Alcoholism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)


Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) in the simplest of terms means that a person has a high level of regard for themselves. But it’s more than an inflated sense of confidence. It also means that they think only of themselves at the expense of others. Many times, they struggle to sympathize or understand where others are coming from because the self-importance overshadows everything. NPD alone can create complications in life, but adding alcoholism or addiction to the mix can cause additional issues that need to be overcome.

When a mental disorder and an addiction are coexisting, like in the struggle of an alcoholic narcissist, focusing on treatment of the alcoholism alone may not be effective. Instead, the goal should be to address both of the patient’s needs simultaneously in order to achieve the best possible solution. At WhiteSands Treatment Center, our dual-diagnosis treatment model offers help for the combination of alcoholism and narcissistic personality disorder. Dual-diagnosis treatment is an ideal option for dealing with narcissism and alcoholism. Treating the narcissism alone doesn’t necessarily help with alcoholism. At the same time, treating an alcoholic without taking a closer look at NPD can be futile, as the person may continue to see substance abuse as a way to cope. If the goal is successful substance abuse recovery, taking a closer look at each concern and treating them at the same time is a more efficient and effective choice.

If you aren’t sure if you are a narcissistic alcoholic, take a close look at these symptoms of NPD:

  • Overly important opinion of self
  • Selfish pursuit of desires and goals
  • Self-interest is the key factor in decision-making
  • Constantly seeking out admiration and attention from others
  • Reactions to criticism range from extreme anger to excessive shame

These characteristics, coupled with symptoms of alcoholism, make for a dangerous combination. From the loss of relationships to the destruction of your life, these two things can be detrimental to your future. It can be difficult to admit that you fit the bill of an alcoholic narcissist. No one wants to believe that they can’t see past themselves to understand those around them. However, you can get help and start over in a private setting.

Treatment for narcissism and alcoholism involves several different programs. Patients benefit from counseling. Here, they can speak freely and get some perspective from a professional. At the same time, they can begin to learn things like empathy for others as they work through their personality disorder and relationship with alcohol. An accredited facility will have experienced personnel on hand to help a person navigate this process.

Things go one step further when group therapy is introduced. This is an opportunity to put those skills to the test, interacting with others who are in a similar situation. This can be beneficial because it gives a patient the chance to practice some of the things they have learned before heading back home after rehabilitation. In this setting, there is room to express sympathy and understanding for others instead of a completely internal focus.

If you’ve started to see the signs of alcoholism in your own life and you can see some similarities between yourself and the symptoms of NPD, it’s time to seek out treatment for both. Our personalized care starts with a free clinical assessment, making it possible to shape a treatment program just for you. If you believe you are a narcissistic alcoholic or you want a better understanding of how the two relate to one another, fill out our contact form. At WhiteSands, you’ll find that our high-quality center offers the ideal environment for you to thrive and get sober.