First, I am going to read a definition of Addiction from Wikipedia. "Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences." Narcissists always have some form of addiction, whether it is in the use of a substance or in a behaviour. Addicts are narcissistic, having an addiction is a narcissistic behaviour. Addicts are self absorbed and lack empathy. You cannot have relationships with addicts, because their addictions always come first. Narcissistic supply is their main addiction. I'm not going to mention that here as that will be for a separate video. But what I am saying here could also relate to addiction to narcissistic supply. The rewarding effects of this substance or behaviour provide them with a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behaviour despite the potentially harmful consequences. It's a form of escapism, dissociating from reality. It's self-sabotaging and involves an extreme disregard for consequences. This is what keeps them locked into the addiction. For it to be an addiction, there must be a consistent pattern of behaviour. This means that a narcissist or anyone else could be addicted to anything. The person must also continue using this substance or doing this behaviour, knowing that it will negatively impact their lives.
Not all narcissists are going to have addictions to drugs or alcohol. But they may have an addiction in another area of their lives. Here are a few other addictions that the narcissist might have; Prescription drugs. Narcissists will abuse prescription drugs which can lead to an addiction that can be very difficult to break. Depending on the drug, there can sometimes be severe withdrawal symptoms.
Narcissists are always looking for a way to escape reality, so naturally they become thrill-seekers. Because of this, they can become addicted to the thrill of gambling. Gambling addicts do not realise they have a problem until it is too late and they are in serious
financial trouble. As narcissists are self absorbed and lack empathy, they do not consider the devastating consequences that this may have on their family or the people around them.
A shopping addict is someone who shops compulsively. They may feel like they have no control over their behaviour and as the gambling addict, they may not consider the consequences of this behaviour and the negative impact it may have on their lives.
Going on a shopping spree once in a while does not make you a shopping addict. Narcissists may try to hide their shopping addiction from you. They will spend large amounts of money on themselves to portray the desired image. Because they are self absorbed and lack empathy, they will not consider the potential consequences that this may have on you.
Pornography or sex.
An addiction to pornography or sex is very serious and could potentially destroy lives. If you are in a relationship with a narcissist who has an addiction to pornography or sex, you may feel betrayed or devastated. An addiction to pornography or sex isn't just something you do once a day or a few times a week. Pornography or sex addicts think about it for much of their day, in inappropriate times and places. The cause of sexual addiction can be found in sexual repression. Sexual repression is often associated with feelings of guilt or shame and I believe that this can also lead to cheating. With time, pornography addicts may feel the need to watch more and more graphic images and material, which could involve illegal or even extreme pornography. As time goes by, they can no longer get the same fulfilment as they once did.
Social media, mobile devices & video games.
Social media can be considered to be quite a narcissistic environment. Narcissists are typically addicted to the dopamine fuelled, social validation loops in social media and video games. An addiction to this can result in them becoming socially withdrawn and isolated. Those with severe addictions may neglect other responsibilities such as personal hygiene or work. Many social media, mobile devices & video games addicts will struggle with sleep, which can result in health problems.
Food addictions are related to eating disorders. In extreme situations, they can destroy lives. The most common eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia. An eating disorder is an unhealthy or abnormal attitude towards food. Narcissists are more likely to be bulimic or
overweight, as they are commonly addicted to releasing of dopamine upon eating.
Narcissists always have some form of addiction. I am now going to discuss some symptoms that narcissists may experience as a result of their addiction. Over time, the substance, behaviour or activity has to be used in larger amounts or for long periods of time than was originally intended. Even if there is a desire to cut down on their use of the substance, behaviour or activity in most situations there will be unsuccessful efforts to do it. Their pursuit of the substance, behaviour or activity consumes a significant part of their time. This intense motivation is fuelled by the release of dopamine within their brains. There is an uncontrollable craving or strong desire for them to use the substance or activity. Their use of the substance, behaviour or activity may even disrupt their work or other significant parts of their lives. Their use of the substance, behaviour or activity will continue despite the social problems it may cause and may occur in risky situations. Their use continues despite knowing it is causing psychological, emotional and even physical health problems.
Over time the narcissist will experience tolerance to their use of the substance, behaviour or activity. Tolerance is defined as a diminished response to a substance, behaviour or activity, that is the result of repeated use. When withdrawal occurs, the narcissist may experience physiological withdrawal symptoms. They may even take a related substance, or a related behaviour or activity to block these withdrawal symptoms. The more symptoms the narcissist is experiencing, the more severe their condition. As well as substances, behaviours and activities, narcissists can also be addicted to people in general or even a specific person. In this situation, they will experience the same symptoms as they would if it were a substance, behaviour or activity that they were addicted to. These addictions are the narcissist's coping mechanisms to deal with their low self-esteem, low self-worth, insecurities, guilt and
shame. They will rarely acknowledge that they have a problem.
Narcissists are emotionally immature and do not accept responsibility or accountability for anything that they do, even things that they do to themselves. This means that they can never learn from their faults or mistakes, so they can never grow. Because they deny or block any acknowledgement, responsibility or accountability for anything that they do, they remain locked in this endless addiction. As well as addictions, narcissists also engage in obsessive behaviour. When narcissists are obsessing, their ritualistic routines become a part of their everyday lives. You may notice this where they constantly replay the same conversations over and over again, as though they are just trying to figure something out.
Obsessive behaviour is very repetitive. The root of these types of behaviours is fear. They believe that if they do not engage in this obsessive behaviour, there will be a negative consequence. Fear, whether real or imagined, leads to obsessive behaviour. It is very difficult for the narcissist to recover from their obsessive and addictive behaviour, because this is something they often experience together. For them to separate their obsessive behaviours from their addictive behaviours, they would have to trace them back to the root cause of the problem, if they wish to stop doing the undesirable behaviour.
Of course, narcissists do not have any desire to change, as there is no acknowledgement, responsibility or accountability for anything that they do. If you confront them on their obsessive and addictive behaviour, this will be met with the usual manipulative tactics, which potentially becomes another addiction of theirs. Manipulative tactics such as denial, projection, blame-shifting, gaslighting and the double bind. Addicts are always going to be narcissistic at the very least. Having an obsession or addiction is narcissistic behaviour.
Narcissists also always have some form of addiction, whether it is in the use of a substance, activity or behaviour. You will never experience a healthy, loving relationship with a person who has all of these obsessive and addictive behaviours. Addicts are self-absorbed and lack empathy. You cannot have relationships with addicts, because their addictions always come first.