Flirting with Disaster – Psychopaths and Addiction

It started with one sip.  I hadn’t had alcohol in many months and I was determined to just have a drink to take off the edge.  One sip turned into a shot, and a shot turned into an eventual blackout.  What started as one drink turned into a frenzied drinking endeavor to satisfy my need for stimulation, for anything – including intoxication – to take the numbing boredom away.  What I did while I was in a state of brownout and blackout, I do not know.  Eventually this routine will catch up with me and I don’t know how to quit, for I search for anything to take the numbness away.

Addiction can be especially problematic for the psychopath.  Given that we do not adhere to most social or business contracts, the consequences of addiction seem negligible to the psychopath.  What problem is there is missing work when the job isn’t taken seriously?  What is a DUI worth if the psychopath does not care about punishment to begin with?  What is the threat against his life if he feels invulnerable?  These points raise great challenges in the fight for the antisocial against addiction, assuming he wants to combat the addiction at all.

Addiction can be especially problematic for the psychopath.  Given the psychopath’s irritability as well as his parasitism, the psychopath can become a callous and/or violent individual looking for their next fix.  Gods know that I’ve spent most of my adult years chasing a drink or two each night at any price required.  Whether it was draining my ex-husband’s bank account dry to fuel my own alcoholism or the ill-advised adventure to grab another drink, I’ve been overtly antisocial with my addiction.

For this coming year, I am going to try again to go sober.  I’ve contracted with my therapist to attend an Alcoholic’s Anonymous meeting should I slip again.  I may be drinking fewer and father in between, but I still lack the ability to control myself.  When I drink, I blackout; there is no such thing as moderation.  I am also going to try and ditch my tobacco habit.  While a less immediate danger, I have to realize that I am not invincible; I will one day die but there is no reason in speeding up that process.

While addiction can only bring ruin, the psychopath tends not to care.  His antisocial ways cause him not to care about the social contract that is ruined with each foray into drug or alcohol misuse and abuse.  The psychopath’s feelings of self-grandiosity and invulnerability cause him to avoid the considerations that others would take when evaluating the “benefits” of addiction.  With every needle and every drink, the psychopath flirts with disaster; it is a disaster that he simply cannot imagine as being truly possible.

Psychopaths and Shallow Affect - Some Emotion, Not None
Necrosis - Psychopathic Parasitism Revisited


  1. says

    You probably aren’t a psychopath. Just an addict. The symptoms of addiction mimic the symptoms of psychopathy. I remember thinking I was a pyschopath back when I was in active addiction. But my feelings were just numbed. Through working a 12 step program I began to experience real empathy and love. Wishing you all the best for the future.

    • FNP says

      Did you also have the narcissism and antisocial behavior not caused by substance abuse that psychopaths have?

      Oh, no, you didn’t. Because you aren’t a psychopath.

  2. Anonymous says

    She is a psychopath. She was diagnosed and she has the symptoms even now that she has beaten her addiction.

  3. says

    Addicts may act like psychopaths at times, but it’s certainly not consistent throughout the addiction. I lived in a building full of them (myself included), and my upstairs neighbor was both, so I’ve had the dubious privilege of observing the differences firsthand. An addict may do some pretty fucked-up things when chasing, but we certainly feel a metric ass-ton of guilt and shame when sober, which is of course a major impetus for avoiding that state at all costs. A psychopath will do something fucked-up when chasing or high, decide it was fun or useful, and do it again twice as hard when they’re sober.

  4. Ann says

    Wow. You could be describing my late husband in your posts this one in particular.

    Sadly he didn’t want to change and died last September in odd circumstances.

    Bipolar with alcohol addiction and probably psychopathic too between the spending the drinking and the lies oh and the grandiosity. He wouldnt care if they sacked him.

    The only way I escaped was to stay abroad because he wouldn’t have left me alone. He used to fone as though nothing had happened.

    A very tortured soul.

  5. BT says

    FNP – in a comment some while back, you made an observation about addiction, and that you supposed if you “didn’t want a job, place to live, money in your pocket, etc., you could see going that route” I recall you saying, “blood porn, I’m looking at you”, relative to addictions.

    So, my question is this, given that you seem to have put effort into pondering the nature of yourself, of addiction, and of the combination: How, in the VERY BEGINNING, did you AVOID the draw of any of those addictions? Like, alcohol is just a teenage ‘given’ as near as I can tell – how did it NOT get you, back before you understood all the things you do now?

    I ask because my psychopathic friend probably spent $7,500 to get his May, 2016 “DUI while boating” reduced down to a week of house arrest (that he did in July, 2017 after dragging the case on forever), and WHILE he was working thru it, he got another one in February, 2017. No remorse, that low feeling of risk, love of adventure, etc. lets him be invincible, and just pop the top of a beer and head on down the road. That lack of concern for punishment and belief he’s above all that getting busted stuff, puts him in a position for these kinds of things to happen. The Feb 2017 one has now been concluded, and sentencing is 30 days jail, 6 years suspended license (might get a conditional license to drive to work, but apparently the DUI itself may cost him his job – not that he’ll tell them, if he can figure out a way to get them to give him that full month that he’ll then use doing his jail time), 2 years probation (one failed piss test, and the rest of the 2 years IS in jail), and a ton of fines, court costs, etc. plus another probably $15K so far in lawyers on this one.

