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King Baby Syndrome – An Explanation For Our Addictive Personalities

King Baby Syndrome – An Explanation For Our Addictive Personalities

King Baby Syndrome (or queen baby) was written by Tom Cunningham at the Hazelden Foundation in Minnesota. He wrote the pamphlet for recovering addicts and alcoholics to explore dry drunk syndrome. This term is obviously an oxymoron as it implies that a person is drunk without ingesting alcohol. Addiction is not about the substance it is an illness that results in a set of symptoms and behaviours that the substance medicates.

The term “His Majesty, the Baby,” originated from Freud’s paper “On Narcissism” (1914) the concept describes an inborn attitude. Freud uses the tale of Narcissus as a synonym for egomania or fixation with oneself to illustrate king baby syndrome.

The story: Narcissus is a young man who is seeing his reflection in a pool of water and falls in love with himself, unable to tear himself away he finally dies of self-obsession. His name is derived from the Greek word “narke” meaning sleep or numbness. King Baby & Personas PDF download

YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN OUR PODCAST EPISODE ON THAT TOPIC: “KING BABY SYNDROME – PODCAST EPISODE 18” WITH SIMON MOTT AND PAUL GARRIGAN.

Some of us never shed this so called “King Baby” attitude

We are born narcissists in order to survive. Now imagine returning to the womb, here we feel warmth, security, comfort: all our primary needs are taken care of and we are the centre of our universe, during our infancy, we demand food, attention, care and expect to get it to feel secure and satisfied. Through the natural maturing processes of childhood and adulthood, most of our king baby syndrome mentality is discarded and replaced by more appropriate life skills. However, some of us advanced through the stages of physical growth without shedding this so-called “King Baby” attitude.

When addicts suffer from “King Baby Syndrome” they want the same level of self-centred gratification that babies and young children need. Addicts must be especially aware of King Baby drives and characteristics, for these attitudes and behaviours can continue to show up after we achieve abstinence.

The “Narcissistic Wound” and how it might be affecting you

Traditionally narcissism is seen as a result of setbacks in early development. This is caused by a gap between the ideal self (standards set by others, society, parents) and the real self. Known as “Narcissistic wound”, it’s usually due to unmet needs, hurts and threats to self-esteem, and now relying on approval and admiration from others to ease the anxiety and low self-worth.

Nurture versus nature: Narcissism in relation to addiction may be caused by a predisposition to dopamine deficiency, and therefore feelings of deprivation and dissatisfaction, either genetic or due to neglect. Whatever the cause, it leads to anxiety, triggers defense mechanisms and defective character traits to compensate. Narcissist Personality Disorder is listed in the DSM as a classifiable clinical diagnosis.

Inner Struggle

There are two prime motivating factors for adult-baby behaviour, first, the scared lonely child who does not want to be hurt and second the adult baby who is never satisfied. Sometimes when our inner-child hears the word NO, an inner message hears the word BAD.

Core Beliefs

Symptoms of the “King Baby Syndrom”

“King Baby Syndrome” traits in various degrees; exaggerated or rigidly held sense of entitlement, self-obsession, vanity, arrogant, greed, grandiosity, superiority, self –sufficiency and rage. The objective is to compensate for inferiority by being right and important in order to fulfil one’s needs.

Persona: or pseudo-self, we develop ways to cope and be accepted as well as to meet our selfish needs, at home, at work, with friends. By covering our true or real selves with a functional persona, however, we cannot help this king baby syndrome from emerging.

It’s ok to be the centre of your universe; however it’s not ok to expect to be the centre of everyone else’s universe!

“King Baby Syndrome” Personality Traits

Humility is not thinking less of yourself it is thinking of yourself less.

Personality & Identity

Persona: Latin word for mask

Carl Jung used the term “Personas” in his book “Psychological Types (1921)” to describe personality types. He believed we all share common genetic elements, he called “the archetypes”, and these represent prototype patterns of stereotypical behaviour that are stored in our collective unconscious, such as Martyr, Hero, Outcast, Devil, Warrior, Temptress, damsel in distress, etc.

Our personas help us function – how we meet our needs and survive socially. The way we present to the world, but somehow they are separate from our “true or real self” – Our Persona is a mask which protects our fragile Ego. Jung identified two main personality groups;

  1. the extraverted attitude that responds to the external world
  2. the introverted attitude that responds to the inner world


These two opposing attitudes are both present in the personality, but ordinarily one of them is dominant and conscious while the other is subordinate and unconscious.

We judge and perceive the world via the four components of our personalities: Thinking, feeling, sensing, intuiting.

The Hope Method

Hope has been fortunate that author, Gabrielle Harris wrote this eye-opening book about her experience’s observing Hope Rehab’s program, including interviewing the staff & clients. On our library page you will find Hope’s most pressures recourses, all developed by our team. We have decided to give these Workbooks away to anyone who needs them.  follow this link….

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