You May Wonder: Do I Have An Addictive Personality
Many of my clients wrongly believe they have an addictive personality! Instead, let me explain what I think are the main reasons for this trap. Maybe you will identify with one or more of these thought-based behaviours.
Addictive personality is not an actual psychiatric diagnosis, says Michael Weaver, MD, medical director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addiction at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.Personalities are very complex, and while theres not one particular type thats more prone to addiction than others, there are several factors that can combine to make you more likely to become addicted.
When I see clients on a one to one in my counselling room many times, they say: I have an addictive personality.
1. NEGATIVE THINKING:
Negative thinking depletes your life force.
addictionsIm not going to do what I need to do. Instead, I am going to try to distract myself from dreadful feelings, which are now growing inside me because Im not doing what I need to doAll you have to do is start doing what you have to do
So do you still believe you have an addictive personality?
Let go of your aggravationsand start something new and different today, your life will never be the same.
Is Addictive Personality A Myth
While “addictive personality” is a common phrase in public discourse, it’s not actually a medical or scientific term. The scientific community has not yet identified an exact personality type that corresponds with heightened addiction risksalthough scientific research has shown that there are a variety of personality traits and genetic combinations that can lead to a higher risk for developing addictions. Those factors are different for individual people.
“There are definitely individuals who are prone to become addicted in various ways,” Boyd says, noting that addiction is often a combination of both genetics and the environment. “Some of this is based on personal history, but much of it is determined by having a family history of addiction.”
In her book Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction, health journalist Maia Szalavitz reports that no single personality profile has been linked to addiction, despite decades of research on the subject. If you think you’re addicted to something because of who you are or because of your personality, you’ve been led astray.
Ways To Overcome An Addictive Personality
Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW
South Florida Drug Rehab » 5 Ways to Overcome An Addictive Personality
People all over the world are dealing with what is known as an addictive personality disorder. Its more common than people may think. And its more harmful than people may believe. Often, addictive personalities lead to addiction.
Sometimes, people who have an addictive personality disorder become addicted to things like alcohol and drugs. Other individuals may develop an addiction to certain behaviors or activities.
In any case, though, addiction is unhealthy and harmful. So, its extremely important for those who struggle with an addictive personality to get help right away.
Maybe youve recently noticed an addictive personality in your life. Perhaps youve been trying to figure out how to overcome it in order to avoid further problems. Whether you are trying to prevent the development of an addiction problem or avoid addiction relapse, its best to seek professional help in overcoming the traits of an addictive personality.
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Contact 12 Keys Rehab
If you or someone you know is exhibiting addictive personality traits, dont despair. You are not alone. With understanding, you can overcome any present addictions. Beyond this, you can also prevent new ones from forming.
With the help of compassionate professionals, you can learn to channel the traits that go along with an addictive personality into positive results. An addictive personality does not mean you are doomed to addiction. With awareness and support, you can live a healthy and fulfilling life that is separate from addiction.
Understanding the signs of an addictive personality can help you better understand how you may deal with potential addictions. It can help you identify why you or someone you know may be more susceptible to addictions than others. Understanding is the first step to living an addiction-free life.
If you are struggling with addiction, contact 12 Keys Rehab to get treatment and help today. The professionals at 12 Keys will help you learn how to live a healthy and productive life, regardless of your addictive personality. They can help you cope with the stresses of life and channel your personality traits into positive behaviors.
Signs & Traits Of A Personality That May Lean Toward Addictions
While scientific research has shown that no personality type guarantees a problem with addictive thoughts or behaviors, there are particular traits that may point toward potential issues related to addiction including sexual addiction. Here are some of the top traits of individuals that may end up struggling with addiction at some point in their lives:
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Behaviors That Reveal Someone Has An Addictive Personality
Addictive personalities refer to a set of traits that are believed to indicate a higher risk for someone developing an addiction. There is little universal agreement on these exact traits. But in general, they relate to a tendency for someone to rely on unsafe habits to an extreme degree to cope with problems.
Addictive personalities are a touchy subject. And addiction is such a broad term that its hard to pinpoint exact behaviors to attribute to them. Still, here are 5 behaviors that reveal someone has an addictive personality.
