Narcissism and Addiction: The Determining Factors

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Last Updated on April 25, 2021 by

Before discussing narcissism, you have to realize that most people on this planet have self-love. That’s the quality that gives them confidence and magnetism, and it’s the kind of personality trait that makes a person appear attractive or even powerful. Also, humility contributes to the well-being of an adult, as it teaches us to respect others and balance our self-interests against societal responsibilities.” In situations where the balance is upset and an individual cares less about others than about themselves, narcissism may be a factor, and this may lead to addiction.

Similarly, those with narcissism often struggle with avoiding overwhelming psychological anxiety and pain, resulting in drug abuse. A lot of addicts have narcissistic qualities.

You probably think of them as having narcissism if you know someone who seems enthralled by their charm and greatness. Occasionally, it’s okay for people to be somewhat self-centered, but if they are committing narcissistic personality disorder, it’s an entirely different story. This person with narcissism will typically do whatever they need to protect their frail conception of themselves, often by overdoing it and cultivating a bond of admiration.

What is Narcissism?

Like the narrow lens of a microscope, it narrows the person’s view of the world and leads them to focus on it very self-centered. Narcissism is a character trait defining a person’s self-defense and their view of others. A person who develops this trait often finds it hard to recognize that they are not unique in the world. It occurs when denial of one’s own identity is coupled with an inability to relate to others and a desire for single-mindedness and self-sufficiency.

A person predisposed to narcissism can still become “weakened” through a variety of psychological treatments, enabling them to experience a quality of life or a fulfilling relationship. When a person feels softened, they are then able to adopt a comprehensive lifetime recovery program instead of feeling withdrawn and separated from the medicinal strength of others.

In the DSM-V, the diagnosis criteria of pathological narcissism were revised recently. When looking for victims of pathological narcissism, clinicians look for signs of:

  • They are their Possessions: People with narcissism who define themselves by the outside intake their self-worth from outside recognition, recognition, and affection from others.
  • Their Emotional State is Volatile: An individual with this tendency only finds happiness when being praised and recognized as “special” and has a negative attitude toward criticism if they feel it. When he or she receives criticism, he or she will become angry and react irrationally.
  • External Forces Drive them: The person’s decisions are driven by commercial principles as opposed to spiritual principles. They lack a moral compass or an intuitive compass.
  • They have Shut off their Emotions: Person exemplifies narcissistic tendencies, in which they consider themselves superior to others. They only exert empathy and compassion when it works to further their agenda.
  • Manipulation is their Strategy: Despite being nice and charismatic, the person is only interested in using others to further their end.
  • They’re Too Grandiose: Individuals who have this attitude use it to help them build themselves up, as well as see themselves as special and unique.
  • They have a Feeling of Entitlement: People believe they ought to be given special treatment and rewards without paying dues for them or having to earn them.
  • They Demand Continuous Attention: An individual like this is always looking for outside validation and desires to be the center of attention.

Personalities characterized by narcissism tend to gain admiration from others while still keeping a strong emotional distance from them. When someone is getting too close to them, they are more likely to exhibit narcissistic behavior that offends them. Their behavior often creates a distance between them. The narcissist will disregard reality and maintain their elevated self-identity by blaming other people for their anger.

The Following Characteristics Tend to Characterize People with Narcissism:

  • Bragging
  • Conspicuous
  • Emotionally unavailable
  • Possessive
  • Degrading others

Are Narcissism and Abuse of Drugs Related?

Narcissism is a personality disorder with a cycle that is quite similar to addiction. At the outset of addiction, cravings are present, tolerance grows, and withdrawal occurs. They feel superior and are constantly seeking new and better triumphs that lead to greater glory. Narcissists experience significant distress if their hard-earned admiration is not received, such as through criticism, indifference, or disrespect.

A Comparison of Narcissism and Addictive Behaviors

Often, individuals dependent on external factors to fill an emptiness inside have narcissism or are drug addicts. Narcissism people thrive on admiration from other people that can be genuine or imagined. They create achievements so that they will be congratulated or even envious of them, and act in ways that result in people paying attention to them. The same way an addict ensures their drug supply is constant and secure so is this accomplished.

