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Narcisisim and the alcoholic


Narcissism is an exagrerated preoccupation with oneself and is frequently dealt with in AA literature.

AA has no difficulty dealing with the personality problems of its members and  indeed, in steps 6 and 7 it tells members to address their defects of character and shortcomings before the balloon of self-importance can be burst.

Dr Harry Tiebout was the first psychoanalyst to write that deflation of the ego occurs in the act of surrender,which he defines as:

“The moment when the unconscious forces of defiance and grandiosity actually cease to function effectively, the individual is wide open to reality; he can listen and learn without conflict and fighting back. He is receptive to life, not antagonistic. The alcoholic senses relatedness and an at-oneness, which become the sources of inner peace and serenity, the possession of which frees the individual from his compulsion to drink. In order words, an act of surrender is an occasion, when the individual no longer fights life but accepts it.”

The alcoholic who stops drinking, but makes no deeper change is always in danger of returning to that grandiose notion that they are powerful enough to control their drinking behavior.




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