Why Is The Idea Of An Addictive Personality Harmful
At first glance, the concept of an addictive personality might seem like a good tool for preventing addiction.
If we can identify those who have the highest risk, wouldnt that make it easier to help them before they develop an addiction?
But boiling the complex issue of addiction down to a personality type can be harmful for several reasons:
- It can lead people to falsely believe they arent at risk because they dont have the right personality for addiction.
- It may make people who have an addiction think that theyre unable to recover if addiction is hardwired into who they are.
- It suggests that people experiencing addiction exhibit traits that are generally considered negative, such as lying and manipulating others.
In reality, anyone can experience addiction including goal-oriented people who have a large network of friends, plenty of confidence, and a reputation of honesty.
Experts have identified a number of factors likely to increase someones risk for addiction.
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Treatment And Therapy At 1st Step Behavioral Health
If you are suffering from an addiction as a result of an addictive personality or you want to avoid relapse, just contact us here at 1st Step Behavioral Health. Let us help you overcome addictive personality traits once and for all! Call us today:
Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW
Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a masters degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.
The Disconnected Cautious Trait
According to the Scientific American article, the bold, risk-taker type who develops addiction is more likely to be male. On the other hand, cautious people who have difficulty with social relationships and who at the same time may suffer from depression, anxiety, or both can also develop addiction these personality types are more often women.
Considering the self-medication idea mentioned above, people with these personality traits may be more likely to try to manage symptoms of anxiety or painful feelings of loneliness, disconnection, and depression by using alcohol or drugs that dull those feelings. This may then lead to the person becoming dependent on the substance to feel good in general, which in turn can lead to tolerance and addiction.
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Signs Of Addiction And Symptoms Of An Addictive Personality:
Experiencing Other Mental Health Disorders
Along with the genetic connection, another individual health trait that can correspond with a higher risk of addiction is the presence of pre-existing mental health disorders. People who struggle with various mental health conditions can be more likely to abuse and become dependent on substances. These conditions include but are not limited to:
- Depression, bipolar disorder, or other mood disorders
- Anxiety or panic disorder
For example, as explained by Brain Facts, multiple studies over the last decades have demonstrated a strong link between schizophrenia and addiction to nicotine. In fact, it has been shown that nicotine can even temporarily lessen some of the symptoms of schizophrenia. The use of cigarettes to manage these symptoms is a phenomenon known as self-medication, which is a common source of substance abuse that later becomes addiction.
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Healthy Ways To Manage An Addictive Personality
Theres more than genetics and environmental factors for addiction. Researchers believe not managing these behaviors can lead to addiction. Today, we know that addiction is a progressive and complex brain disease that has no single cause.
There are ways to manage these impulses for someone who has difficulty with them. Whether its compulsive comfort eating, obsession with social media, or gambling, these tactics can help:
- Practice mindfulness meditation, yoga, relaxation, exercise, and other therapeutic activities.
- Connect with others that have shared interests or enjoyable activities.
- Avoid using sex, shopping, or other substitutes to bolster your self-esteem.
- Experiment with different activities and reward mechanisms whenever you feel bored.
- Seek excitement through healthy activities like traveling, hobbies, or setting goals for yourself.
- Beware of the warning signs of drug abuse or alcohol addiction and seek help when needed.
A Sense Of Feeling Disconnected Or Apathetic
On the other side of the spectrum, some individuals who struggle with addictive personalities find that they feel generally apathetic or disconnected from daily life. Anything that isnt directy related to their addictive behaviors becomes uninteresting, and may lead to a lack of passion, desire, or interest.
Excessive Worrying & Trouble Self-Regulating
Many individuals who suffer from addiction particularly sexual addiction will discover that they find themselves unable to self-regulate their inner thought patterns and outward behaviors. Included with those issues can be excessive worry and increased panic attacks when unable to access their particular fix.
While these symptoms or traits in and of themselves cannot diagnose an addiction, they can be signs of an underlying problem that can be treated with the help of a trained therapist. At Novus Mindful Life, our team of caring experts is ready to help you find freedom from your current or potential addiction through proven methods.
You are not alone in your struggle, and there is hope for you in the midst of sexual addiction. Learn more about our services and find more great content just like this at Novus Mindful Life online.
