How Does Narcissism Affect Treatment and Recovery?

How Does Narcissism Affect Treatment and Recovery?

Narcissism can affect treatment and recovery

Ancient Greek mythology tells of a young man named Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection and could not look away. While a healthy sense of self esteem is critical to making wise decisions, enforcing healthy relationship boundaries, and avoiding harmful behaviors, narcissists take self-love to a whole new level.

While most people carry certain narcissistic traits to some extent, those with narcissistic personality disorder experience an unhealthy obsession with themselves that manifests through the following symptoms:

  • An inability to be concerned about the needs or desires of others
  • An innate feeling of superiority to others
  • A consistent sense of entitlement to special treatment
  • A strong dislike for anyone that does night like, submit to, or respect them
  • A constant “me first” perspective that drives daily behaviors
  • A deep underlying feeling of loneliness due to dysfunctional and unfulfilling relationships
  • Difficulty maintaining satisfying relationships
  • Bragging and exaggerating about their abilities or accomplishments

Narcissists can be quite effective in business as they steamroll over anyone that stands in their way and surround themselves with sycophants and enablers that reinforce their underlying feeling of superiority and specialness. Many famous actors and musicians are quite narcissistic in their desire for attention and adulation.

Narcissism and Addiction

The underlying emotional pain and frustration that comes along with narcissism is often medicated by drug or alcohol abuse. The sense of entitlement and exceptionalism that most chronic narcissists possess places them at an increased risk for substance abuse and addiction as they meet their own primary need for relief by getting high. The process of ending the cycle of addiction in rehab requires the following activities and perspectives that addicted narcissists will find especially difficult to replicate:

  • Taking personal responsibility for one’s own actions
  • Learning to trust and serve others in the recovery process
  • Resisting one’s tendency to placed blame on others
  • Submitting to the wisdom and authority of treatment professionals
  • Engaging in activities that are designed to serve others and meet their needs
  • Sharing openly and honestly in support group meetings
  • Admitting to weakness and frailty

Their basic personality traits place them at direct odds with rehab personnel and the agenda of most programs, but with the right help many narcissists can become aware of their issues and can be counseled effectively.

24 Helpline for Addicted Narcissists

If you are trying to quit using drugs or alcohol but feel that your personality type is getting in your way, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our staff members are standing by any time of day with confidential advice and referrals to the best recovery program for your unique needs. Don’t put this off and don’t continue to justify your abuse. You need help and we are here for you any time. Call now.