Narcissism And Alcoholism

Estimated reading time: 36 minute(s)

Alcoholism and narcissism are two distinct psychological conditions that can significantly impact individuals and their relationships. While they are separate disorders, there can be instances where they coexist, leading to complex challenges for those affected.

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a chronic condition characterized by an individual’s excessive and compulsive consumption of alcohol, despite harmful consequences. It is a form of addiction that affects the brain, leading to a loss of control over alcohol consumption and an increased tolerance for its effects. Alcoholism can result in physical, mental, and social problems, including liver damage, impaired judgment, relationship difficulties, and financial issues.

On the other hand, narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are often excessively preoccupied with their achievements, beauty, or intelligence. They may exploit or disregard the feelings and needs of those around them. They may exhibit grandiose behaviors, require excessive attention and praise, and struggle with maintaining healthy relationships.

In some cases, alcoholism and narcissism can intersect. The combination can severely affect the individual’s health, social, and professional life. It can also affect others, including the family and friends of the narcissistic alcoholic person, equally. In many cases, it may be crucial for loved ones to maintain distance from the affected person to minimize risks and issues. If you struggle with alcoholism and narcissism, seeking help before both conditions worsen is better.

How Is Narcissism Connected To Drinking?

Alcoholism and narcissism can be linked in several ways, as both conditions can interact and reinforce each other, exacerbating the negative consequences for individuals and their relationships. Following are some of how both conditions are connected:


People with narcissistic traits may turn to alcohol as a form of self-medication. Alcohol can temporarily alleviate insecurity, anxiety, or depression, providing confidence and relief from emotional pain. By numbing their emotions, individuals with narcissistic tendencies may rely on alcohol to maintain their grandiose self-image and mask their underlying insecurities.

Impaired judgment and self-control

Alcohol impairs judgment and inhibitions, which can intensify narcissistic behaviors. Under the influence of alcohol, individuals with narcissistic tendencies may become more self-centered, arrogant, and impulsive. They may engage in reckless or attention-seeking behaviors without considering the consequences, further reinforcing their narcissistic self-perception.

Reinforcement of entitlement

Narcissistic people often feel entitled and believe they deserve special treatment. Alcohol can amplify these feelings, as it causes a sense of invincibility and entitlement to engage in excessive drinking or demanding behavior. The reinforcement of entitlement can lead to a cycle where alcohol abuse fuels narcissistic tendencies and vice versa.

Relationship difficulties

 Both alcoholism and narcissism can strain relationships. Individuals with narcissistic traits may struggle to maintain healthy and meaningful connections with others due to their self-centeredness, lack of empathy, and need for constant admiration. Alcoholism exacerbates these challenges by causing erratic behavior, emotional volatility, and broken promises. The combination can lead to deteriorating relationships, as loved ones may struggle to cope with the emotional rollercoaster caused by both conditions.

Underlying emotional vulnerabilities

 Both alcoholism and narcissism can stem from underlying emotional vulnerabilities, such as low self-esteem, trauma, or unresolved issues from the past. These vulnerabilities may contribute to the development of both conditions or make individuals more susceptible to their co-occurrence.

Are alcoholic narcissists generally? No, but if you are diagnosed with both conditions, it is essential to seek professional treatment. Since alcoholism and narcissism are both complex conditions, getting treatment at a rehabilitation center may be necessary.

Treatment For Narcissism And Alcohol Addiction – Joining A Rehab Center

Treating individuals with co-occurring alcoholism and narcissism requires a comprehensive and integrated approach. Rehab centers specializing in dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders can provide the necessary support and treatment options to address both conditions effectively. Here are some key components of treatment for alcoholism and narcissism at a rehab:

  • Comprehensive assessment: A thorough evaluation is conducted to evaluate the severity of alcoholism and narcissistic traits in the individual. The assessment helps understand the person’s challenges and guides the development of an individualized treatment plan.
  • Detoxification: If the individual is physically dependent on alcohol, a medically supervised detoxification process may be necessary to manage withdrawal symptoms safely. Medical professionals monitor the individual’s condition and provide necessary medications and support during this initial phase of treatment.
  • Individual therapy: One-on-one therapy sessions with trained therapists or counselors are essential to treatment. Individual therapy helps individuals explore the underlying causes of their alcoholism and narcissistic traits, develop healthier coping strategies, and work toward personal growth and self-awareness. Therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) may be used to address specific issues and promote positive behavioral changes.
  • Group therapy: Group therapy allows individuals to connect with peers who share similar struggles. It provides a supportive and non-judgmental environment where participants can share their experiences, learn from others, and develop interpersonal skills. Group therapy can help individuals with co-occurring alcoholism and narcissism build empathy, improve communication, and receive feedback from others.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment: A rehab specializing in dual diagnosis offers specialized programs to address both alcoholism and narcissism simultaneously. Such an integrated approach acknowledges the interconnectedness of the two conditions. It ensures that treatment plans effectively target the unique challenges associated with each.
  • Psychoeducation: Education about alcoholism and narcissism is crucial for individuals and their loved ones. Psychoeducation sessions provide information about the nature of these disorders, their impact on individuals and relationships, and strategies for managing symptoms and maintaining recovery. Knowledge empowers individuals to understand their condition and make informed choices.
  • Relapse prevention: Relapse prevention strategies are essential to treatment. Individuals learn to identify triggers, develop coping skills, and create a relapse prevention plan to maintain sobriety and manage narcissistic tendencies. Ongoing support, including aftercare programs and support groups, can be beneficial in preventing relapse and promoting long-term recovery.
  • Family involvement: Involving family members in the treatment process can enhance outcomes and provide a supportive network for the individual. Family therapy sessions help address relationship issues, improve communication, and educate loved ones about alcoholism and narcissism. Family involvement can contribute to healing and create a more supportive environment post-treatment.

