How Does Narcissism Affect Treatment and Recovery?

How Does Narcissism Affect Treatment and Recovery?California residents who suffer from pathological narcissism essentially suffer from an addiction to self. Narcissistic individuals lack empathy and are excessively invested in their own self-interest, even to the detriment of others. They develop an egotistical obsession with their own thoughts and are often enormously concerned with the way others perceive them. Narcissistic individuals seek to fill what is known as a narcissistic supply, or emotional sustenance in the form of admiration or attention from others. Narcissism typically manifests in response to previous trauma or a low self-esteem.

How Narcissism Relates to Drug Addiction

Narcissistic individuals crave all forms of attention, including positive and negative interactions. Someone who suffers from narcissism may abuse drugs in hopes of receiving attention. Negative attention received due to a drug problem may encourage a narcissist to continue abusing drugs, despite the risks of compulsive substance abuse. Another reason that a narcissistic individual may turn to substance abuse is to cope with isolation. Narcissists often become isolated due to their negative behaviors and lack of regard for others. Isolation can be difficult for a narcissist, who craves constant attention. The individual may find temporary comfort in substance abuse.

Narcissism May Postpone Drug Addiction Treatment

Narcissistic individuals may have difficulty accepting that they have a drug problem. Narcissists suffer from a disillusioned, inflated sense of self, and as a result the idea of suffering from a condition that requires professional intervention may seem absurd. Narcissists often suffer from prolonged denial and are less likely to seek treatment. They often feel that they are in control of their substance abuse and view the effects of drug use as a sense of empowerment. They are often unwilling to consider that they could benefit from any form of therapy.

Treatment for Narcissism and Drug Addiction

Narcissistic individuals who struggle with substance abuse need help to recover. People who suffer from narcissism and substance abuse can benefit from integrated treatment, a type of care that accommodates co-occurring substance abuse problems and mental health issues. During treatment, narcissists attend individual and group therapy sessions that help them gain self-awareness and learn to change their negative behaviors.

Narcissism May Complicate Addiction Recovery

Narcissism can complicate the recovery process, as narcissistic patients may be aggressive or hostile toward treatment. They may be distrustful of medical professionals, who they may criticize and devalue. Another possibility is that the narcissistic patient may adopt a competitive attitude toward treatment, which can foster that patient’s inflated sense of self and impede the recovery process. However, despite possible complications, with a high quality treatment program and appropriate therapies, a patient can defeat her narcissism and overcome substance abuse as well.

Help for Narcissism and Drug or Alcohol Addiction

If you or someone you love suffers from narcissism and a co-occurring drug addiction, we can help. Call our toll-free helpline to reach one of our admissions coordinators who can offer you treatment options. We are available 24 hours a day to take your call and help you find treatment solutions, so please call us now.

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