Relationships Between ADHD And Narcissism

Relationships Between ADHD And Narcissism

Though ADHD and narcissism are two different conditions, they have some common traits and characteristics. People behave and act similarly to each other in both conditions. Narcissism is a mental health condition whereby a person has a lot of ego, is self-centered, and always thinks about himself. Research shows that the features can sometimes include anger, selfishness, and inability to control one’s feelings among those with ADHD.

We will further look into the ADHD and narcissism relationship, along with their comparisons and contrasts. You can contact MAVA Behavioral Health for better treatment if you see anybody around you suffering from the problem of ADHD. Keep reading as we’ll discuss the ADHD and narcissism relationship and its impact on human health.

ADHD and Narcissism

There is a really controversial and not completely clear link between ADHD and NPD. Some studies show a higher prevalence of narcissistic behavior patterns among ADHD patients, while others find no definitive link to support it.

It is important to recognize that co-occurrence itself does not imply causality, and neither from this study are people with ADHD any more likely to go on to develop NPD. Rather, phrenologic overlap seems more likely to reflect the existence of shared risk factors, genetic predispositions, or environmental contributions.

Symptoms of ADHD

Though often seen as a kid’s issue, attention deficit disorder narcissism can last into adult years, showing up in less obvious but crucial ways. When adults are found to have ADHD, it looks different, with a range of symptoms. If ignored, these could greatly affect many parts of their lives. Symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Inability to stay on task is one of the defining symptoms.
  • Adults with hyperactivity may present differently from children; instead of obvious physical agitation.
  • Experience inner restlessness or difficulty relaxing.
  • Making snap decisions, cutting people off in talks.
  • Acting without thinking through the repercussions is an example of impulsivity.

Symptoms of Narcissism

Symptoms of narcissism include:

  • An exaggerated feeling of grandeur or significance.
  • Recurring dreams of grandeur, prosperity, beauty, or significance.
  • Feelings of uniqueness and distinction.
  • Excessive dependence on other people’s approval, acclaim, and admiration.
  • A feeling of entitlement or that they should be given preferential treatment.
  • Taking advantage of people for one’s benefit or selfish motives.
  • Incapable or unwilling to show empathy for the needs of others.
  • Feeling jealous of other people or thinking other people are jealous of them.
  • Haughty or arrogant behavior, acting superior to others.

Is There a Relationship Between ADHD And Narcissism?

Indeed, studies show that NPD and ADHD can co-occur and frequently do. NPD and ADHD are two distinct conditions that can occasionally co-occur. Although NPD is classified as a personality illness and ADHD as a neurodevelopmental disorder, they may have commonalities such as interpersonal difficulties and less empathy for unknown causes. ADHD and narcissism relationship can sometimes deviate from each other but the other time show similar signs.

While NPD and ADHD can co-occur, the overlapping symptoms and similarities between narcissistic and ADHD behaviors may sometimes mislead a diagnosis for one or the other disorder. A case in point: an individual with ADHD may appear not to be interested in discourses simply because he is easily distracted, yet the person with NPD does this due to a lack of feelings for others.

Similarities Between ADHD And Narcissism

  • Impulsivity, inattention to the consequences of actions.
  • While both are characterized by inattentiveness, the reasons are rather different.
  • Individuals with these conditions have sudden mood swings and are trying to deal with their emotions.
  • Both disorders are trying to seek the attention of others and unable to control the emotions.

Difference Between ADHD And Narcissism



A neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.A personality trait or disorder marked by grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy.
Mainly, the causes are genetic and neurobiological.Psychological factors, environmental factors, and probably genetics.
Inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity.Grandiosity, admiration, low empathy, entitlement.
Typically diagnosed in childhood.   Traits may emerge in adolescence or adulthood.
Often struggles with maintaining attention and impulsivity can lead to social difficulties.    Manipulative, superficial relationships; often seek admiration and validation.

Can Having a Narcissistic Parent Cause ADHD?

Indeed, the ADHD in the child is caused by a narcissistic partner since such a parent is filling the child’s head with negative things. A narcissistic parent doesn’t directly cause ADHD, but it can contribute to a range of challenges that may impact a child’s emotional and behavioral development: while a narcissistic parent is not the root of ADHD, it can lead to all sorts of issues that may affect the child’s emotional and behavioral outlook in life:

1. Inconsistent Parenting

One study has suggested that narcissistic parents may display parenting behaviors that are completely negligent or incohesive. They might be either very strict or very lenient and this might affect a child in a certain way, causing instability, and this plays a massive role in addressing the symptoms of children with ADHD.

2. Relational Difficulties

Narcissistic parents usually have less concern with their children, and they may not understand the feelings of the young ones well. This might result in enmity between the parents and their children, poor communication, and lack of social skills, which are critical determinants of ADHD.

3. Trauma and Coping Mechanisms

In childhood, parenting with a narcissistic parent means that children are vulnerable to emotional abuse or neglect, which is traumatic. Thus, various strategies being adopted by children in an attempt to cope with such experiences might include techniques like dissociation, hyperactivity, or impulsiveness that may be assumed to be causes of ADHD.

Narcissism and ADHD In Adults

Although the reasons behind the behavior are different, in the initial stage, an adult with a narcissistic personality and one with ADHD may behave similarly. If you suffer from ADHD, you may face issues in focusing and keeping on track; you may have problems relating with others and being organized at work. Narcissism and relationships to other disorders are not neglectable, you must seek some professional help.

This could then make it difficult for you to concentrate on a conversation, readily interrupt people, or be an intruder not considering the effects of your actions. Interpersonally, individuals with NPD also have problems relating to others; however, this would mainly be because they are often attention-seeking and praise-seeking from others. They might end up quite non-empathic and unwilling to acknowledge or accept other people’s emotions.

Bottom Line

Although ADHD and narcissism are two kinds of disorders, one person may show the characteristics of both at any time. It means that there may be some common symptoms representing both disorders. Hence, it becomes quite difficult to differentiate or diagnose such disorders without an expert’s evaluation. If you or someone you know shows symptoms of ADHD or exhibits narcissistic tendencies, professional help must be sought out. By trusting MAVA Behavioral Health, you can avail yourself of the finest healthcare providers who have a specialty in the effective diagnosis and treatment of ADHD to help guide you through with all support.



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