Narcissism, Substance Abuse, and Reckless Behaviours

Pathological narcissism is an addiction to Narcissistic Supply, the narcissist's drug of choice. It is, therefore, not surprising that other addictive and reckless behaviours ? workaholism, alcoholism, drug abuse, pathological gambling, compulsory shopping, or reckless driving ? piggyback on this primary dependence.

The narcissist ? like other types of addicts ? derives pleasure from these exploits. But they also sustain and enhance his grandiose fantasies as "unique", "superior", "entitled", and "chosen". They place him above the laws and pressures of the mundane and away from the humiliating and sobering demands of reality. They render him the centre of attention ? but also place him in "splendid isolation" from the madding and inferior crowd.

Such compulsory and wild pursuits provide a psychological exoskeleton. They are a substitute to quotidian existence. They afford the narcissist with an agenda, with timetables, goals, and faux achievements. The narcissist ? the adrenaline junkie ? feels that he is in control, alert, excited, and vital. He does not regard his condition as dependence. The narcissist firmly believes that he is in charge of his addiction, that he can quit at will and on short notice.

The narcissist denies his cravings for fear of "losing face" and subverting the flawless, perfect, immaculate, and omnipotent image he projects. When caught red handed, the narcissist underestimates, rationalises, or intellectualises his addictive and reckless behaviours ? converting them into an integral part of his grandiose and fantastic False Self.

Thus, a drug abusing narcissist may claim to be conducting first hand research for the benefit of humanity ? or that his substance abuse results in enhanced creativity and productivity. The dependence of some narcissists becomes a way of life: busy corporate executives, race car drivers, or professional gamblers come to mind.

The narcissist's addictive behaviours take his mind off his inherent limitations, inevitable failures, painful and much-feared rejections, and the Grandiosity Gap ? the abyss between the image he projects (the False Self) and the injurious truth. They relieve his anxiety and resolve the tension between his unrealistic expectations and inflated self-image ? and his incommensurate achievements, position, status, recognition, intelligence, wealth, and physique.

Thus, there is no point in treating the dependence and recklessness of the narcissist without first treating the underlying personality disorder. The narcissist's addictions serve deeply ingrained emotional needs. They intermesh seamlessly with the pathological structure of his disorganised personality, with his character faults, and primitive defence mechanisms.

Techniques such as "12 steps" may prove more efficacious in treating the narcissist's grandiosity, rigidity, sense of entitlement, exploitativeness, and lack of empathy. This is because ? as opposed to traditional treatment modalities ? the emphasis is on tackling the narcissist's psychological makeup, rather than on behaviour modification.

The narcissist's overwhelming need to feel omnipotent and superior can be co-opted in the therapeutic process. Overcoming an addictive behaviour can be ? truthfully ? presented by the therapist as a rare and impressive feat, worthy of the narcissist's unique mettle.

Narcissists fall for these transparent pitches surprisingly often. But this approach can backfire. Should the narcissist relapse ? an almost certain occurrence ? he will feel ashamed to admit his fallibility, need for emotional sustenance, and impotence. He is likely to avoid treatment altogether and convince himself that now, having succeeded once to get rid of his addiction, he is self-sufficient and omniscient.

First published in my
"Narcissistic Personality Disorder"
Topic Page on Suite 101

About The Author

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory Bellaonline, and Suite101 .

Until recently, he served as the Economic Advisor to the Government of Macedonia.

Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com; [email protected]

In The News:

