What To Do If You Recognize These Changes In Your Loved One:
Realizing that your loved one is struggling with addiction is scary and overwhelming but know that you are not alone. During this difficult time, its important that you surround yourself with support groups such as Nan-Anon can be a great resource for families whose loved ones are struggling. Educating yourself on addiction, what you can and cannot do to help your loved one, how you can encourage them to seek treatment, and what to look for in a treatment center is also important. Talking to your loved one about their addiction wont be easy, but it is a necessary conversation that could save their life.
Helping Others With High Risk Of Addiction
Mental health professionals, including therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists, can help an individual struggling with the risk factors for addiction. Addressing these issues early on and identifying and implementing healthy coping mechanisms can decrease the individuals likelihood of developing an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Additionally, many treatment methods exist that can help those with an addiction to recover.
What Is Addictive Personality Disorder
So what all does this entail? In layman terms it defines people who dont understand that too much of a good thing can be bad. Its having an out of control habit that you cannot say no to. Its those people who say, why have just one when you can have twenty? Its the line between use and abuse. And it affects 10%-15% of the population. These factors are biological and inheritable and not your fault.
Having an addictive personality doesnt necessarily mean that you are just addicted to drugs or other substances either. It can mean that you are addicted to cooking, and your obsession never lets you leave the kitchen. It can mean that you are addicted to shopping, and you slowly drain your bank account over the years as you buy more and more stuff. Or it can mean what people typically assume it means youre addicted to drugs and you keep taking them and taking them until you destroy your life.
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Is It Possible To Change Your Personality
Probably. Extroversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and emotional stability are all traits that one may be able to deliberately increase, research suggests, though its not yet known how permanent such changes are. They also seem to require active engagement in efforts to changemerely wanting to is likely not enough.
Traits Of An Addictive Personality
The editorial staff of Rehabs.com is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands of pages for accuracy and relevance. Our reviewers consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA, NIDA, and other reputable sources to provide our readers the most accurate content on the web.
An addictive personality is a set of personality traits that make an individual more prone to develop addictions to drugs, alcohol or other habit-forming behaviors. Know someone who might have one?
Here are a couple of red flags to look for:
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You Lose Interest In Things You Used To Enjoy
One of the primary characteristics of addiction is that it becomes the most important thing in your life and everything else gets demoted. Whether you enjoy spending time with your family, playing golf, or rebuilding motorcycles, your other interests will gradually lose ground to substance use. This damages your relationships for a number of reasons, largely because people dont like being second to substance use. It also means instead of spending your time building relationships, mastering skills, or creating something useful, youre just spending your time drinking or using drugs. This is unfortunate because much of our identity is determined by how we spend our free time. A persons job might tell you something about them, but not as much as what they do for fun.
Frequent And Dramatic Mood Swings
Since addictive drugs flood the brains pleasure center with chemicals, addicts feel a burst of euphoria when they take drugs. However, with a dramatic boost in pleasure also comes with a heavy downswing. The drugs will damage the brains ability to produce the pleasure chemicals on their own, thereby creating states of deep depression when the addict doesnt have any drugs in their system. One big thing to watch for here is encountering someone who comes home profoundly upset or sad, and then returns from some alone time in a significantly better mood.
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You Constantly Feel Stressed And Anxious
If you have an addictive personality, likely youâre faced with regular feelings of stress and anxiety well beyond whatâs considered average, according to MindBodyGreen.com. According to the outlet, this could be because youâre dealing with a lot of internal regret for your impulsive actions and/or behaviors.
Substance Abuse And The Brain
The reason is simple: drugs and alcohol destroy the brain. They flood the brain with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. This causes the person using drugs or alcohol to feel moments of extreme happiness, but once that feeling goes away, they are left with nothing but cravings. As the desire for the substance continues to increase, the individual needs to consume more and more of it to feel its euphoric effects. This rapidly turns into a vicious cycle in which the individual is constantly using, yet never able to achieve their original high.
