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How does alcohol affect a person with a narcissistic disorder?

Narcissists can become alcoholics, and alcoholics can be especially narcissistic when they drink. What are the traits of narcissistic personality disorder? Learn about the noticeable symptoms and how to get help for oneself or a loved one.

Narcissists often shame others to cover their own inadequacies. For alcoholics, drinking numbs or masks the shame they carry. 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. CBT is an evidence-based therapy that teaches methods to improve interpersonal communication and coping skills.

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

Gaher R, Simons J. Evaluations and expectancies of alcohol and marijuana problems among college students. Aas H, Leigh B, Anderssen N, Jakobsen R. Two-year longitudinal study of alcohol expectancies and drinking among Norwegian adolescents. Phillips J, Heesacker M. College student admission of alcoholism and intention to change alcohol-related behavior. Freis S, Brown A, Carroll P, Arkin R. Shame, rage, and unsuccessful motivated reasoning in vulnerable narcissism. The results speak to the effects that different types of narcissism have on alcohol use, alcohol problems and attitudes towards alcohol problems among young adults.

Those close to both narcissists and alcoholics experience deprivation, rejection, and feeling manipulated. In addition, over time, both narcissists and alcoholics sacrifice their well-being, reputation, relationships, and self-worth in pursuit of feeling superior or the highs from drinking. A person fighting alcoholism sometimes struggles to see things from their loved ones’ perspectives, which is similar tonarcissistic personality disorder. Alcohol abuse can cause people to develop narcissistic personality disorder as they become defensive about their substance use and whether they have an addiction. When people have a mental health condition that co-occurs with a substance misuse disorder, such as AUD, doctors may refer to this as dual diagnosis. A 2019 study looked at the link between narcissism and alcohol consumption in a questionnaire of 345 college students.

Dual Diagnosis Treatments

You spent a lot of time drinking or being sick from drinking. You couldn’t cut down on alcohol or stop drinking although you wanted to. It seems that many people who have NPD might also have AUD, but it’s not clear why. As such, narcissism and alcoholism we don’t yet know whether one causes the other. People with NPD and people with AUD might have some symptoms in common. PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that affects people who have witnessed or experienced traumatic events.

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