About 92 Per Cent Psychology Students Agree Being Influenced By Social Media  BW BusinessworldThe survey was conducted among 4000 psychology students from over 200 students across 10 cities in India. , , psychology, survey.
Why We Love Advice Columns, According to Psychologists  TIMETaking someone else's advice, even when you ask for it, is difficult. Entire studies have been conducted just to understand the widespread phenomenon of ...
3 psychology secrets to become mentally strong  SmartBriefWhen I worked for the FBI, I learned that agents needed mental toughness to chip away at messy cases that can last for years. I learned that ignoring problems ...
Instructor, Department of Psychology job with UNITED ARAB EMIRATES UNIVERSITY | 172340  Times Higher Education (THE)Job Description. The Department of Psychology in the United Arab Emirates University is seeking two full-time Instructor rank. Candidates are expected to have ...
Leaning on Others to Become More Independent  Psychology TodayWho teens rely on for help, and when, may predict when they reach milestones of adulthood.
Amazon Prime Day deals: the psychology of sales  Vox.comDiscounts make us think we're getting a good deal. But are we really?
Four Lifestyle Choices May Offset Risk of Cognitive Decline  Psychology TodayHealthy lifestyle behaviors may offset someone's genetic risk of dementia according to a new study, "Association of Lifestyle and Genetic Risk With Incidence of ...
Using consumer psychology to enhance mobile app recommendation  USAPP American Politics and Policy (blog)Mobile apps play an increasingly important role in people's lives and enrich almost every aspect, from social networking and health monitoring to shopping and ...
How Does Something Become a Moral Issue?  Psychology TodayThere are many things we choose to do or not to do that don't seem to tap into our moral sense. What factors turn an issue into a moral issue?
Psychologist and author explains the psychology of top talent  WTNH.comA person's behavior and personality can play a big role in their success, especially in the workplace.
The Psychology Of WeWork's Success  ForbesRemote work is on the rise. Nearly 4 million employees work from home at least half of the time, a 115% increase over the past ten years. Much has been said ...
What You Need to Know About Becoming a Psychology Major  U.S. News & World ReportA psychology major studies human behavior and mental processes, including the mind, brain and social interactions.
Cultural clips On This Day in 1902 Alexander Luria Was Born Alexander Luria revolutionized neuro-psychology  The Moscow TimesAlexander Luria was born into a Jewish family in Kazan, Russia. His father was a professor of medicine at the University of Kazan. Luria began his student years ...
Does psychology have a conflict-of-interest problem?  Nature.comSome star psychologists don't disclose in research papers the large sums they earn for talking about their work. Is that a concern?
A grimly compelling study of the psychology of fanaticism  The EconomistUnderstanding the suicide wave in Germany in 1945.
Bringing psychology to MPs and peers  The British Psychological SocietyApplications are open for our joint award with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). Each year, the award gives a postgraduate ...
The Psychology Of Population  KUTGrowing pains are inevitable and the frustration associated with them can often magnify existing issues or create new ones altogether. In this edition of.
New Zealand's DHB psychologists vote to strike later this month, to refuse overtime work for five weeks  New Zealand HeraldIt is the first nationwide strike for psychologists in New Zealand.
Bystander effect: Famous psychology result could be completely wrong  New Scientist NewsIf you were being attacked, would anyone stop to help you? A famous result in psychology known as the bystander effect says probably not, but now a review of ...
Octopus Arms Have Minds of Their Own  Psychology TodayOctopuses and their relatives, like squid and cuttlefish, stand out from other invertebrates in terms of their cognitive complexity and the range of their behaviors.
Rebuilding After a Gaslighting or Narcissistic Relationship  Psychology TodayRebuilding after a gaslighting or narcissistic relationship can seem like a huge mountain to climb. Learn how to more effectively cope and help yourself heal.
The Real Reason Some People Get Hooked on Slot Machines  Psychology TodayResearch on "dark flow" reveals that, for some people, the appeal of slots might have little to do with money.
How You Hold a Baby May Say Something About Your Personality  Psychology TodayHere's a question: If 90 percent of people are right-handed (which they are), why do the majority of women prefer to hold their baby on their left side?
New Study Suggests Bystander Apathy Is Not the Norm  Psychology TodayThe notion of safety in numbers was abandoned after the Kitty Genovese story and bystander research. Now new revelations and research may suggest we ...
The Psychology Of Fortnite's Battle Pass  ForbesThree simple psychological principles that help get players to pay for the Fortnite Battle Pass.
What Psilocybin Could Mean for End-of-Life Care  Psychology TodayBy Gordon Waldman. For over three decades, Anthony Bossis has been interested in religion, mysticism, end-of-life experiences, and palliative care—which ...
