Personality disorders are mental health conditions involving pervasive and often destructive personality traits. The study commented that people who show grandiose traits may have feelings of importance in an environment of drinking where this quality may thrive. Narcissists with low self-esteem may gain acceptance from others or a sense of security through alcohol consumption or use it as a coping mechanism for dealing with distress.

A 2018 meta-analysis looked at the results of 62 studies and found that grandiose narcissism has a moderate association with increased social network use. It found that individuals with grandiose narcissism have more friends and followers, post more often, and spend more time on social media than other people. Both grandiose and vulnerable narcissism are strong predictors of alcohol-related problems, according to a 2018 study of 345 college students. A 2018 study found that people with personality disorders were more likely to have AUD at some point in their lives.

Treatment Options for Alcoholic Narcissists

Alternative models propose two or three factors named fearless dominance/boldness, self-centered impulsivity/disinhibition, and coldheartedness/meanness (63, 68). Structural models of narcissism place self-importance and entitlement—both aspects of antagonism—at the core of the construct (15, 16). Beyond that, a grandiose form, a socially dominant, agentic–antagonistic interpersonal style, and a vulnerable narcissism and alcoholism form, a neurotic–antagonistic style, can be distinguished (16). Our recent studies suggest that both aspects might be intertwined at high grandiosity (18, 19). Concurrent grandiosity and vulnerability are referred to as pathological narcissism (20). Therapists and experts on narcissism and alcohol addiction have observed that self-absorbed individuals often use drinking as a coping mechanism.

narcissism and alcoholism

This might include joining Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs that offer nonjudgmental peer support to others living with AUD. You can also join a local support group offered by the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI), which addresses substance abuse when NPD and other mental health disorders. Seek treatment and support if you or someone you know has alcohol use and narcissistic personality disorders. Lastly, don’t be afraid to set boundaries and find support in family and friends.

Understanding the Alcoholic Narcissist

The association remained intact even when researchers accounted for general psychological distress as a trigger for coping responses like alcohol use. Personality disorders and substance use disorders occur together about 22.6% of the time, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The outlook is even better in people with mental illness who abuse alcohol and other substances. With any mental health condition, the outlook is almost invariably better if you are treated than not treated. For instance, NPD and AUD both involve psychotherapy, but the formats for each can vary.

narcissism and alcoholism