Over time, drug and alcohol abuse alter critical brain activity and trick the brain into prioritizing the substance over everything else. Because the brain is consumed by drugs or alcohol, an individuals personality drastically changes. Often, those suffering from a substance abuse problem morph into completely different people altogether.
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Addictions Compulsions And The Addictive Personality
There are vital differences between compulsions and addictions however, both can be influenced by the same underlying causes. For example, someone with an alcohol addiction may be trying to fill a void or temper anxiety. Someone with a compulsion may have underlying feelings of anxiety but may not have addictions or abuse substances.
The main differences between addictions and compulsions concern motivation, especially in regards to pleasure. Addictions often include and are motivated by pleasure while compulsions often lack pleasure. Someone who feeds their craving for an addictive substance is rewarded by dopamine, a chemical released once the brain is rewarded. Once this becomes a habit, he or she is now chasing a reward which can be extremely difficult to stop.
What Exactly Is An Addictive Personality
People that struggle with addiction are not just hooked on a particular substance their behavior is often part of underlying issues that are difficult to resolve. Although the concept of an addictive personality is part myth and part reality, there are certain traits that can create a higher risk of addiction. There is no single generic personality that is more prone to addiction but someone with addictive tendencies needs to be cautious about any type of substance use because it can cause problems for them.
Most studies agree that people with addictions do not necessarily have one particular personality type. Different traits exist in people that have addictions and they may be very distinct from one another in the things that drive them to abuse substances. People may have an idea of a what a stereotypical addictive personality is but it is not always based in reality.
In spite of the differences between addicts they do have a common drive to use substances in excess and find it difficult to moderate their behavior. These tendencies make it very important for someone with an addiction to practice abstinence because they may find it hard to minimize their substance use. They may also need to avoid any and all mind altering substances as any of them can potentially become addictive.
Traits that Can Create Risk for Addiction
Recovering from Addiction with Personality Traits
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Do You Have An Addictive Personality Take This 20
Some can’t say no to alcohol, others can’t stop smoking pot. Some prefer the antiseptic high of a pill mass produced in a pharmaceutical clean room, while others crave the soiled rush of a powder purchased on the street and snorted in secret. Familiar to every race, class, occupation, and ethnicity, addiction is the unseen pull of an illicit urge, addiction is the wormhole to a forbidden self. The National Institutes of Health estimate nearly one in 10 Americans over the age of 12 can be classified as a substance abuser or substance dependent. A quick glance at your friends, family, and acquaintances would tell you most anyone can become addicted though some people seem to be more vulnerable than others. The simple question, Why? is not easy to answer, though.
You Just Cant Seem To Quit Your Vice
This might be more obvious, but itâs worth mentioning when weâre talking about addictive personalities. If you have a vice â whether itâs substance-related or not â and no matter how much you try, you canât seem to shake it, this is a red flag. According to WebMD, this might mean you continue to do the behavior even though itâs not only affecting you, you know itâs also affecting your family, your friends, your job, and potentially more.
Just because you might align with some of these signs does not have to mean youâre fated to be an addict by any means, according to Weaver. He told WebMD, âYou can get help and lead a successful, productive life.â By admitting to yourself that you have an addictive personality, you can begin to get yourself on the right track. The best way to manage it is to first admit it. Then, if you don’t have a current addiction, try to avoid substances or behaviors that you believe may be addictive for you, whether that’s alcohol or online shopping. If you’re already an addict, get the right help. Websites cited in this article â including AlcoholRehab.com and 12KeysRehab.com â are great sources of information on addiction. You can also see a health care professional if you believe your addiction has become a problem.
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Believing Quitting Is Too Hard
If you have an addictive personality, you may feel that quitting everything addictive is just too difficult. You may have bounced from drink to drugs, from drugs to sex, from sex to overeating, from overeating to overexercise. Some people just feel life in moderation is too empty, too boring, too normal. They need excess.
This is denial. Even people with long-term, ingrained addictions can quit. Many of them discover this later in life, after losing friends, family, jobs and everything but their addictions. Once they find that recovery is possible, life opens up again and they grieve the lost years.