Treating alcoholism and narcissism at a rehab requires a customized and holistic approach that addresses the complexities of both conditions. Individuals can work towards recovery, personal growth, and healthier relationships by integrating various therapeutic modalities and providing support. Professional guidance and a supportive space are instrumental in helping individuals overcome the challenges associated with co-occurring alcoholism and narcissism.

How To Deal With A Narcissistic Alcoholic Husband?

Dealing with a narcissistic alcoholic partner can be challenging and emotionally draining. Additionally, it can be unsafe and potentially dangerous, so you should always stay cautious and take particular measures. When dealing with a narcissist and alcohol addiction, establish clear boundaries and communicate them assertively. Make it known what behaviors are unacceptable and enforce consequences if those boundaries are crossed. Stick to your boundaries consistently to establish a sense of stability and self-respect.

After you have set boundaries, inform your support network of trusted friends, family, or support groups who can provide empathy, guidance, and understanding. Make sure you have people who can listen to your concerns and provide emotional support during this challenging time. By doing this, you can get help in case your partner’s behavior becomes physically or emotionally abusive. In such a situation, consider contacting a domestic violence hotline or seeking professional help to create a safety plan.

If you think your partner’s behavior and tendencies have changed suddenly, you can learn about their conditions to understand their struggles and behaviors. Educating yourself can help you develop strategies to cope with the challenges you may encounter and provide you with insights on how to approach difficult situations.

You may also suggest individual therapy for your partner to address their alcoholism and narcissistic tendencies. However, remember that treatment can only be effective if they are willing to acknowledge their issues and actively engage in the therapeutic process.

While helping your partner, refrain from enabling their addictive and narcissistic behaviors. This includes not making excuses for their actions, covering up for their mistakes, or taking responsibility for their problems. Encourage them to take accountability for their actions and seek help.

Dealing with a narcissistic and alcoholic partner can be difficult. It requires great courage, even if your partner is willing to change. While helping your partner, do not neglect your well-being and practice self-care. Engage in activities that bring you joy, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and take time for yourself. Engaging in self-care helps you build resilience and maintain your emotional health.

Remember that you cannot change your partner’s behavior or force them to seek help. Ultimately, their recovery and personal growth depend on their willingness to address their issues. If your partner’s conditions worsen, prioritize yourself and any loved ones involved. Maintain distance if necessary. Do not be hesitant to get help or leave for your safety.

Leaving A Narcissist Alcoholic Partner – Warning Signs

Deciding to leave a relationship is a deeply personal and complex decision. If you are married to an alcoholic narcissist, the following are signs leaving the relationship is necessary:

Unhealthy dynamics: The relationship is characterized by emotional abuse, manipulation, and constant power struggles.

  • Lack of accountability: Your partner consistently avoids taking responsibility and refuses to acknowledge the impact their alcoholism and narcissism have on the relationship.
  • Neglect and emotional unavailability: Your partner’s addiction and narcissism may lead to emotional neglect, where your needs, feelings, and concerns are consistently disregarded.
  • Escalating abuse: The alcoholic narcissist’s behavior may escalate, resulting in increased emotional, verbal, or physical abuse. If your safety or the safety of your children is at risk, it is crucial to prioritize your safety.
  • Stifled personal growth: A relationship with an alcoholic narcissist can hinder personal growth, self-esteem, and happiness. Constant criticism, devaluation, and control can prevent you from realizing your full potential and living a fulfilling life.
  • An endless cycle of relapse: Despite your efforts and support, your partner repeatedly relapses into alcohol abuse and refuses to seek help or engage in effective treatment.

Remember that these signs are general indicators, and everyone’s circumstances differ. If you feel unsafe, unsupported, or believe your safety is compromised, leave your partner to avoid further issues.


What is a narcissistic alcoholic?

A narcissistic alcoholic is an individual who exhibits traits of both narcissism and alcoholism. They display characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder, such as an inflated sense of self-importance, a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy, while also struggling with alcohol addiction.

Are most alcoholics narcissists?

Not all alcoholics are narcissists. Alcoholism is a complex disorder with various underlying causes, and it can affect individuals from all walks of life. While some alcoholics may exhibit narcissistic traits, many others do not.

How to leave an alcoholic narcissist?

Leaving an alcoholic narcissist can be a challenging and delicate process. It is crucial to prioritize your safety. Seek support from trusted friends, family, or professionals, such as therapists or counselors, who can provide guidance and assistance. Develop a safety plan, gather important documents, and consider involving legal authorities if necessary. Leaving may include setting boundaries, seeking therapy, and creating a support network to help you transition.

 Can narcissistic alcoholics have other mental issues?

Narcissistic alcoholics can have other mental health issues. Substance abuse disorders, such as alcoholism, often co-occur with other mental health conditions. For instance, a person may also be a bipolar narcissistic alcoholic.

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