The Connection Between Addiction and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The Connection Between Addiction and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The Connection Between Addiction and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

It is known that many people actually struggle with addiction and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) simultaneously. NPD is a mental health disorder that can have a detrimental effect on one’s relationships and ability to relate to and communicate with others. Many people who struggle with this disorder have trouble coping on their own and turn to using substances to cope. However, this can make things even worse. 

Struggling with NPD can make life very difficult and can lead to other mental health problems like depression and anxiety. The good news is that there are ways to treat this disorder and allow an individual to find relief. At Restoration Recovery, we aim to help our clients realize that there are better ways to treat mental health problems than using substances. 

What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

People who struggle with NPD possess an unreasonably high opinion of themselves. They tend to view themselves above others and may desire for the attention to always be on them. Someone with this type of disorder may struggle to be happy for others when they have achievements they are proud of. They may have trouble understanding where others are coming from and hide behind their own self-confidence instead of admitting that they are wrong. 

It is important to note that people who struggle with this type of disorder are not bad people, nor did they choose to become like this. They have a legitimate mental illness that requires assistance from a professional. 

Narcissistic personality disorder can affect both males and females, but tends to be more common in males. It can be first noticed when an individual is still in their teenage years or later on in adulthood. Being able to diagnose this disorder as soon as possible can play an important role in treatment. This is why being aware of the signs to look out for is so important. 

NPD can exhibit itself differently from person to person. Some people may exhibit the signs very clearly, while it may be harder to notice in others. In general, the following are some signs to look out for:

  • The individual may feel as if they are owed special treatment 
  • They may go to drastic means to get what they want, even by taking advantage of those they care about 
  • The individual may struggle to feel sympathy for or understand the feelings and needs of others
  • They may be quick to judge or look down upon other people
  • The individual may be highly critical of others, even saying things that offend them
  • They may try to minimize the accomplishments of others to make themselves look better 
  • The individual may lie about or over-exaggerate their own accomplishments
  • They may fish for compliments or feel as if they always deserve to be praised

What Is the Link Between Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Addiction?

When someone with NPD does not get the attention, praise, or special treatment that they think they are owed, they can quickly become agitated and angry. They may lash out at people they care about and have trouble regulating their emotions. In many cases, they may not understand why they are not getting the recognition they deserve, and feel as if they have fallen short. This can quickly lead to depression and resentment. 

When someone with this disorder is feeling ignored in this way, they may turn to substance use to cope. This can only further strain the relationships that they have with others. As can be imagined, because the individual may commonly find themselves in arguments with friends and family members, it is difficult to build and maintain relationships with others while struggling with this disorder. 

However, because of the disorder, the individual will struggle to see what they have said or done wrong. Thus, they may be hesitant or unlikely to apologize. This can lead to problems like divorce or the loss of friends. As a result, the individual can feel all the more isolated and alone. They may even be more likely to turn to substance use to cope with how they are feeling. 

What Treatment Options Are Available for Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Substance use is not the answer to finding relief from narcissistic personality disorder. At Restoration Recovery, we want to offer our clients better ways to cope. One of the best ways that this disorder is treated is through talk therapy, which is also known as psychotherapy. In this type of therapy, the client will sit down with a therapist and sort through how they are feeling and why. 

The therapist can help them to better understand their disorder and provide them with a sense of perspective. This can help them to see how their actions can affect those around them. Once they have this understanding, they can then change their behavior accordingly. Ideally, this will help their relationships with others to improve.

It is common for those who struggle with mental health disorders to feel as if there is no way out. They believe that they are stuck feeling this way forever. This can keep them from seeking out the help they so desperately need. They may decide that their best option is to turn to substance use to cope with the pain. The truth is that this can only make matters worse. If you are struggling with a mental health or substance use disorder, our team at Restoration Recovery is here to help you. Don’t put it off. Call us at (888) 290-0925 to take the next steps toward bettering your life. 

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