You would be surprised to know that narcissism or narcissist personality disorder is among the top 10 personality disorders in humans. It has also been observed that nearly 5% of the entire population of our country suffers from NPD. The experts define this disorder as “an overinflated sense of self-importance.” Such a disorder has also been found to have ties with substance addiction.
Let’s learn more about how NPD is connected with substance addiction and what are the ways to get it treated.
What is NPD?
NPD or narcissistic personality disorder is a complex mental health condition where an individual loses emotional attachment to others. They develop an urge to inflict pain on themselves and others without realizing its impact. NPD is a difficult disorder to treat and it involves the following symptoms:
- Their only concern is themselves
- An immense sense of self, oversized ego with a sense of entitlement
- Exploits other peoples’ weaknesses
- Mood swings
- Unpredictable anger
- Unable to accept correction and criticism
- Boastful and arrogant
- No guilt for unpleasant behavior
- Lacks empathy and compassion
- Manipulating others to fulfill their needs
People suffering from NPD often target people who can feel their ego and bow to their power. These are the victims and are often harmed in more than one way.
Connection Between Narcissism and Addiction
Narcissists cannot easily accept negative feelings and emotions like guilt, shame, etc. Therefore, they are always in search of a way to keep these feelings at bay. During such situations, they often resort to substances to regain that feeling of superiority.
One of the common substances of abuse among people with NPD is alcohol. It brings back their sense of superiority and that they can rule over others. While under the influence of alcohol, the traits of narcissists become more potent and can be cruel to the victims.
The personalities of an alcoholic and a narcissist are often the same. Both resort to alcohol to numb the negative feelings of guilt and shame. They feel vulnerable when their egos are hurt and drink alcohol to regain their lost power.
Treating Alcoholism and Narcissism
Such a state of dual diagnosis needs specialized treatment. The treatment includes
- Group sessions
- 12-step program
- Holistic methods of treatment