The Psychology of Creativity  Psychology TodayNavigating the tension between process and product is a key aspect of the creative life.
Psychologist aims to study diverse minds, not WEIRDos  Science MagazineNine years ago, a research team argued that psychology studies relied to an alarming rate on people from WEIRD societies: Western, educated, industrialized, ...
Coping with Uncertainty When You Have Multiple Sclerosis  Psychology TodayFor people with multiple sclerosis, not knowing what the future holds is a big challenge. A new counseling approach aims to reduce the distress caused by ...
Life's journey and the psychology of ageing  Royal GazetteThis week I am going to tackle a topic that some might argue I am not old enough to write about - the psychology of ageing.My response to this would be: "Of ...
Jealousy or Compersion?  Psychology TodayDo polyamorous partners feel jealousy or joy when their lover finds someone new?
10 Things Not to Do with Narcissists  Psychology TodayHow should you cope with the manipulations and self-aggrandizement of narcissistic people? Here are 10 things not to do.
Psychological models of criminal behavior  Technology Times PakistanCriminal behaviors refers to such type of violation act that is premeditated and has no justification. Psychological models of criminal behavior are of various types ...
Adulting Tips: 5 Psychological Secrets  Scientific AmericanScientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the ...
The Better-Than-Average Effect from 1985 to Today  Psychology TodayWhat kind of personality traits do we think we have more (or less) of than the average person? Surprisingly, not a lot has changed since a popular psychology ...
Psychology of why Elizabeth Warren gives such great speeches  Business InsiderSuccessful leaders can toggle between abstract and concrete, vision and execution. Psychologists call it "level of construal."
Do You Keep Dating the Same Type of Person?  Psychology TodayKeep dating the wrong person? Here's what you can do to end unhealthy relationship patterns.
What Scientists Are Learning from a Dancing Cockatoo  Psychology TodayNew research explores why Snowball the dancing cockatoo's 14 human-like dance moves may make him unique in the animal kingdom.
MSc Clinical Health Psychology  The TribuneTheTribune: The University of Strathclyde, Glasgow is inviting applications for MSc Clinical Health Technology course starting in September 2019.
Open to Influence  Psychology TodayBy Nicklas Balboa and Richard D. Glaser, Ph.D. Human beings are very unique in that from the moment of conception, we are open to influence. Unlike some ...
The 3 Most Destructive Myths about Miscarriage  Psychology TodayThe death of a child can be devastating, regardless of their age. What many do not understand, however, is that losing a child before birth can be equally ...
BPS welcomes funding announcement for psychology research | BPS  The British Psychological SocietyPsychology research in British universities is to receive the same level of funding, under the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, as research in other ...
Psychologists vote to strike, will not work overtime for five weeks  Stuff.co.nzMore than 600 psychologists across 17 district health boards have voted to strike for the first time, banning working overtime hours for five weeks. APEX, the ...
Why We See What We Want to See  Psychology TodayObi-Wan Kenobi once advised Luke Skywalker to not trust his eyes, because “your eyes can deceive you.” Most of us can recall an instance from our own ...
Could psychology have helped Lam avoid extradition bill fiasco?  South China Morning PostFrom confirmation bias to risk aversion, behavioural science principles shed light on Hongkongers' reactions to the controversial extradition law.
The Psychological Impact of Seeing YouTubers Spend Millions  WIREDFlexing on video has become incredibly popular. But their excess consumerism could be harming their viewers' well-being.
Sorry, Ladies: It's Just Biology, Psychology, and Economics  American ThinkerJust like probably 90 percent or so of those virtue-signaling in favor of "pay equality" for the American women who won the FIFA Women's World Cup, I've never ...
The Compassion Problem  Psychology TodayWhy do many religious people fail to live up to the teachings of their religions, or even act in ways that are contrary to the basic principles of their faiths?
Milton and the Psychology of Materialism  Discovery InstituteMy friend and colleague David Klinghoffer asks a great question: What is it about materialism that drives those under its influence to tell us over and over that the ...
Why a Hot Relationship Runs Cold  Psychology TodayWhy the love of your life might turn out to be the bane of your existence.
This clinical psychologist is making sports inclusive  LivemintDivyanshu Ganatra says sport in our country gets the least funding, disability far lesser. There's no mention of it in the corporate social responsibility of ...
The psychological reasons behind why Trump behaves the way he does — and how the American public can break free  The IndependentAmbassador Kim's opinion of the Trump administration — in which leaked emails detailed issues of ineptitude and the disbelief that any improvement was ...