    The things I note are:
    1) no remorse, not sorry he did it, only very annoyed that he’s dealing with a ton of fallout that WILL affect him, particularly because he has NO CONTROL over any of it. Alot of anger, highly misdirected (toward the court for things they considered in sentencing, the Lawyer for not getting him off, etc)
    2) that part about being found out – I think almost no one knows, yet. He’ll have to tell a few folks if he’s in jail for a month, but his sentencing was only 24 hours ago, so he’s still mentally tallying his options, one would presume.
    3) he’s mad at the attorney (of course) and thinks he was incompetent. These aren’t his first two DUI’s in his lifetime, so to get down to 30 days jail, suspended license BUT can drive to work… damn, I think the lawyer was FANTASTIC myself…
    4) when we used to hang out together, he would always stop by the liquor store, or had some already. Could drink ALOT, without being too phased by it, but would ultimately keep going til he emptied the bottle EVERY TIME and like Jessica was saying black out, not remembering the events subsequent to getting really drunk.
    5) Tendency toward violence seems to increase as he drinks more – like he was remodelling his bathroom at home, the tub insert wouldn’t come out (poor planning of the endeavour), I am SURE he was drinking, and by the time he was at this point with tile off the walls etc, he just hauled back with a sledge hammer to come down on it as hard as he could, and when doing so, went thru the wall behind himself -THEN furious about that).
    6) Doesnt take responsibility for his part in any of it – the DUI, the sledgehammer hole in the wall, etc
    7) feel put upon by society – they’re picking on him… you can imagine the drill.

    So in the NT world, we’d say he’s just straight up IN DENIAL about his sitch, and that alcohol IS his Master. That while every time he drinks he may not break out in handcuffs, everytime he DOES break out in handcuffs, alcohol IS involved. That while no one can say he’s an alcoholic, a realistic self-assessment should reveal this reality.

    All of that is background to try to get at:
    A) HOW did you avoid alcohol or drugs getting a hold on you – as you sought to alleviate boredom -when you were young, and didn’t yet know their accelerated potential for power in your life?
    B) Do you have any advise for a viewpoint that a psychopath could wrap his head around, that would provide self-insight into seeing that the alcohol is at least involved in the problem – that he’s likely MORE susceptible that a mere mortal to this particular malady. Ya’ll are supposed to be really good a logic – even if you do alot of manipulative flim-flam – so how can logic be used to get focus on this matter, in a way he can perhaps see more clearly?
    C) I am very, very familiar with the principles of AA. One of the lines in Chapter 5 says, “rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are those who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program. Usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. They are not at fault – they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living that demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those too who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but some of them do recover, if they have the capacity to be honest”. Given that lying is as fundamental as breathing to a psychopath… you see where I’m going with thinking that perhaps psychopaths are the one’s they’re talking about that are ‘constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves”? So this question is, your concerns about an addiction getting its talons in YOU seems to be a well-founded truth about a solid vulnerability you have, perhaps even more than an NT. I get lying to OTHERS to get what you want, but can you be honest with YOURSELF, or does the shallow attachment, narcissism, etc. work to PREVENT it (on top of missing guilt, remorse, shame, etc). Like, CAN a psychopath be brutally honest with anyone – themselves OR someone else – or is it not really possible?

    Any insight you have (JNP, who avoided the addiction trap) or Jessica has (who had to pull herself back out of alcoholism) would be appreciated. I have no idea how to get him started thinking about how he’s probably got to give up booze or BECOME that ‘no job, no place to live’ person JNP is avoiding by NOT having any crippling addictions, but I’m looking for any counsel ya’ll have.

    Thanks as always – your insights make it possible to try to continue to be a friend to a psychopath.


    • FNP says

      Wow long post… Anyway, might as well answer this today.

      1. I’m not addicted to alcohol for one big reason: I can’t stand the taste, by and large. Furthermore, I had some level of parental supervision most days, and neither of my parents are/were the type to buy any alcohol other than cooking wine. These days, it’s more an ideological choice (plus I don’t have the money for it, tbh).

      2. Why would you want my advice? It’s not like I’ve got any interest in what you or your friend does. Besides… all the stupid ones get themselves thrown in prison or dead anyway, meaning less competition.

      3. Psychopaths aren’t really typically the lie-to-ourselves type. It’s more that everyone else is expendable, and therefore doesn’t need the truth.

      4. I wouldn’t say I don’t have any addictions, given the fact my porn folder is just over a terabyte…

      • BT says

        Much appreciated, as always, FNP.

        And why you for insight? Bcuz u can – and are willing to – explain ur thought processes/logic. U consider urself very high on the PCL-R, so therefore your viewpoint should represent insight into the most affected psychopaths, as an ‘anchor’ to the span of likelihoods on the upper end of anti-social.

        No NT is ever going to believe u if u tell them, “i really could give a fuck” about one thing or person, or another -orobably even if u TOLD them u were a psychopath. But that IS the Gods honest truth, the NT just cant, or wont hear you. Like the way people give human emotions to their dogs, cats, horses… why? That horse is not standing there experiencing disappointment the weather is bad and u cant go riding, ya know?!? And likely no psychopath is experiencing guilt, remorse or shame if busted lying, or for hurting someones feelings, etc. either. Maybe the momentary inconvenience of a Source of something u like having around inconveniently bailing, but beyond that, not so much. NTs just cant see the emotionless point of view w/o it being pointed out/defined, and even then its hard frankly to give it full credibility 4 being that persons candid Truth, *because it wouldnt be for an NT*. I have found thet mask-free conversation IS Truth, just crazy sounding to an NT.

        THAT is why i periodically seek ur viewpoint, and appreciate being able to contemplate the perspective u share.

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