Support Your Client To Separate Their Addiction From Who They Are And Start To Develop New Healthier Habits
An ‘addictive personality’ has traditionally been touted as a pervasive, persistent fault at the core of who a person is, but the reality is that addiction is a learned behavior pattern that can be changed and overcome.
The Change Addictive Personality Hypnosis Script from The Script Collection was put together to help clients separate themselves from their addiction, and meet their needs in healthier ways.
The pre-talk covers the traditional Alcoholics Anonymous program, presenting it as just one idea as to how addiction can be overcome, and one that simply won’t be effective for a large proportion of people. It reassures the client that addictive behavior patterns are not an intrinsic part of who they are, but rather a habitual pattern that can be changed.
The induction begins by guiding the client to focus intensely on a particular point, make their hands into fists, and hold their breath, before allowing all that tension to “release completely.” It is suggested that as they direct their energy in this way they can connect with “the importance of making … change.” Immediately they are directed to recall how it felt to build and release this intense focus, allowing the relaxation to deepen.
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Addictive Personality Symptoms In Adolescents
Common traits found in adolescents who abuse drugs and alcohol and exhibit problematic gambling include: 7,8
- High impulsivity.
Some of these traits show up in early childhood, while others may develop later in adolescence. Although not every adolescent who exhibits these traits will develop an addiction, its important to know the predictors so that drug abuse education and early intervention can be provided.
Additional adolescent traits that are associated with computer gaming addiction include: 7
- Low self-esteem.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .
How To Overcome An Addictive Personality
Addiction is not limited to substance abuse. Many people relate to the idea of having an addictive personality. They struggle to control enjoyable activities, as they are constantly switching between different types of compulsive behavior. Here are seven common examples of addictive indulgences and ways to overcome them…
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Can Addiction Change Someones Personality
Yes. Drug and alcohol abuse can change a persons behavior and personality in ways that almost make them seem like an entirely different person. They may do things that make you think, Thats not you! as you struggle to understand the motivation behind the behaviors.
Unfortunately, scientific research confirms the fact that addiction changes the brain, altering the way your loved ones brain functions and disrupting its normal balance. Various types of drugs affect the brain in different ways, but most drugs produce powerful waves of dopamine that are highly addictive and harmful.
Consistent drug abuse impacts the brains pleasure center and plays a role in memory and learning.1 When a person continues to abuse these substances, he or she essentially re-trains his or her brain to seek out drugs. This produces many of the behavioral changes we commonly see in addicts.
As drugs or alcohol become the central focus of your loved ones life, he or she will demonstrate a preference for these substances over relationships, school, work, and even life itself.
Healthy Ways To Overcome Addictive Personalities
Whether its compulsive comfort eating or an obsession with social media, any addiction can be used to mask a deep, underlying need. Instead of feeding your addictive tendencies, you can take certain actions to feel healthier and more at peace:
- Practice restorative activities, like mindfulness meditation, yoga, relaxation in a hot bath, exercise or a good nights sleep.
- Connect with others through shared interests and activities that you enjoy.
- Limit your non-work screen time as well as how much time you spend streaming TV or movies.
- Avoid using shopping, sex or other substitutes to bolster your self-esteem.
- Try seeking excitement through healthy avenues, like trying a new activity, traveling or setting a goal for yourself.
- Get professional help if you develop a Drug or Alcohol Addiction.
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How Can I Become More Conscientious
Students who took on two or more conscientious-related challenges a week showed some gains in their scores on the trait over the course of a semester. These included tasks such as Begin preparing for an event 10 minutes earlier than usual,” “Set out your clothes the night before,” and “Clean up the dishes as soon as you’re done with them.”
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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Increased Need For Privacy
Addictive behaviors are often carried out in secret. People with addictions might need to steal or lie in order to obtain their drugs, for example, or they might like to hide their drug-taking behavior from authority figures. As a result, its common for people with addictions to develop a pervasive need to be alone, and they may spend hours locked in their rooms, offices or even the family bathroom as they work to keep their addictions alive.
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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