How Long Can Hypervigilance And Trauma Last
Hypervigilance and trauma can last for many years. Some adults who grew up in a household with a narcissistic parent become hypervigilant and suffer trauma that lasts for a lifetime. They might be triggered by loud noises such as the sound of a door slamming. As a child, they may have learned that noise was a sign their parents were arguing.
This kind of trauma can be problematic because it makes a person react in a way that isnt proportionate to what is actually happening around them. They are instinctively reacting to a threat that is no longer present.
Some people living with this kind of trauma dont even realize that the fears have been negatively impacting their lives. Theyve grown up with them, so theyre normal to them. Fortunately, it is possible to heal.
The first step towards recovering from trauma is acknowledging that its there and that recovery is a better option than avoidance. The instinct to avoid things that remind a person of their trauma is understandable, but in the long term, it hampers recovery. Therapy for mental health is just like physiotherapy for the body. Promotes healing and strengthening the mind so that the abuse victim is in a stronger position to cope with lifes challenges in the future.
The Pathological Narcissists Multi
The narcissists pervasive feelings of shame are the root cause of their multi-addictions. So, whenever they experience a narcissistic wound, the narcissist turns to one of their addictive mood-altering experiences to deliver them from pain, in this way their addiction becomes their form of self-soothing. For example, unable to regulate their strong feelings associated with shame, they may turn to one of their multi-addictions, i.e. a chemical substance as an auxiliary regulator , or to retail therapy to get their fix.
Narcissism, by its very nature, is an obsession and a compulsion, therefore the narcissistic personality is particularly prone to addiction. Obsessed by the illusion of a False Self, and an inflated sense of their own superiority, power, and control, the narcissist renders themselves susceptible to all sorts of obsessions, compulsions, and addictions.
As well as being addicted to some of the classical addictions the narcissist will also become addicted to anything that will assure the survival of their False Self. That is, anything that allows them to self- medicate against the pain of any unpleasant anxious emotions and guarantees the paralysis of the True Self.
When the narcissist gets their high through their narcissistic supply, they feel as if they are reaching their goal of sought-after admiration. They enter a period of inflated self-regard, where they feel wonderfully euphoric, flying high on the feeling of connection with another.
Dangers Of Drug Excess
As an addicts tolerance for drugs and alcohol grows, they will increasingly need more of the substances, and its this need that puts them in grave danger of overdosing. Over the past year, approximately 64,000 U.S. citizens were killed by drug overdoses, while another 2,000 people died from alcohol poisoning. This illustrates just how critical untreated overdoses can be.
Those with narcissism often develop addictions to drugs and alcohol, making them at an increased risk of overdosing. Their excessive pride also prevents them from asking for help when in distress. If someone with narcissism appears to be overdosing, friends should call 911 and seek emergency support immediately, since NPD sufferers are unlikely to seek help for themselves or admit their own need for help.
You May Like: What To Do If Someone Is Addicted To Drugs
Get Help Today With Southern California Sunrise
Have you been a victim of narcissistic abuse or suffer PTSD from narcissistic abuse? If you would like to start the journey towards healing, consider treatment at a nearby therapy center. At Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center, we offer a variety of therapies and mental health treatments.
It helps people who have been the victim of narcissistic abuse take control of their lives once more. We have a variety of therapy options available to suit your circumstances and lifestyle.
Contact us today to learn more and book an initial consultation with a qualified therapist.
How To Help A Person With Narcissism And Drug Addiction
It can be very challenging to get a person with narcissistic personality disorder into treatment, especially because it is highly unlikely that they will admit they have a problem with addiction. Yet, if you know a person with this disorder who really requires help, look for a way to offer them a helping hand. They may be reluctant to admit that they need you, even if they know it.
If you have noticed signs of narcissism and drug addiction in yourself or someone you love, it is time to get help. The Dawn Medical Rehab & Wellness Centre offers highly-personalised and integrated treatment plans for co-occurring disorders, addiction and other issues. Our team of addiction professionals uses evidence-based techniques to help you achieve the best possible solution.
Contact The Dawn today to receive a no obligation assessment and find out what help is available. You can also call us on one of our toll-free numbers.
Also Check: Why Do Drug Addicts Relapse
Is Every Alcoholic A Narcissist
There are many different types of mental health disorders and traits that affect people with alcohol use disorder. Narcissism, which comes in many forms, is not a mental health disorder in and of itself. Being a narcissist is not the same thing as having a narcissistic personality disorder , but it can impact a persons behavior and how they experience alcohol addiction.
Narcissism In A Bottle: The Self
Over the years I have listened to a sort of running monologue from clients who grew up with an addicted parent. It goes something like this: “I felt like it was all about them, like what was going on inside of me was sort of invisible, like what they wanted or needed always came first.” They go on and on describing a family dynamic that circulated around the immediate needs of the addict. They talk about how they often found themselves staying quiet and “well behaved” so as not to disturb a drunk or hung over parent or bring a torrent of anger down on them. They also describe a world in which their other parent was constantly over burdened, hiding the extent of the problem and working double time to make the family seem “normal.” Both parents became absorbed by either addiction or the problems surrounding it.
