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View Full Version : Can extended Crystal Meth use cause (reversible) narcissism?



Girl765
15-04-2013, 19:39
My friend has been using crystal daily for about half a year. Over the months, I think I've noticed some change but I'm not sure if it's my own mind playing tricks (I have been using too, and though I have slowed down and stopped for consecutive days; I don't feel right yet).
He doesn't seem able to empathise, seems pre-occupied with himself and more, so that he would objectively tick the boxes of a narcissistic personality. But, I don't think I can make balanced and unemotional observations and conclusions.

Have people noticed a similar change in somebody they care for after extended meth use? Before the binge, he always seemed confident and could be withdrawn. I question how well I knew him.

Perhaps it is a type of common delusion among recovering meth addicts that I'm experiencing, or maybe I am observing alright, but it is a common and reversible change in people who use for a long time. Surely meth could not trigger something like this to occur? Or, it's not something I've missed since I've known him (quite a while) and only just realised when my mind is at its most cloudy?

Thanks for sharing any information or experiences.

baooozs
15-04-2013, 19:55
Moving this to Mental Health.

BDD -> MH

FnX
15-04-2013, 20:45
I have to say, it's pretty tricky, I'm pretty sure that whatever the case may be, we can only at best speculate here. I have witnessed long term stimulant abuse bring out the 'worst' in certain people over time, making these people do some really stupid, selfish and definitely narcissistic things. Like they became a different person altogether. I have witnessed people who used to do that at one point in their life but no longer do, live lives that are genuinely unselfish, caring and empathic. I'd guess that what you're observing is real, but that you might be at risk of over exaggerating or misinterpreting it in your current mental state.

To know for sure if it's just something reversible from the meth, your friend would obviously need to willingly stop using. There's a very limited amount of information provided really, but to emphasize, yes I've noticed similar changes in somebody I care for, although I have no idea how common it is. IMO it was hard to say if there's some underlying personality trait responsible, or is it just the drugs, or maybe the combination of both. Dopaminergic drugs, when abused especially long-term seem to make people much more egoistical than what they usually are.

I would advise you to try not to think about it too much right now as according to what you wrote, it seems you could use a few days to straighten your head up first to allow proper judgement. Hopefully this will be possible in your situation as I would consider it a top priority. One thing that could be playing a role here is you using and, without even realizing it, kinda falling into the same boat. Now that you're coming off, maybe you're experiencing your own empathy healing back and giving you this insight?

EDIT: Also moving from MH -> TDS

DynoSpec
16-04-2013, 07:45
meth devastates people. if you go hard for too long it can really make you feel awful, especially when youre constantly not getting enough nutrients/vitamins. usually even the most intense habits under a few years are reversible (side effect wise) but it will take a long long time and its day by day

Dresden
17-04-2013, 01:06
"Can extended Crystal Meth use cause (reversible) narcissism?"

Yes, it's called ego inflation. My friend thought he was God for a while.

DrunkardsDream
17-04-2013, 03:24
I know people who have used meth in the past and who currently still use it and have for decades, and when they were high on it or are on it...it's ALL about them their problems, issues, body, concerns, needs, things they want or think they need (but really don't need) at the time, etc.

When these people got sober, or in the case of the people who have used it for decades take a break they do empathize with other people and it's not all about them. The one person I know who was mainly into opiates but told me how when they were using used meth as well now is sober, is married, and has kids and is a responsible adult who puts their children first in this person and their spouse's life.

I have never used crystal and I do not want to.

Vaya
17-04-2013, 04:27
To compound on what has already been said, YES!!! Though chronic methamphetamine use doesn't necessarily produce the clinical definition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a (very) typical symptom of meth/amphetamine abuse is megalomania (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/megalomania). Common symptoms include a gross preoccupation with oneself, delusions of grandeur, detachment from reality/"depersonalization," etc.

It's a truly awful symptom of abuse, both for the abuser (he/she, by-and-large, has no idea whatsoever of the nature of their behavior) and for the friends and family that need to learn new ways to cope with the negativistic transformation from a person they once knew to a person who encompasses an entirely different set of principles, values and world views.

bunnymunro
17-04-2013, 19:11
I went out with a long term meth user for a while, and she exhibited every symptom of narcissism amongst other disorders. As I didn't know her prior to being a user I cannot say if it wad due to meth or not, but my guess is that it was, at least to some degree

Girl765
18-04-2013, 12:02
Thanks everybody, youre replies really helped me at the moment

Black Rabbit of Inlè
18-04-2013, 12:10
Most, if not all, stimulants cause some degree of megalomania or narcissism. The longer the binge goes on the worse the symptoms. Extended periods of sobriety will eventually remove these symptoms. It's all a waiting game in the end.