6 Traits of Covert Narcissism

Genetics and other factors also may play a role in the development of narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissists are full of entitlement and lack empathy for others, so they may do whatever they want to others with no regard to their feelings. Alcoholics do the same when they put their drinking first without concern for how it affects others. Are you in a relationship with someone who puts themself and their drinking before others? It can be hard to hold a connection with someone who appears to only think about themselves. A loved one’s drinking and selfish behavior can be devastating and cause a great deal of pain and disappointment.

When an addiction and mental disorder coexist, the person suffers from a co-occurring disorder, or dual diagnosis. It is important to note that these are separate conditions, as addiction refers to a psychological or physical dependency on a substance, and narcissism is a personality disorder. Narcissism is a type of personality disorder that is commonly linked with addiction, therefore comprehensive treatment is often required to achieve the best results. People with narcissistic personality disorder put a lot of time and effort into crafting the situations and keeping up appearances in order to fill their emptiness.

How to respond to or deal with a covert narcissist

It is also recommended to utilize family or couples counseling to heal relationships as well. One study found that people with narcissistic personality disorder are more likely to have grown up with parents who covert narcissism and alcoholism were highly focused on status and achievements. Because they were often made to feel superior to other children, the belief that they are special and more valuable than others may persist into adulthood.

  • They often isolate themselves from others, since they loathe criticism and are constantly comparing themselves unfavorably to other people.
  • Examples of passive-aggressive behavior include derisory remarks masked as jokes, silent treatment in relationships, or refusing to do tasks they consider beneath them.
  • In fact, he reports, the traits of the overt narcissist and the covert narcissist are the same.
  • People who are experiencing problems with alcohol, drugs, or sex should contact a doctor or mental health professional.
  • It also doesn’t have anything to do with hiding abusive behaviors — another widespread myth.

This might include joining Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs that offer nonjudgmental peer support to others living with AUD. You can also join a local support group offered by the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI), which addresses substance abuse when NPD and other mental health disorders. This article discusses the similarities and differences between people with narcissistic personality disorder and those with alcohol use disorder. In summary, whether alcohol is to blame or not, having a person with narcissistic traits in your life can be exhausting and upsetting. Whether or not this person decides to seek treatment, don’t overlook your well-being and your right to a healthy, happy life.

Risk factors

With NPD, for example, there are no drugs specifically used for the treatment of the personality disorder, but antidepressants or anxiolytics may be prescribed if depression or anxiety is present. For instance, NPD and AUD both involve psychotherapy, but the formats for each can vary. For NPD, it may involve individual or group counseling using cognitive behavioral therapy, schema-focused therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. For AUD, group approaches such as AA and other twelve-step addiction programs are common.

It is important for those with dual diagnosis to find a treatment centre that specialises in co-occurring disorders in order to be effective. These may all be red flags when it comes to covert abusive behaviors. You may want to start by determining which relationship behaviors you’re not willing to tolerate. Then, try to detect patterns of behaviors that make you feel uncomfortable or hurt. However, recognizing the signs of covert abuse is important for protecting yourself in the future. If done with the purpose of manipulating or hurting you, passive aggression can be considered a type of covert abuse, particularly if done persistently.

tips to heal from covert abuse

Yes, people with narcissistic personality disorders can have obsessive, unhealthy relationships with other people, as well as develop process addictions like overspending or gambling. However, with professional mental health and addiction treatment, many people can learn to manage their mental health symptoms and overcome their addiction. The danger is in not seeing through the facade of a covert narcissist, because they’re more passive.

Some types of overt narcissism, such as grandiose or malignant narcissism, are easy to spot. The covert narcissists (also called the vulnerable narcissists), however, have similar qualities to those of the overt types yet act quite differently, making it all the more confusing to identify. Since one of the hallmark traits of narcissistic personality disorder is lack of empathy, the covert narcissist is not going to be emotionally responsive to their partner in a healthy way. People with narcissism and those with an addiction share similar character traits. These include a lack of empathy and a willingness to put themselves at risk in the pursuit of feeling superior. Research also supports the idea that people with narcissism are more likely to develop impulsive and abusive behaviors when using alcohol, drugs, sex, or even social media, leading to an increased risk of addiction.