How Does Narcissism Affect Treatment and Recovery?

How Does Narcissism Affect Treatment and Recovery?

Narcissism Affects Treatment and Recovery

Narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder can directly affect people’s thoughts, attitudes and emotions. Narcissism produces self-centered, manipulative, controlling and arrogant behaviors. The mental health issue causes people to seek admiration and attention, as they place significant focus on themselves and their needs. It is common for narcissistic individuals to act like they deserve special treatment, and they often bend the rules, because they think the rules do not apply to them.

How Narcissism Affects Substance Abuse and Addiction

Narcissism has a strong connection to substance abuse and addiction for many reasons. A narcissist’s lifestyle is often reckless or reflects sensationalism. As narcissists enjoy being the center of attention, their behavior is often impulsive and done to create a reaction. Since narcissism causes grandiosity and feelings of superiority, patients are inclined to behave recklessly, feeling like the repercussions of such behavior will not affect them. Narcissism fuels impulsive, sensation-seeking behavior, because patients crave the attention this behavior brings. Such compulsive behavior and wild exploits provide a narcissist with the adrenaline she seeks. Substance abuse commonly co-exists with narcissism, because these individuals want to captivate others with their shocking and reckless behavior.

When behaving impulsively, the narcissist is under the false pretense that he is in control. They are prone to addiction because they believe that they can quit whenever they want, and that they are far too superior for something like addiction to happen to them.

How Narcissism Affects Addiction Treatment and Recovery

Narcissism is a huge hindrance to addiction treatment and recovery. People with this issue are quick to defend and rationalize their behavior when others confront them. They often manipulate people who are trying to help. Narcissists often attempt to manipulate recovery professionals during treatment. They may lie about their recovery progress, overlook their struggles and minimize their addiction.

Narcissism makes it challenging for individuals to seek treatment in the first place, but it also creates several challenges for recovery. As addiction is often described as a selfish disease, many issues of narcissism can be addressed during rehab. Behavioural therapies can identify problematic thought-processes and emotional processes that lead to destructive behaviours. Narcissistic individuals struggling with addiction must address their narcissism during treatment if they wish to recovery. If narcissistic personality disorder goes unaddressed, it will likely trigger a relapse once the individual is out of treatment. If the self-centred, entitled mindset goes overlooked, the addict will never fully recognize the reality of her disorder.

Treating Substance Abuse in Narcissists

Want to learn more about treating substance abuse and narcissism? You can call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak with admissions coordinators who can help. Whether you have questions, want information or are ready to find treatment, we are happy to help. Narcissism and other mental health issues play a huge role in addiction recovery, which is why several treatment programs are available to tackle both issues at the same time.