The Fallacy in "Evidence-Based" Treatment  Psychology TodayToday's topic is relevant to addiction, but goes beyond it to treatment of any psychological problem. To begin, readers of this blog know that addiction is neither ...
6 Ways Music Affects Your Emotions  Psychology TodayPeople express different emotions when they listen to music, for example by smiling, laughing, or crying. Listening to music is quite common in our daily lives, ...
Covert Tactics Manipulators Use to Control and Confuse You  Psychology TodayKnow your enemy when dealing with abusers and manipulators. Learn their hidden agenda, covert tactics, and how to respond effectively.
Top US Psychology Group Pushes Polyamory, Sex with NO Boundaries  CBN NewsIn the 1960s, the popular saying was, "If it feels good, do it." Now the American Psychological Association has created a task force on what it calls "consensual ...
A 17th-Century Philosopher Is Hurting Your Health  Psychology TodayMaybe you have seen the Facebook meme, reading “If you don't take care of your mental health now, you will be forced to deal with physical illness later.
The Psychology Behind Yiddish Literature  Tablet MagazineRokhl's Golden City: How trauma informed Blume Lempel's stories.
8 Reasons to Try Low-Carb for Mental Health  Psychology TodayStabilizing blood sugar and lowering insulin levels can take your brain off of the internal hormonal and neurotransmitter roller coaster caused by most modern ...
Majority of people return lost wallets – here's the psychology and which countries are the most honest  The Conversation - UKResearchers were surprised to learn that in 38 countries, lost wallets with higher sums of money were returned more often than those with smaller amounts.
Don't believe everything psychologists tell you about memory  The Conversation - UKOver the past couple of decades, there has been an explosion of research into “false memories”, showing that our memory can be subtly altered by a variety of ...
Francine Shapiro obituary  The GuardianAmerican psychologist who devised the therapy EMDR – eye movement desensitisation reprocessing – for use in the treatment of trauma.
How to Stop Emotional Overeating When You Just Don't Care  Psychology TodayMost people think they can't eat healthy when they don't care, but in this intriguing article, Dr. Livingston suggests you can use apathy and indifference to drive ...
The psychological reasons certain games feel like coming home  PolygonGames do interesting things to your brain, but why do certain areas in certain games feel like coming home? Let's analyze The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the ...
Einstein's letter to Freud about the psychology of war and governance  Big ThinkLittle known correspondence of letters between Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud talking about war, mankind, violence and the need for a world government.
Mental Illness: Brain Disease or Gut Disease?  Psychology TodayMental illness has long been attributed to a chemical imbalance in the brain. But research suggests that an imbalance of gut microorganisms may play a causal ...
Stonewall’s 50th Anniversary and an Overdue Apology  Psychology TodayHow those in mental health professions evolved on LGBTQ rights—as well as a long overdue apology.
Why We Trust Strangers—Even Though We Think We Shouldn't  Psychology TodayEven though we believe we shouldn't trust strangers, we do so anyway. How can we explain this difference between belief and behavior?
The Psychology Behind Drafting Zion Williamson  Psychology TodayIn a world filled with risk, Zion Williamson provides the New Orleans Pelicans the perfect combination of potential and safety we all crave.
New Research: Why Religions Promote Sexual Conservatism  Psychology TodayDoes religious belief lead to conservative sexual values, or do people seek religion to bolster their initial preferences for monogamy? New research yields a ...
What's the Right Thing to Say When Someone Is Grieving?  Psychology TodayEach year, I teach a class on grief and loss to masters students studying to become counselors. On the first day of class, I give them a simple assignment: Jot ...
Can An Introvert Become An Extrovert? We Asked Psychologists How It's Done  BustleMany of us are familiar with the concept of introverts and extroverts. Some people, according to this theory of personality, recharge socially in environments with ...
How Many Words Do Children Need?  Psychology TodayAt my town's public library, one wall of the children's section displays posters declaring, “Babies need words every day,” encouraging me to sing, talk, and read ...
Here are 5 psychological reasons Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's bartender past gets brought up again and again  Business InsiderPsychologically, wealthier people are more likely to see themselves as "better" than working-class people to justify their status.
15 Frightful Facts About Nightmares  Psychology TodayA dream is a recollection of subjective experiences that happen during rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. On the other hand, nightmares are markedly dysphoric ...
Music Participation Is Linked to Teens' Academic Achievement  Psychology TodayStudents who participate in school music programs score significantly higher on science, math, and English exams than peers, according to a new study.
