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Are all Narcissists Addicted to Something?


People who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder and people who have addictive personalities share many similarities. Much research has been done but I believe it’s a weird combination of their lack of empathy, the way they use people for their own benefit, and their excessive need to win every competition.


What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder as defined in my book “Wrecking Ball Relationships: How to Identify, Live with or Leave the Narcissist in Your Life,”


“The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the standard handbook used by healthcare professionals in the Americas and much of the world. It states Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a pattern of self-centered, egotistical behavior destructive to others. Narcissists put their needs before others. They tend to step on people who get in their way and even go out of their way to hurt them. The most important characteristics of NPD are grandiosity, seeking excessive admiration and a lack of empathy. There is no cure for NPD and most people affected by it are blissfully unaware they suffer from it. So, they don’t seek help. The American Psychiatric Association defines narcissistic personality disorder as persistent grandiosity, a continuous desire for admiration, and a lack of empathy. It begins in early adulthood and is seen in people with at least five of the following characteristics:

  • An exaggerated sense of self-importance. They expect to be recognized as superior without matching achievements.

  • A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

  • Believes he/she is “special” and should only associate with other special high-status people or institutions.

  • Requires excessive admiration

  • Has a strong sense of entitlement

  • Selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends

  • Lacks empathy or genuine concern for others

  • Is often envious or believes others are envious of him

  • Shows arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behavior


Is there a link to obsessive behaviors which include addiction?


Narcissists share those obsessive personality traits with people with addictive personalities. While writing my book, I interviewed many people who had relationships with significant others who suffered from narcissistic personality disorder. So many of these people also had substance abuse addictions, gambling, and sex addictions.

Research has shown the link between people who suffer from NPD and addictions centers on self-esteem or their lack thereof. They use their addictions as a source of validation. The other glaring shared trait of the 2 groups is their inability to see the consequences of their actions.


It’s not just about substance addiction, narcissists can have other obsessive behaviors

  • social media use

  • smartphone use

  • compulsive shopping

  • compulsive working

My narcissist was addicted to politics and the constant supply it gave him. Then after his political career had ended, he turned his attention to community service, also in an obsessive manner. He once told me that when he goes on the board of a not-for-profit, his only goal was to become the Chairman of the Board. Otherwise, why bother being involved?


Narcissists are always craving new supply and more recognition more envy and admiration. The cravings of an addict are similar. They are both always chasing their next high.


You can find my book “Wrecking Ball Relationships” on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com.


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