Ego inflation is defined as an effect that magnifies and enhances one's own ego and self-regard in a manner which results in feeling an increased sense of confidence, superiority, and general arrogance. During this state, it can often feel that one is considerably more intelligent, important, and capable in comparison to those around them. This occurs in a manner which is similar to the psychiatric condition known as narcissistic personality disorder.
At lower levels, this experience can result in an enhanced ability to handle social situations due to a heightened sense of confidence. However, at higher levels, it can result in a reduced ability to handle social situations due to magnifying egoistic behavioural traits that may come across as distinctly obnoxious, narcissistic, and selfish to other people.
It is worth noting that regular and repeated long-term exposure to this effect can leave certain individuals with persistent behavioural traits of ego inflation, even when sober, within their day to day life.
Ego inflation is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as disinhibition, irritability, and paranoia in a manner which can lead to destructive behaviors and violent tendencies. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of stimulant compounds, particularly dopaminergic stimulants such as amphetamines, and cocaine. However, it may also occur under the influence of other compounds such as GABAergic depressants and certain dissociatives.
Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
Annectdotal reports which describe this effect with our experience index include:
- Nour, Matthew M.; Evans, Lisa; Nutt, David; Carhart-Harris, Robin L. (2016). "Ego-Dissolution and Psychedelics: Validation of the Ego-Dissolution Inventory (EDI)". Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 10. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2016.00269. ISSN 1662-5161.
- "Personality Disorders". Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.): 669–672. 2013. doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.dsm18.
- Spotts, James V.; Shontz, Franklin C. (2009). "Drug-Induced Ego States. I. Cocaine: Phenomenology and Implications". International Journal of the Addictions. 19 (2): 119–151. doi:10.3109/10826088409057173. ISSN 0020-773X.
- Woodham, Robert L. (1988). "A Self-Psychological Consideration in Cocaine Addiction". Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly. 4 (3): 41–46. doi:10.1300/J020V04N03_04. ISSN 0734-7324.
- Kuypers, K.P.C.; Steenbergen, L.; Theunissen, E.L.; Toennes, S.W.; Ramaekers, J.G. (2015). "Emotion recognition during cocaine intoxication". European Neuropsychopharmacology. 25 (11): 1914–1921. doi:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.08.012. ISSN 0924-977X.