Understanding The Brain And Addiction
Addiction isnt necessarily a substance problem, but rather a cognitive dopamine regulation malfunction. Dopamine is a pleasurable chemical the brain creates to ensure the repetition of certain, rewarding activities. Those who develop an addiction cant properly shut down dopamine flow. Often receiving an excess flood of dopamine, their actions quickly become a desperate search for euphoria.
Therefore, people with addictive personalities have the potential to develop an addiction to anything. Its not limited to drug and alcohol misuse. This is why there are so many addictions that have nothing to do with substance abuse. For example, some people have food, gambling, sex, or shopping addictions for the same reason that people have a drug or alcohol addiction.
Overall, there are similar cognitive functions at play in those with addictive personalities. The brains reward center is affected by these euphoric experiences and causes addictions in many individuals.
Why Is Social Media Addictive
The short answer: because the apps are designed to be. As the late Edward O. Wilson famously stated, the real problem of humanity is the following: we have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology. While civilization is spurring-off new marvels every day, our brains are the same as they were in pre-historic times, and our biological hardware cant keep up with the rapid developments of modern life. As such, technology has outsmarted us. It can learn and predict what we like based on our psychological biases and vulnerabilities, so getting sucked into our smartphones is anything but an accident.
In an economy where developers and advertisers are vying for the commodity of human attention, maximizing the time you spend scrolling through your screen is the name of the game. How do they do this? A simple trick of intermittent reward variables. B. F. Skinner discovered in the 20th century that if you tie a specific action to an unpredictable outcome where rewards are random, you effectively increase repeated behavior. Slot machines employ this very mechanism where you might win big or nothing at all with each pull of the lever. Its why slot machines make more money in the United States than baseball, movies, and theme parks combined.
In an economy where developers are vying for the commodity of human attention, many use gambling gimmicks to maximize the time you spend scrolling through your screen.
How Can You Help
It comes down to self-awareness of your own addictive traits and monitoring those you think may struggle. There are many different types of behavioral therapies that can give you tools to moderate the addictive response. If you suspect that a family member or friend is struggling with an addiction, behavioral therapies can be incorporated into treatment programswith trusted mental health professionals so that they can take back their sobriety and control over their addictive traits.
There are always options for people with addiction to find solace. At New Choices, our compassionate and qualified staff can work together with you or your loved one to find the best path forward.
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Can I Guard Against Developing An Addiction
If you know or suspect that you have an addictive personality, it makes complete sense that you would want to know how to prevent yourself from developing addictions.
Fortunately, extensive research done in behavioral sciences has helped produce various therapeutic means of helping individuals with addictive personalities learn to accurately identify and manage personality traits that may put them at a higher risk of substance abuse.
Some of the skills your therapist may provide you with include:
- How to manage your addictive personality through better regulating your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.
- How to better practice impulse control in their basic routines, responsibilities, and activities.
- Mindfulness skills and breathing techniques as an alternative method of handling stressful situations.
- Surround yourself with healthy, supportive individuals who do not have addictive personalities or present certain addictive personality traits.
Seeking out professional help in managing an addictive personality can also help you or other individuals who may already have a drug or alcohol addiction in their recovery process and later maintain sobriety.
How Dopamine Plays A Role In Addiction
Although there isnt any medical test to determine who might develop an addiction, there are certain personality traits that can make a person more liable to develop an addiction. A common factor beneath every addiction is the feeling of reward. Your brain registers all pleasures in the same way, no matter where they come from. It could be a glass of wine, a casino environment, a shopping spree, or a delicious meal.
When a person receives the feeling of reward, the brain is flooded with the neurotransmitter dopamine. Among other things, dopamine plays a part in controlling a persons emotions. And the right balance of dopamine is important for both physical and mental wellbeing.
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How To Deal With A Drug Addict
Drug addiction knows no boundaries, affecting people from all walks of life. Friends, family, employers, and coworkers can all fall prey to the lure of drugs and alcohol under the right circumstances. Knowing how to deal with a drug addict can help you disengage from the web that addiction weaves, which will save you much frustration and heartache. Substance abuse can make a good person do bad things, but some tips on how to handle a loved one that is a drug addict.
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When To Seek Help
Anyone who has an addiction, or is worried they might, can speak with a mental health professional who specializes in this area. Only a qualified professional can assess if someone has an addiction, so it is important to seek advice if possible.
