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


The individual would show physical and psychological urges or cravings to drink. They may find it hard to stop drinking once they start. An example of this would be if the individual went to a party and stated they were only having a couple of drinks but late drinks more than intended. Alcoholics are not always narcissists, and narcissists aren’t always alcoholics. However, alcoholism can cause some people to develop narcissistic traits. Alcoholism is used to describe the chemical and psychological dependence on alcohol that a person may have. It’s a progressive illness, meaning it gets worse over time.

What personality disorder is associated with alcoholism?

Similarly, the types of personality disorders, including their combinations, found to be related to alcoholism are very heterogeneous. The most consistent have been: histrionic/dependent, paranoid, dependent/paranoid/ obsessive-compulsive, narcissistic/avoidant, antisocial, borderline, and avoidant/borderline (54).

In both NPD and AUD, childhood trauma — including abuse and neglect — may be a risk factor. Further research into the causes of AUD might help experts develop more treatment options.

Do You Know an Alcoholic Narcissist?

Looking for addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one? Get started by speaking with one of our compassionate treatment specialists. Grabarek J, Bourke M, Van Hasselt V. Empirically-derived MCMI-III personality profiles of incarcerated female substance abusers. By the same token, alcoholics sacrifice their health, well-being, reputation, relationships and self-esteem unless they seek help. They are extremely self-interested and often don’t think of other people’s feelings and emotions.

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You couldn’t cut down on alcohol or stop drinking although you wanted to. People who are genetically predisposed to experience unpleasant side effects of drinking are less likely to drink often, making AUD unlikely. It seems that many people who have NPD might also have AUD, but it’s not clear why. As such, we don’t yet know whether one causes the other. People with NPD and people with AUD might have some symptoms in common. It’s worth noting that the DSM-5-TR doesn’t use the term “alcoholism,” but the term is still used colloquially to refer to AUD.

How do you tell if someone is definitely a narcissist?

Drinking when you have been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder can be additionally dangerous. Drinking alcohol lowers inhibitions and can increase other narcissist behaviors including self-absorption, denial, illusions of grandeur, and destructiveness. These behaviors can lead to poor choices, including drinking and driving or excessive consumption, which can be fatal. This article discusses the similarities and differences between people with narcissistic personality disorder and people with alcohol use disorder and where and when they overlap.

Both alcoholics and narcissists suffer from severe cravings. Alcoholics crave alcohol, while narcissists crave attention and the feeling of superiority. CBT is an evidence-based therapy that teaches methods to improve interpersonal communication and coping skills. This is done by helping the individual recognize how their faulty thinking patterns affect their behaviors.

Alcohol use disorder

They may pretend to be nice for a short while to get other people to leave them alone. Even if their behaviors hurt others, alcoholics do what they feel they need to continue drinking. At the core of most narcissistic personality traits and traits of alcoholism is a deep insecurity and low self-esteem that drives their self-destructive behaviors. Convinced of their low self-worth, they act out instead of create healthy relationships with themselves and with others. If you feel like you or someone you care about might be showing signs of being an alcoholic narcissist, there is hope, and there is no reason to be ashamed. Alcoholism is a very serious condition, and without treatment, it can lead to homelessness, failed relationships, and even early death.

vulnerable narcissists

But Narcissistic Personality Disorder has specific signs, symptoms, and treatments. NPD is a personality disorder, whereas AUD is a substance use disorder.

It should be noted that are alcoholics narcissists is a trait, but can also be part of a personality disorder. People who are at the highest end of the spectrum are the people who are classified as NPD. Others with narcissistic traits may fit on the lower end of the narcissistic spectrum. There are differences between an alcohol use disorder and NPD.

  • Narcissism may lead to alcoholism in some patients due to their grandiose view of themselves and denial of a negative outcome occurring.
  • Even when an alcoholic doesn’t have a full diagnosis of NPD, they act in ways that are similar to a narcissist.
  • Grandiose narcissism was a positive predictor of alcohol consumption and a positive (i.e., good) evaluation of alcohol-related problems.
  • All content created by Alcohol Rehab Help is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert.
  • It is important to practice self-care, recognize that their behavior is not your fault and set boundaries to prevent falling victim to manipulative tactics.

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