Trying to figure out how to handle a narcissistic person that is addicted to alcohol and drugs is not for the faint of heart, although the good news is that there is recovery for both.
A narcissistic person has the character traits of entitlement, being self-absorbed, grandiosity, reactive anger, indifference, abusing others, and the ability to exploit others with no guilt. These character traits are like the ones that someone also exhibits when they have a substance abuse disorder. Both can stem from the other and in fact exacerbate the symptoms of the other one when is not treated which causes a vicious cycle.
The cycle ensues when a narcissist feels threatened. They will then lash out and take their fears out on someone else to feel more secure. A person that has been the punching bag will then retract from the narcissist to protect themselves. This will make the narcissist feel rejected and then turn to drugs and alcohol to cope. Once the narcissist starts scheming and reinforcing their ideals under the influence, they will appear to be deranged to others who will then dismiss their substance-laden and “kooky” concepts altogether. In return, the narcissistic ego will get bruised and return the cycle to start over again. Within the same capacity, the cycle can be reversed starting with the addiction evolving into narcissism making chaos develop no matter how the cycle starts.
There is help that can be received concurrently for both narcissism and addiction. Therapy plays a big role for both because the two maladies need guidance to retrain the brain with new information. Both afflictions are notorious for denying that there is a problem at all, so getting them to treatment can be a difficult process, but unavoidable to break the cycle that has been continuously circled.
Once the addicted narcissist gets into recovery, the people that were hit in the crossfire can become their biggest supporters. With encouraging backing, changes can be made to enhance an addicted narcissist’s quality of life from being something has been constantly negative to becoming into their own in recovery.