Seeking help for addiction may seem daunting or even scary, but several organizations can provide support. If you believe that you or someone close to you is struggling with addiction, you can contact the following organizations for immediate help and advice:
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Personality Traits Of An Addictive Personality
Simply because you fit the description of several traits of an addictive personality does not necessarily mean that you have one. However, it may mean that you should watch your relationship with harmful substances and activities because you may be more prone to addiction. The following personality traits may be indicative of someone with an addictive personality.
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Signs Of An Addictive Personality
Individuals with an addictive personality can be identified by several traits. Experiencing mental conditions like depression and anxiety can, but do not always, indicate addictive personalities. There are a number of better indicators of addictive personalities, including:
- Comfort eating/binge eating
- Never feeling satisfied/needing more of a particular feeling
- An inability to stop using harmful chemicals
- An inability to curtail other harmful activities
Being able to stop and control ones actions indicates healthy boundaries and a lower level of attachment. If you or someone you know hides their harmful behavior, that could signal a problem needing intervention.
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Series Three Kate Lawler
Kate was the first female winner of the TV show in 2002. Since winning Big Brother, Kate, from London, has gone on to appear in numerous magazines and Ann Summers campaigns. She went onto Love Island in 2006, finishing third. She then appeared on several other reality shows.
Kate went onto work in radio, presenting shows on Kerrang! and Virgin Radio, among other stations. Earlier this week, she also appeared on This Morning following the news of the show’s reboot and explains what producers look for to become a contestant.
How Teens Develop Addictive Personalities
Children can show signs of addictive behavior as early as three years of age. This may surprise you, but its not all that surprising when we look at teenagers and see how addictive they can be with smartphones, tablets, and even drugs and alcohol these days. In one study, researchers believe addictive personalities are caused by two factors: a genetic disposition and under-controlled children. Children who lack emotional and behavior control are more likely to exhibit addictive personalities later in life.
When considering genetic disposition, research has shown consistently that children whose parents abuse alcohol and drugs are more likely to try and become addicted themselves. This could be both from having a biological propensity AND learning the behavior from their parents. Does this mean children whose parents are addicts are destined to become addicts themselves without any hope of escaping it? No, not necessarily.
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Getting Help To Overcome Addiction
Fighting through the hard times of addiction includes getting high-quality substance abuse treatment. Today, evidence proves that addiction is a physiological disease that affects the brains wiring and chemistry. This means that psychological and psychiatric care are just as important.
If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction, contact Ashley Addiction Treatment at to get the help you need today.
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.
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Risk And Reward Reinforcement For An Addictive Personality
Furthermore, because this anticipation of a reward is so high, the satisfaction of obtaining it may be less than that of someone who does have the ability to self-regulate. Unfortunately, this may cause these individuals to further engage in unmoderated use of addictive or other substances, thus further increasing the amount needed to achieve a sense of satisfaction.
What Are The Signs Of Alcohol Use In A Child Or Adult
Social drinking can easily slide into problem drinking without fanfare, but there are signs that should raise red flags. Obviously, frequently appearing intoxicated should set off alarms. Drinking that starts early in the day or before social functions is a warning sign, as is hiding ones drinking. Failing to meet obligations or sleeping through appointments is another serious sign, and such lapses may have repercussions such as problems at work or school. Alcohol use disorder also frequently manifests in problems of remembering or thinking. Questions about drinking may be met with anger, defensiveness, or denial.
Many teens experiment with alcohol. The vast majority of them do not become addicted. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration describes a number of signs suggesting a child is abusing alcohol. They include:
- Mood changes including flare-ups of temper, irritability, and defensiveness
- School problems such as poor attendance, a significant drop in grades, disciplinary action
- Rebellion against family rules
- Changes in friendship patterns switching friends, reluctance to bring new friends home
- A change in appearance, lack of involvement in former interests
- Alcohol presence: finding it in your childs room or backpack or smelling alcohol on his or her breath
- Cognitive problems such as memory lapses and poor concentration
- Physical changes such as bloodshot eyes, constricted or dilated pupils, lack of coordination, or slurred speech.
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How Do I Get A Loved One To Admit They Have A Problem
Its important to remember that no one expects to get addicted. Forcing someone to admit to a problem is not the wisest way to encourage someone to stop using the problematic substance or behavior. Confrontation generally leads to defensiveness and denial. Instead, the goal is to quietly remove the many psychological barriers that keep a person from taking steps to overcome addiction. And then to help them find their own motivation to change.