‘Trump Phenomenon’ from Political Psychology Standpoint  Iran Front Page - IFP NewsHistorical experience shows the cause of many disasters through the course of history has been the mental problems of some country leaders. Donald Trump ...
How to understand clients? Hire a psychologist  Wealth ProfessionalAll the theory, data and science in the world can't mitigate for human emotion when it comes to investing. However, one independent firm has taken a major step ...
A psychologist says doing nothing is important to avoid burnout  INSIDERFrom watching TV after work to responding to your coworkers too much while at work, these surprising habits mean you run a higher risk of burning out.
Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and the New Science of Hope  Psychology TodayJune is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month. One could argue that awareness of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's ...
This veteran sports psychologist has worked with the Packers and Bucks. Now he's speaking up about racism  Milwaukee Journal SentinelKweku Akyirefi Smith's unique voice helps him navigate racial tension in Milwaukee, a city plagued by high levels of trauma and segregation.
It’s Not You, It’s Your Unconscious  Psychology TodayIn Part One and Part Two of It's Not You—It's Your Unconscious: Why therapy takes so long to work, I explored how several mechanisms in our minds operate ...
This Is Your Brain on Drugs  Psychology TodayAddiction is a disease that affects millions of Americans. It is extremely widespread, with an estimated 8 percent to 10 percent of individuals in the United States ...
Psychology of wealth: Do rich people deserve to be rich?  Financial TimesAlthough inequality is growing in many western countries, concern about it is not.
How to Build Ethical Artificial Intelligence  Psychology TodayThe field of artificial intelligence is exploding with projects such as IBM Watson, DeepMind's AlphaZero, and voice recognition used in virtual assistants including ...
Follow the Leader  Psychology Today[I am] a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord. –Joseph Ratzinger, on becoming Pope Benedict XVI. Follow the leader. Do as I do. When I've had my ...
Wrexham Glyndwr lecturer shares his knowledge in newly published book  LeaderLiveA SPORT and Performance Psychologist at Wrexham Glyndŵr University who has helped budding Premier League footballers reach peak performance levels…
The Relationship Problems Created by Personality Disorders  Psychology TodayFor people with personality disorders, relationships can present a challenge. New research examines attachment style's role in creating those relationship ...
Do American Parents Overreport Symptoms of ADHD?  Psychology TodayA study published last week in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology found that parents in Australia and the United States were more likely than parents in ...
Canine psychologist joins BBMP as ‘voice of strays’  Bangalore MirrorDr Shashikumar, joint director, animal husbandry, says, the awareness drive will begin from September 1 after the bidders are finalised for the ABC programme, ...
Blues on the psychology of preparing for the Origin decider  NRL.COMNSW Blues players Damien Cook and James Tedesco talk about how they will prepare for the Origin decider on Wednesday night at ANZ Stadium.
Young Girls Reject Mattel’s “Curvy” Barbie  Psychology TodayA new study reveals that 3-10 year-old girls tend to reject the new “curvy” Barbie, calling her “not pretty” and describing her as less likely to have friends.
Mantra: A Powerful Way to Improve Your Well-Being  Psychology TodaySeveral years ago, I was working with a patient that was so chronically angry it was painful and a little terrifying to sit in a room with him for 45 minutes at a time.
10 Mental Health Benefits of Gardening  Psychology TodayThere are many advantages to spending time in your garden—not just for your body but for your mind.
Don’t add more pot shops in Nova Scotia: psychologist  TheChronicleHerald.caA Dalhousie University professor who is also a clinical psychologist does not think highly of the possibility that the province might allow more Nova Scotia Liquor ...
Your spending data may reveal aspects of your personality  EurekAlertHow you spend your money can signal aspects of your personality, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for ...
Great psychological thrillers on Netflix you haven't seen  LooperWith their ever-expanding selection of offerings, Netflix has plenty of psychological thrillers ready for movie night. But it's time to look beyond popular films like ...
Social Workers and Psychologists Newsletters/Updates | United Federation of Teachers  United Federation of TeachersNovember 2018. Learn about the new contract, professional development opportunities, per session payments and other issues. September 2018
The Consumer Psychology Behind Amazon Prime | Here & Now  WBURAmazon Prime day ends Tuesday night. It's the 36-hour shopping holiday with discounts only for Amazon Prime members. Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson talks ...
Unique Gut Microbiome Composition May Be Fibromyalgia Marker  Psychology TodayFor the first time, researchers have identified a possible link between gut microbiome composition and fibromyalgia.