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Addictive Personalities And Alcohol
People who have addictive personality traits that also drink alcohol dont automatically develop an addiction. However, they need to be more aware of the consequences of their actions.
Experts believe that addictive personality traits can make the difference between the development of addiction versus regular use. Others believe that its their drug use habits that make the difference.
For example, some people can go out and have a few drinks on the weekend without any problems. Others, however, have trouble stopping, and it starts affecting their workweek. Also, social drinkers only drink when theyre out with friends. Theres a problem when they cant stop there and have to drink when theyre alone at home.
Adventurous Escapism & Increased Risk
Another trait of those with an addictive personality is that they are never satisfied with the status quo. They may find that they are often plagued by a need to escape from their current situation and find a new adventure or risk to get a sense of exhilaration or thrill. With sexual addiction, this can look like an increase in the need for increasingly dangerous or graphic sexual content or relationships.
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Diagnosed With Other Mental Health Disorders
Certain mental health disorders can create a greater risk for developing an addiction.9
- Mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder
- Generalized anxiety or panic disorder
- Psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
People who experience severe, moderate, or even mild mental health disorders may often use drugs as a way to self-medicate.
Unfortunately, some drugs may worsen mental health symptoms, both in the short term and long term. For example, cocaine use can exacerbate bipolar disorder symptoms and even contribute to its progression. 10
ntal illness, they experience changes in their brain activity, increasing their likelihood of developing an addiction. These changes can contribute to addiction by increasing the rewarding effects of drug use and reducing the awareness of a drugs adverse effects.
When someone with a mental health disorder uses drugs, they may also experience relief from the disorders symptoms. For example, the changes in the brain of someone with ADHD are also associated with drug cravings. Individuals with co-occurring addiction and ADHD often report more significant cravings. 11
Do You Have An Addictive Personality
In light of this the culmination of three years of blood,sweat, tears and an exorbitant amount of caffeine I thought Id write thisweek on part of my thesis work
One of the biggest questions in addiction research is why dosome people become dependent on drugs, while others are able to use inmoderation? Certainly some of the risk lies in the addictive potential of the substances themselves, but still the vast majority of individuals who have used drugs never become dependent on them. This then leads to thequestion, is there really such a thing as an “addictive personality, and what puts someone at a greater risk for addiction if they do choose to try drugs?
We believe that there are three crucial traits that comprisemuch of the risk of developing a dependency on drugs: sensation-seeking,impulsivity and compulsivity.
Sensation-seekingis the tendency to seek out new experiences, be they traveling to exoticcountries, trying new foods or having an adrenaline junkies interest inextreme sports. These people are more likely to first try psychoactive drugs,experimenting with different sensations and experiences.
Conversely, impulsivityis acting without considering the consequences of your actions. This is oftenequated with having poor self-control eating that slice of chocolate cake inthe fridge even though youre on a diet, or staying out late drinking when youhave to be at work the next day.
Oh, and I’ll be going by Dr. D from now on.
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There Are Common Elements From Addiction To Addiction
One possibility that is frequently overlooked is the personality of the individual those traits that most drug addicts and alcoholics perhaps addicts of EVERY type seem to have in common.
A report submitted to the National Academy of Sciences concluded that there are a number of personality factors that may contribute to the development of an addiction:
- Antisocial Personality
- Places Little to No Importance on Traditional Societal Standards of Achievement
- High Tolerance for Deviant Behavior
- Poor Impulse Control
- Inability to Delay Gratification
- A Personal Sense of Being under Greater Stress
Psychology professor Alan R. Lang, of Florida State University, the studys author, said, If we can better identify the personality factors, they can help us devise better treatment and can open upnew strategies to intervene and break the patterns and addiction.
Is An Addictive Personality A Real Thing
As many addiction specialists and doctors note, an addictive personality is not a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. This means it is not listed in the DSM-5: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, which is the definitive source used by many mental health professionals to diagnose and treat people.
Though the origins of the term addictive personality are unclear, people have long been trying to find the root causes of addiction, Sachs says.
Addiction is defined as a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individuals life experiences.
Aside from addiction to substances like alcohol and drugs, people can become addicted to a variety of behaviors.
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