert narcissism to step into other people’s shoes. When you’re constantly analyzing or critiquing your own self-image, it can be hard to connect with other people in genuine ways. In some cases, you may appear hyper-focused on your own needs and wants, while at times, disregarding the needs of others.

covert narcissism and alcoholism

Five outcome variables (alcohol use, problems, and problem recognition, expectancies and evaluations) were tested in steps. For each regression model, gender, social desirability, and alcohol use (in the models where it wasn’t the outcome) were entered at Step 1. Though age was collected, it was not controlled for due to the sample being so homogenous. At Step 2 the types of narcissism, vulnerable and grandiose, were simultaneously entered into the model. Non-drinkers were excluded from the alcohol problems model and participants that did not complete the questionnaire for the outcome variable were excluded from the appropriate model causing different degrees of freedom.

Overlapping signs and symptoms

However, treatments like psychotherapy, group support, and self-care strategies can help people with either condition feel much better. However, NPD includes other traits, such as needing constant praise and special treatment, reacting negatively to criticism, and manipulating others. People with NPD might be unwilling or unable to recognize others’ feelings and needs. Although alcohol misuse and AUD can cause someone to display narcissist-like behavior, this behavior might change when they’re sober or in recovery. People with covert narcissism often use several tactics to gain control over others in a relationship. People with either grandiose narcissism or NPD often envy other people who have things they feel they deserve, including wealth, power, or status.

  • Personality disorders are grouped into clusters based on similar traits.
  • If you think you’re misusing alcohol, or if you think you have NPD, reach out to a mental health professional.
  • Vulnerable narcissism was a significant predictor of problem recognition.
  • In addition, future research could include more ethnically diverse samples to determine if the associations found here differ for students of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease the stigma around mental health issues. Covert narcissism is more strongly linked to introversion than other types of narcissism. “If you are concerned that you may be causing a problem in these scenarios, a therapist can help you feel more at home with yourself and figure out why you rely on certain negative behaviors,” says Dr. Albers. You may need to step back completely and cut off contact with someone in more extreme cases where you feel unsafe or uncomfortable approaching another person about their actions and behavior. “Covert narcissists get their attention in very subtle and sneaky ways, and they often may not even know that they’re doing this,” says Dr. Albers. Overt narcissism is what we tend to think of as the standard textbook definition of NPD.

Understanding the Connection Between Narcissism and Alcoholism

Anxiety and depression are much more common with covert narcissism than overt narcissism, but it might also be much more obvious. Narcissism and alcoholism are two distinct conditions but share some traits. Many people with narcissism may also have an addiction to alcohol, sex, drugs, or social media. However, not everyone with narcissism has an addiction and vice versa. There is much research to suggest a strong link between narcissism and problematic sexual behavior, notably infidelity and sexual assault.

covert narcissism and alcoholism

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). If alcohol misuse begins to impact your life, health, or safety, you might have AUD. While people with narcissistic tendencies might seem like bad apples that should be avoided, Joseph points out the importance of having sensitivity to narcissistic dynamics.

Grandiose Narcissism and Alcohol Outcomes

In a nutshell, grandiose narcissists may feel proud of their excessive alcohol use, and the problems it can cause, if it makes them stand out. Meanwhile, vulnerable narcissists deal with inner shame that can make them more likely to develop alcohol abuse problems later on as a way to cope. That’s what makes covert narcissism a little more dangerous and a little more difficult to manage. In some cases, a covert narcissist may even be better at revenge because they keep their true feelings hidden by suppressing them.

  • You might also consider seeing a therapist who can provide you with coping tools and a means to sort out your feelings.
  • Like overt narcissism, covert narcissism may have roots in genetics, childhood trauma and learned behavior picked up from parents or other caregivers.
  • People with narcissistic personality disorders may wish to control their sexual partner’s behavior for their own satisfaction, and they may have an inflated sense of sexual entitlement.
  • If alcohol misuse begins to impact your life, health, or safety, you might have AUD.
  • People with covert narcissism might make dismissive or sarcastic remarks and act as if they’re above the criticism.