You, I and We

Our life in society hovers around the concept of 'You?I?... Read More

The 5 Hindrances of the Mind: Are They Blocking Your Self-Esteem?

The issue of self-esteem is perhaps one of the greatest... Read More

What is the Theory of Multiple Intelligences? Part 1: Biological Basis

Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences is based on the... Read More

A Jungian Approach to Mental Illness

All of us suffer from some form of emotional distress... Read More

The Diagnosis Myth

Although I risk dissension by doing so, I must say... Read More

The Special Secret of Intuition

The limbic systemNerve impulses were known to relay feelings and... Read More

Parapsychology: Maximizing Effectivity Of Targeted Controlled Remote Viewing Techniques

Individuals with a solid working knowledge of Controlled Remote Viewing... Read More

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) At a Glance

Most narcissists (75%) are men.NPD is one of a "family"... Read More

Fallacies About the Inner Child

Over the past 10 years I have helped individuals who... Read More

We are in the End Days; Oh, Really Now?

Some think the world is coming to an end, they... Read More

What are the 4 Brainwave Patterns and How Do They Effect Your Health

WHAT ARE BRAINWAVES?Every moment of your life your brain is... Read More

The Myth of Mental Illness

"You can know the name of a bird in all... Read More

Balancing Brain Lobes - Mutras

When does consciousness exist? Will the sentient robots being created... Read More

Narcissism, Substance Abuse, and Reckless Behaviours

Pathological narcissism is an addiction to Narcissistic Supply, the narcissist's... Read More

Animal Cruelty: The Key to Serial Minds

What makes a common person a Serial Killer? According to... Read More

What is the Treatment for Bipolar Disorder?

How do we treat bipolar disorder? Specifically, how do we... Read More

Metaphors of the Mind (Part I)

The brain (and, by implication, the Mind) has been compared... Read More

A Case for Multiple Intelligences Based Classroom Instruction

Although many high school age students tend to think and... Read More

Robotic Bonding Thru Human First Love Memory Replication

Many Science Fiction authors have discussed in many works the... Read More

Christian Psychotherapy for Convicts?

Repeated research studies have revealed that secular efforts at rehabilitation... Read More

Eating Disorders and the Narcissist

Patients suffering from eating disorders binge on food and sometimes... Read More

Fairies and Mental Health

Schizophrenics hallucinate alternate realities. People who claim to have been... Read More

Ericksons Theory of Human Development

I'm sure you've heard the term "Identity Crisis" before. It's... Read More

Morality As A Mental State

INTRODUCTIONMoral values, rules, principles, and judgements are often thought of... Read More

Short Story: The Next Level of Humanity

"Hey Mac, have you ever been thinking of someone and... Read More