In this family children tend to fit in or not fit in according to their ability to meet other people’s needs. These kids often experience their parent’s needs as more immediate and important than their own. And to further complicate this dynamic, children of addiction COA’s may experience relief and satisfaction by meeting another person’s needs while remaining somewhat unaware of their own. Their own inner worlds can feel somewhat hazy and confusing to them while the worlds of others seem clear and distinct.
Why Living with Addiction Feels Like Living with Narcissism
How In Recovery, We Sometimes Misinterpret the Concept of Self Care
Read Also: How To Stop Coke Addiction
Drug And Alcohol Addiction Acts As A Self
Its also important to realize that narcissists often create a drug or alcohol problem to subconsciously put up barriers.
Many narcissists have success barriers that keep them struggling and prevent them from fulfilling their lifes goals. They may also have emotional barriers to keep someone from getting too close in fear of getting hurt.
Indulging in drugs and alcohol is a go-to way that narcissists impose these barriers so that they can stick to the story that their pain or lack of fulfillment was someone elses fault.
What Addictions Might A Narcissist Have
Several studies have demonstrated an overlap between narcissism and certain addictive tendencies.
Narcissism and alcohol
In one study group, 18% of people with alcohol dependency also had narcissistic personality disorder.3
Narcissism and cocaine
Another study showed that people who used cocaine behaved in more narcissistic ways than people who did not use cocaine.4
Narcissism and cannabis
In another study group, researchers showed that 1 in 5 people who used cannabis had narcissistic personality disorder.5
Narcissism and smoking
In a different study group, 26% of people with narcissistic personality disorder had a nicotine addiction.1
Narcissism and social media
Other studies have suggested that there may be a link between narcissism and unhealthy use of social media.6
Other addictions in narcissists
We need more studies looking at the link between narcissistic personality disorder and addiction. But given the link between narcissism and impulse control it is possible that narcissists may also struggle with the following addictions:
- Food addiction
- Spending or shopping addiction
Dual Diagnosis Treatment For Narcissistic Personality Disorder And Alcohol Abuse
People with an alcohol use disorder struggle to control their consumption of the substance. Alcohol abuse causes impairment and consistent use of the substance can lead to alcohol withdrawal symptoms when not in a persons system. Alcoholism can cause people to be impaired in social settings or use alcohol despite risks to their professional goals or personal relationships. However, the need for alcohol can become overwhelming and result in people becoming defensive about their substance abuse and how they act due to their alcohol addiction. These narcissistic tendencies can reveal the existence of narcissistic personality disorder. When narcissistic personality disorder and substance abuse are co-occurring, symptoms of both issues are worsened.
Diagnosing co-occurring disorders can be difficult because the two conditions often affect each other and have overlapping symptoms. When two disorders are occurring, it is always vital to obtain treatment for both disorders at the same time. Treating only alcohol use disorder and not narcissistic personality disorder or vice versa will increase the chances of future substance abuse and the need for more professional treatment.
The Similarities Between Narcissism And Drug Addiction
The similarities between narcissism and drug addiction are that the individual depends on something external to fill the emptiness inside. The narcissist relies on admiration and attention from other people, which can be real or imagined, for their well-being. They create situations of accomplishment so that people will congratulate them, or even become envious of them, and act in ways that make others pay attention to them. This is accomplished in a similar manner to the way an addict ensures their drug supple is constant and secure.
They put a lot of time and effort into crafting the situations and keeping up appearances in order to fill their emptiness. Nevertheless, the attention and admiration that their require increases over time, just like how an addict needs to increase their dose. When they feel as though they are not receiving the adequate amount of attention and admiration, they experience anxiety and, ultimately, depression.
Other overlapping characteristics between narcissism and drug addiction include:
- Black & white thinking
Ultimately, both narcissists and addicts only pay attention to the possibility of the reward and disregard the potential downside of their behaviour.
You May Like: How Many Addiction Treatment Centers Are There In The Us
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Involves The Need For Other Peoples Approval And Possession Of An Inflated Sense Of Self
Denise-Marie Griswold is a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist. She earned her Master’s Degree in… read more
Narcissistic personality disorder and addiction frequently co-occur. The link between narcissism and addiction might be due to substances being used to cope with the negative feelings experienced by a person who has narcissistic personality disorder. Like an addiction, narcissistic personality disorder may lead to feelings of isolation. A person with NPD might be distrustful of, insecure about or feel superior to people around them to the point of failing to connect with their peers. One must treat both narcissism and addiction when the disorders co-occur.
Living With A Narcissist With Addiction Problems
Living with a narcissist can be challenging. If you live with a narcissist you may find it helpful to try the following:
Make sure to look after your own mental health
Sometimes we can get so focused on other people, that we forget to take care of ourselves. Narcissists have a way of shifting our attention onto them. Its important that you make your own mental health a priority.