A good start is to understand how addiction works, and that should encourage anyone to develop and display compassion for the loved one trapped in substance abuse. That approach acknowledges the loved ones suffering, conveys caring and love and reduces the persons shameboth lessening the need for denial and removing major obstacles to seeking treatment. A next step is to open the door to a calm, respectful conversation about your concerns and your loved ones deep values and goals in life.
How To Know If You Have An Addictive Personality
Recognizing that you have an addictive personality can help you avoid alcohol abuse and other addictions.
Keep in mind, people with certain personality traits are not guaranteed to develop an addiction. Many biological and environmental factors play a role in someones risk of addiction.
However, even if you are unaware of your genetic risks and/or you have few environmental risks, you might still be concerned about your risk of addiction. If you are worried you could develop an addiction, there are things you can do to reduce your risk.
Educate yourself about addiction, learn coping skills that help you manage stress in your life, and spend time with positive, supportive people.
Many people with addiction understand how important it is to avoid addiction triggers. Even if you are not sure of your risk or you know you do not have an addiction but you are concerned, you can avoid things with a high likelihood of triggering negative coping skills.
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Personality Disorders And Addiction
Researchers have found that, within psychiatric clinics, patients with personality disorders are commonly found to have co-occurring substance use disorders. The most commonly associated PDs with addiction are:
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
While drugs and alcohol dependencies have not been found to cause personality disorders, they have been found to play a role in the development and the intensity of their side effects. For individuals with these personality types, seeking out therapy or counseling can help them find ways to manage the side effects of their specific PD that do involve the use of substances.
DSM-5 General Criteria for a Personality Disorder
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines a personality disorder as an impairment in the function of an individuals personality in combination with the presence of pathological personality traits. In order for someone to be diagnosed with a personality disorder, they must meet the following criteria:
Top Signs Of Addictive Personalities Contributing To Substance Abuse
When you think of addictive personalities, certain images might come to mind. Maybe you have a friend who cant put their phone down and stop scrolling through social media. Or perhaps you personally find it difficult to disengage from work, even on weekends or holidays.
Its true that addictive personalities can manifest in a variety of waysfrom incessant exercise or playing too many video games to more dangerous activities like substance abuse. When addictive personalities lead to substance abuse, there can be negative and life-threatening consequences.
Addiction Center explains:
An addictive personality is a personality that is more likely to become addicted to something. Some of these behaviors can be an attempt to heal unrealized or repressed emotions. At first glance being addicted to a video game or food can seem harmless, especially when compared to substance use disorders. The problem is the object of addiction can change. This means someone can have a phase of being addicted to video games, then transition into other objects or substances of abuse.
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Can An Addictive Personality Affect Recovery
Understanding how addiction works is extremely helpful after drug and alcohol rehab. During treatment, your brain is healing. Instead of substances, it begins relying on healthier coping mechanisms to handle stressful triggers. In treatment, youll discover that alcohol and drugs were merely a symptom of an overarching problem.
Unfortunately, its common for people who dont treat their addiction to find a new addiction to replace it, new relationships, or other activities. With no balance, life becomes unmanageable.
However, with the right addiction treatment, youll begin understanding how to manage your addictive personality. With various types of therapy, youll realize you use unhealthy methods to escape. Youll build self-esteem as you confidently approach life after treatment, unafraid.
What Are Addictive Behaviors
Being able to identify addictive behaviors is an important part of being able to help a loved one who appears to have an addictive personality disorder. As mentioned above, many people often believe that addictive behaviors are limited to extreme drug abuse however, this is simply not true. Addictive behaviors are wide-ranging and incorporate a significant number of actions which are not always easily identified by family members as being problem behaviors.
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Using Sex To Replace Intimacy
It might seem contradictory to suggest that sex could replace intimacy. But people who are addicted to sex tell a different story: Constantly seeking sexual arousal and gratification can actually distance you from your partners, as you lose yourself in the sensations of the sexual experience, rather than being aware of the feelings of the other person.
The Risks Of Struggling With Addictive Personality
Personalities are unique, which is why some people have a higher risk of developing an addiction. For example, a person may be adventurous and try new things, but they are typically not impulsive. Generally, this personality is low risk for developing an addiction.
Traits of individuals with addiction personality disorder include:
- Low self-esteem
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