Alcohol and substance abuse can ruin a person’s life. You are basically embracing habits that put your health and wellness at risk. You are also likely to take your career, relationships, and future for granted.
Millions of people all over the world abuse alcohol and drugs. Some do this as a way of coping with stress and anxiety. Others do this because of peer pressure, while some engage in drugs and substance abuse as an act of rebellion or instant gratification.
People may have varying reasons for abusing drugs and alcohol. More often than not, environmental factors play a huge role in the development of one’s addiction. But not many of us know that there is a direct link between drug and alcohol abuse and narcissism.
What Narcissism Really Is
Many people misuse the word narcissism. Just because one is guilty of posting selfies and is sharing every possible detail of their life on social media, they are already narcissistic. Only when one takes a closer look at what narcissism is can one realize just how bad the symptoms can impact one’s life.
Narcissism or narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is one personality disorder wherein individuals experience excessive feelings of sense importance. Their focus is on themselves, their needs, and their wants. This causes them to disregard other people’s feelings, which can ruin their relationship with others.
People with NPD have obsessive self-interest. They don’t know how to handle criticisms well. They even exaggerate their success and would not think twice about taking advantage of others to attain their goals.
Why Narcissists Become Trapped in Addiction
Narcissists do not like it when they fail to get the attention and praise they think they deserve. They respond to stress in ways that only aggravate the situation. In some cases, they tend to lean towards addiction to get their temporary relief.
The problem starts when the temporary relief alcohol and drugs have to offer heightens their craving for more. Since narcissists are too proud to admit they now have an addiction problem, they are more likely to get trapped in a continuous cycle of using and abusing alcohol, drugs, or both.
Both narcissists and people with addiction have one thing in common. They seek something that will fill their internal void. Narcissists crave other people’s praise and attention, while people with addiction want a consistent supply of drugs and alcohol.
When narcissists and people suffering from addiction cannot get the recognition and supply they want, they often struggle with anxiety and depression. They feel the need to manipulate others and situations to get what they want. In the end, their relationships with others, ability to work on their goals, and overall quality of life become affected.
Treating Narcissism and Addiction
It can be tricky to treat narcissism when one is already struggling with addiction. What they need is to address the two disorders at the same time. This way, it will be easy to manage the symptoms of each disorder and reduce one’s tendency to go on a relapse.
For instance, women have the option to go into a sober living home after their time in an addiction treatment facility. Doing so makes it easier for them to seal their road to sobriety. One can make the necessary arrangements to make a sober living and interventions for battling narcissism work.
Helping a Loved Get the Help They Need
If you notice that you or a loved one is showing signs of addiction, it is crucial that you get the help you need. Here are a few dos and don’ts to consider.
- Do not criticize, threaten, and expect immediate results.
- Do be honest and tell them your intentions.
- Establish trust.
- Respect their privacy rights.
- Expect difficulties when trying to get them to help.
- Get the support of professionals.
- Help them find ways to better manage stress.
- Let them face the repercussions of their actions.
- Consider saying yes to support groups.
- Don’t be surprised to receive blame.
When helping loved ones deal with their narcissism, here are a few reminders.
- Stop focusing on them.
- Accept them for what and who they are.
- If they find joy in making other people squirm, don’t let it show that their actions affect you.
- Set clear boundaries.
- Be specific and concise in telling them how you want them to treat you.
- Get the kind of support system you need.
There is no easy way to deal with narcissism and addiction. But there are ways you or a loved one can start getting help. The first step is to recognize that narcissism and addiction are present in your life.