Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by an extreme level of self-love and admiration. People struggling with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) will typically feel that they are superior to everyone else. They have an elevated level of general selfishness. People with NPD have a constant preoccupation with personal success and power and have little to no regard for others. They will present themselves as overly self-confident, when in reality they are concealing deep insecurities. Narcissists have fragile self-esteem and are vulnerable to the slightest criticism from others. Individuals with NPD may also do the following:
- Consider themselves better than others
- Exaggerate personal exploits to gain attention
- Believe they are entitled to special treatment
- Take advantage of others to achieve personal goals
- Disregard the feelings of others
- Believe that their interests and opinions are the most important
- Monopolize discussions
- Become impatient with situations that don’t focus on them
- Expect others to automatically agree with them
- Be unable to see another person’s point of view
- Express arrogant behavior and attitude
- Be overly sensitive to insults and criticism
- Experience extreme rage if things do not go as planned
NPD can be caused by abuse and neglect during infancy and early childhood. These damaging experiences as a child can have severe effects on an adult’s self-esteem. People who were neglected as children and now suffer with NPD can fall into severe depression when they do not receive the admiration and attention desired from their peers. Narcissists suffering from depression may use a stimulant drug like Ritalin as self-medication. Ritalin increases the level of dopamine which is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain linked to pleasure and happiness. Using Ritalin improperly and without a prescription can cause addiction and dependence.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment for NPD and Addiction
A narcissist typically believes that his or her drug use cannot lead to addiction. Treating a narcissist for drug addiction can be difficult because his or her typical behavior can include the following:
- Not accepting addiction
- Unrealistic demands of perfection for therapists and doctors
- Competitive and hostile attitude toward treatment
- Devaluing the credibility of a therapist when he or she does not agree
- Discontinuing treatment when they cannot get their way
Seeking professional help at a licensed Dual Diagnosis treatment facility will provide the best results in recovering from NPD and Ritalin addiction. Dual Diagnosis facilities offer a team of experienced professionals trained specifically in caring for people who have a personality disorder and are struggling with drug addiction.
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