Nevertheless, the recognition and respect that they require for narcissism have increased over time, just like a drug addict needs to maintain his/her dose. When they feel that the amount of attention and admiration they receive is not enough, they become anxious and, ultimately, depressed.

Narcissism Shares Additional Characteristics with Drug Obsession, Including:

  • Medication by self
  • Avoiding emotions
  • Embarrassment
  • Denial
  • Lessening
  • Normalizing
  • Criticizing
  • Feeling low about oneself
  • Dominating behavior
  • Codependency
  • Black and white thoughts
  • Violence/fury

It is the ultimate truth that addicts and those with narcissism only consider the possibility of rewarding their egos and don’t have any regard for the potential consequences.

The Effects of Narcissistic Substance Abuse. What Happens?

A co-occurring disorder, or dual diagnosis, occurs when a person suffers from both an addiction and a mental disorder. A common feature of narcissism is substance abuse, so treating it comprehensively often gives the best outcomes.

Many of the same elements of narcissism and addiction treatment programs are included in an inpatient dual diagnosis program. However, therapy involves addressing both issues, with more stress on intake evaluation, which includes assessing one’s needs before creating an appropriate treatment plan.

Complete Therapy Regularly Includes:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT
  • Counseling
  • 12 Step program
  • Full treatments
  • Psychodynamic treatment

Dangers of Drug Excess

As an addict’s tolerance for drugs and alcohol grows, they will increasingly need more of the substances, and it’s this need that puts them in grave danger of overdosing. Over the past year, approximately 64,000 U.S. citizens were killed by drug overdoses, while another 2,000 people died from alcohol poisoning. This illustrates just how critical untreated overdoses can be.

Those with narcissism often develop addictions to drugs and alcohol, making them at an increased risk of overdosing. Their excessive pride also prevents them from asking for help when in distress. If someone with narcissism appears to be overdosing, friends should call 911 and seek emergency support immediately, since NPD sufferers are unlikely to seek help for themselves or admit their own need for help.

Treatment Choices

Some highly effective techniques enable patients suffering from narcissistic beliefs and behaviors to gain insight into their traits and better relate to themselves and others. Unfortunately, the most significant obstacle to the healing process is the very personal characteristics that caused their issues to begin with.

The Most Commonly Abused Drugs

It is no particular drug that narcissistic individuals take in more than any other. Instead, people with this type of personality tend to use the same types of substances that drug users tend to use, including:

  • Liquor
  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Prescription medicines
  • Methamphetamine

A person with narcissism appears to take these drugs differently than non-narcissistic people. This is explained in an article published in Psychology Today. Since they believe they are extraordinary and can handle any challenge that can come their way, nothing bad can happen to them. They might consume huge amounts of drugs at once without considering that this behavior is risky at all; they’re confident that they won’t get addicted and that it can’t happen to them.

Despite their denial, individuals having narcissism are just as unwitting to addiction signs. When they realize they are addicted, they have to admit that something has changed. Instead, narcissistic individuals think everything is already figured out.

Specialized Remedy

Alcoholics Anonymous is built on a core principle that individuals have to admit their powerlessness over their substance abuse, and it is this surrender that gives way to a spiritual awakening. However, people who suffer from narcissism are often unable to comprehend the idea of their powerlessness and submission to a higher power. As a result, people like this might not do well in a standard treatment program. They think they are superior to others, and they cannot understand why they cannot fix everything by themselves.

Healing from narcissism occurs more effectively if people are taken through a process of healing at a slow and respectful pace. People might have several introductory sessions, giving them the chance to get to know their therapist, and might be taken through a conversation in which their contradictory behaviors are revealed. 

Those who claim the addiction is under control may be asked to explain the 10 parking tickets, 2 speeding tickets, and 3 arrests that have occurred in the past year. Sobriety may be easier to maintain in the long run with this kind of therapy.

Kindly place a call to us if you intend to talk to a professional regarding someone that suffers from narcissism and addiction. Our experts are ever ready to provide the support you require to start communicating and permit the treatment to start. Reach us today to find out more about narcissism.