You could start by engaging with a mental healthcare provider or treatment center that specializes in dual diagnoses. Treatment centers can also ensure that you can access the right support systems at the right time in your treatment. Making a dual diagnosis of NPD and AUD can be challenging and something that only a qualified mental health professional can make.

  • But while an overt narcissist might come off as combative, a covert narcissist will be defensive.
  • For AUD to be diagnosed, a person must meet one of four possible criteria for alcohol abuse, three of seven possible criteria for alcohol dependence, and two of 12 possible criteria for AUD symptoms.
  • If you are facing a medical emergency or considering suicide or self harm, please call 911 immediately.
  • This is especially true if you have conflicted emotions and are reluctant to speak with others who might judge you or your relationship.

Covert narcissists can be difficult to recognize at the outset of a relationship. Many people have fallen victim to the manipulative behaviors of a covert narcissist without realizing what has happened until they are already in emotional pain. The researchers found that grandiose narcissism, i.e., overt narcissism, was a positive predictor of alcohol consumption. People in this group were covert narcissism and alcoholism also less likely to see their alcohol use as a problem. In his book, The Narcissist You Know, Joseph Burgo includes the “Addicted Narcissist” as one type of Extreme Narcissism. Characterized by a person’s inclination to cloak their narcissistic traits, covert narcissism stands in stark contrast to its overt counterpart, which is marked by grandiosity and attention-seeking behavior.

Examples of Covert Narcissist Behavior

Some people have NPD, which is a lifelong mental health condition causing a lack of empathy, feelings of superiority, and a need for admiration and attention. Although covert narcissists avoid the spotlight and prefer passive-aggressive means of controlling others, this is not necessarily because they are introverted as is often stated. Rather, they lack the brash confidence of overt narcissists and fear being exposed and humiliated if they draw public attention to themselves. Often this is because they have been conditioned not to compete with a domineering overt narcissist parent. Due to their introversion, instead of bragging openly, covert narcissists display reserved smugness and judge everyone as inferior.

covert narcissism and alcoholism

When you’re constantly analyzing or critiquing your own self-image, it can be hard to connect with other people in genuine ways. In some cases, you may appear hyper-focused on your own needs and wants, while at times, disregarding the needs of others. And you may even experience increased social anxiety because you want to be loved and appreciated while also being understood. Little is known about narcissism and drinking in college students, a population that is at high risk for alcohol-related problems.

What’s the difference between overt and covert narcissism?

Many of the symptoms of NPD are thought to be the result of a sensitive or vulnerable ego. While they may not show it outwardly, criticism is especially unbearable for a narcissist. They may dwell on it, or be haunted by it, and end up enraged or retaliating. An alcoholic can exhibit symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), but usually not enough to be diagnosed. Although people with AUD may relapse or have treatment setbacks, they can recover from the disorder.

  • Exhibiting narcissistic behaviors when drunk, for example, doesn’t inherently mean that a person has NPD.
  • A recognition of covert narcissist behavior can help you decide what to do about the relationship.
  • Often, covert narcissistic abuse involves emotional manipulation and psychological games.

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