Spend time with people who care about you
When you live with a narcissist their behaviour can start to affect how you see yourself. Spending time with people who value you can remind you of your worth.
- Attend support groups
Spending time with other people that live with narcissists can be really helpful. Support groups allow you to talk about how the narcissistic behaviour is affecting you. They are safe and empathetic spaces for you to share and receive advice and support.
- Set firm boundaries
People with narcissism lack empathy and are often unaware of the effect of their behaviour. If you live with a narcissist, setting boundaries is crucial. This might be boundaries in the way they speak to you, what they ask of you, or how they act.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Over An Addiction
I Am Frequently Asked By Family Members What They Should Or Should Not Do
It is not uncommon to enter into a relationship with someone who seems like Mr. or Mrs. Right during the dating phase only to find out they have an addiction problem once you are married or living together as partners. Unfortunately, many addicts are experts at hiding their addictive behaviors. Addictions to pornography, sex, shopping, gambling, and work are much easier to hide from dating partners than addictions to alcohol or drugs.
However, there is another factor that can occur in people with addictions, and specifically with drug or alcohol addictions. This includes an increased risk for personality disorders in those with alcohol or drug addictions. In a 1993 study published in Comprehensive Psychiatry, researchers Cor A.J. DeJong et al. found that of 178 alcoholics and 86 drug addicts hospitalized, 78% alcoholics had at least one personality disorder. Within the 86 drug addicts hospitalized, there was a 91% rate of individuals meeting the criteria for at least one personality disorder.
In traditional types of addiction recovery programs, it is not unusual to find people that meet the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder NPD, even though they may never have been diagnosed.
How Do Narcissists Behave
A narcissists self-obsession can lead to some unhealthy behaviours. People with narcissistic personality disorder will usually demonstrate more extreme behaviours than those with mild narcissistic tendencies.
The following behaviours are commonly seen in narcissists:
An excessive preoccupation with physical appearance
Narcissists can be very fixated on their own appearance. They might spend hours getting ready, and endlessly check their reflection throughout the day.
An obsession with wealth, fame, or power
We all daydream about success from time to time. But narcissists can be unhealthily preoccupied with the idea of becoming rich and powerful..
Narcissists crave admiration from others. To gain this admiration, they might stretch the truth and even blatantly lie about their achievements.
A belief that they are special
People with narcissism feel that they are special and more extraordinary than others. They believe because of this they deserve certain privileges.
A tendency to behave in a jealous manner
Narcissists feel threatened by the achievements of others. They want to maintain their self-belief that they are special. Because of this, they may try to undermine the achievements of people around them.
A sense of entitlement
People with narcissism feel entitled to respect, attention and opportunities. In some cases, narcissists can even feel as if they are entitled to love or friendship from others
A self-esteem that is easily threatened
Recommended Reading: What Are The Causes Of Addiction To Drugs
What Are Personality Disorders
In general, personality disorders are mental illnesses in which an individuals behavior, emotions and thoughts differ drastically from social and cultural norms. This can cause serious problems within that persons life, both personally and professionally. There are a wide number of known personality disorders currently recognized by medical experts around the world through the DSM-IV Axis II system. These are categorized into the following groups:
* Antisocial personality disorder: Manipulating, exploiting or violating others rights* Avoidant personality disorder: Excessive shyness, inadequacy and fear of rejection* Borderline personality disorder: Unstable and turbulent emotions, actions and relationships* Dependent personality disorder: Excessive dependence on other people* Histrionic personality disorder: Acting emotional or dramatic to draw attention* Narcissistic personality disorder: Inflated ego and an obsession with the self* Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: A preoccupation with rules, orderliness and control* Paranoid personality disorder: Unfounded distrust and suspicion of others* Schizoid personality disorder: Feelings of social isolation and indifference to people* Schizotypal personality disorder: Difficulty with relationships and irregular lifestyle patterns
The Link Between Addiction And Narcissism
This article focuses solely on people who classify as narcissists, and it does not cover people who have narcissistic personality disorder. However, it is possible your loved one may have this diagnosis. Through rehab and therapy, they will ultimately receive greater insight into their personality and discover how their actions impact their life and relationships. For context, its important to define a narcissist in this situation. A narcissist is someone who ultimately believes that they are special or entitled to a higher level of attention and treatment than other people.
They may be excessively arrogant and brag about their achievements and qualities, or they could be what is known as vulnerable narcissists. Vulnerable narcissists are the type of person who typically play the victim. They are prone to being extremely emotionally reactive, and they may use their addiction as a way to validate their emotions and reinforce their toxic beliefs. Many narcissists develop addictions because they have a deep-rooted, shame-fueled sense of insecurity. Underneath their arrogance or demands of special treatment is a person who relies on the outside world to validate their sense of self. Drugs and alcohol ultimately become coping mechanisms for their unhappy internal state.
Don’t Miss: How To Stop Afrin Addiction