For instance, you can state, “if you continue to insult me I will not entertain this conversation until you can treat me with respect”. This indicates to the individual that you are not willing to accept being treated with disrespect and you will not engage in any degrading conversations. You do not need anyone’s permission to leave an unhealthy or toxic interaction. To leave potentially unsafe or compromising situations, you can say something like, “look at the time, I’m late”.

narcissism and alcoholism

Remember that a person with both alcoholic and narcissistic traits may need to get professional help before they can have a healthy relationship with you again. For a person to recover fully, they’ll generally need treatment that addresses both disorders. In fact, an alcoholic narcissist often can’t see things any way other than their own–this is where narcissistic personality disorder can come into play. Even when important parts of their life are suffering due to their decisions, in the co-occurrence of alcoholism and narcissistic personality disorder, the individual believes that everyone else is wrong.

More from Understanding Mental Health

Your phone can also be helpful in pretending to receive a call so you can excuse yourself. If you are comfortable in being more direct, you can confront the unhealthy treatment by saying, “I’m going to excuse myself. We can discuss this when you are ready to speak constructively”. The first thing we should do is define narcissism and alcoholism what an alcoholic is and what a narcissist is. An alcoholic can be defined as someone who has an addiction to alcohol, while a narcissist can be defined as someone who has an inflated sense of their own importance. Individuals who are dependent on alcohol constantly think about having an alcoholic beverage.

However, their dramatic, manipulative or entitled behaviors often announce their narcissism beyond a doubt. When it comes to alcohol addiction and narcissism, there are some uncanny similarities that can leave loved ones confused, frustrated, and emotionally drained. During cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a person identifies thought patterns that lead them toward abusive behaviors. With the help of a therapist, they work to overcome those patterns. Treatment for an alcohol use disorder can begin with an alcohol detox program. It involves the use of medications like naltrexone that decreases the impacts of withdrawal on the brain.

Treatment For Co-occurring Alcoholism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

A personality disorder is a type of mental illness where the person has a strict and unhealthy pattern of thinking, behaving, and functioning. People treated for addiction are more likely to have a personality disorder. Some individuals have both Narcissistic Personality Disorder and an active addiction. Coping with someone with a dual diagnosis can be more difficult than if that person suffered from only narcissism or untreated alcoholism. As with all personality disorders, NPD is a long-standing condition. In order to receive a diagnosis of NPD, someone needs to display the above symptoms over several years.

  • One such change might be to avoid substances like alcohol if they tend to trigger harmful behavior.
  • The complete sonnets and poems of Shakespeare (Shakespeare, 1912) recanted the Greek story of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection, while ignoring a chance for a real relationship.
  • In grandiose narcissists, alcohol use enhances their grandiosity.

Take our short alcohol quiz to learn where you fall on the drinking spectrum and if you might benefit from quitting or cutting back on alcohol. Someone with NPD may turn to alcohol when they do not get the praise they want. Narcissists reveal destructive behavior because of a lack of empathy and genuine emotions. “Personality disorder and substance use disorder — An update.” Mental Health & Prevention, December 2018. If your alcohol use is severe, you’ll likely need to go to an inpatient facility so that you can safely withdraw from alcohol.

Is AUD a Mental Illness?

Very little research has been conducted specifically on narcissism’s effect on problem recognition or a person’s readiness to change. If someone you know exhibits destructive, selfish behavior—and can’t be held accountable for it due to their drinking—it can be hard to decipher if you’re dealing with an alcoholic or a narcissist. After all, this behavior seems to fit the bill for both conditions. But that also means that both conditions can be treated through similar approaches.

  • However, remember that it will probably still be lopsided and unhealthy.
  • Typically, alcohol withdrawal symptoms happen for heavier drinkers.
  • While both conditions can be challenging, certain approaches can help individuals overcome the potential complications of these disorders.
  • In summary, whether alcohol is to blame or not, having a person with narcissistic traits in your life can be exhausting and upsetting.
  • Loved ones of both alcoholics and narcissists may withdraw emotionally or eventually leave the relationship.

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.

People with AUD, also known as alcoholism, can display patterns of narcissism, including self-absorption and an underlying craving for admiration. Following alcohol guidelines can help people stay within moderate levels of alcohol consumption. For females, it is not advisable to consume more than one unit of alcohol per day.