Help For Addictive Personality Traits At 7 Summit Pathways
If you have an addictive personality, you may feel like you have no control over your Substance Addiction. You are not helpless or hopeless. At 7 Summit Pathways, we will work with you to address the unmet needs that may have led to a life of addiction. Our personalized treatment approach will give you the tools and support you need to start your Recovery journey.
Contact us today to speak with a compassionate and experienced member of our team. We will be with you every step of the way as you move toward health and healing.
The Desire For Risk And Feeling
Those with addictive personalities may feel an innate desire to try out things that can turn into addictions. While its OK to be bold and leave your comfort zone, theres a point where it becomes destructive, and thats a line many with addictive personalities dont see. Here are some traits of this variety common in addictive personalities:
How To Help Someone With A High Addiction Risk
If you know someone you consider to have an addictive personality or who has a high risk of addiction, you can help them by:
- Approaching them about their substance use or other behavior in a caring manner that is firm and respects your boundaries.
- Expressing concern about their behavior and explaining how their choices are negatively impacting you and others in their lives.
- Presenting facts about how their choices have affected you and how it might be negatively impacting their lives.
- Explaining to them that they have an illness or are at risk of developing an illness if they are not careful and that you understand their actions are not due to a character flaw.
- Engaging other people in their lives who care about them to express concerns similar to yours.
- Offering professional help and agreeing to support them in finding the right treatment options.
- Allowing them to accept responsibility for their behavior.
- Offering hope and sharing with them how life is better when they do not succumb to an addiction.
- Recommending self-help groups as an early intervention strategy. Some people arent ready for formal inpatient or outpatient treatment but benefit from attending 12-step or other self-help meetings.
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I Know That I Have An Addictive Personality
The other day my wife asked me what I would be doing if we weren’t together. She said something about maybe she’d have a different career, but I said I might be dead. She was really shocked and asked what I meant. We met in college, and prior to that I was experimenting heavily with a variety of illicit substances. I eventually stopped everything but alcohol for her, but even now I sometimes have trouble controlling my drinking. I think that if I hadn’t met her there’s a chance I would have succumbed to substance abuse in some way, even if it might have been college experimentation at the time I met her. It’s all very ironic, because now I’m a doctor who practices in an area at the epicenter of the opioid epidemic, and when I deal with those patients I try to remember that I was really only one positive influence away from their position at one point. Sometimes I think all of us are only one positive or negative influence away from a different life.
What Are Some Traits Of A Highly Addictive Personality
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that addiction is a chronic and relapsing disorder in which a person seeks out and uses a substance or engages in an activity despite understanding that this action will likely create a negative outcome. Some personality traits could indicate a person is more likely to become or are an addict.
- They are impulsive and display impulsive behavior regardless of consequences.
- They engage in compulsive behavior, often stating they cannot control their actions.
- They experience grandiosity or feelings of superiority.
- They have an inability to deal with anxiety or stressful situations in daily life.
Can You Overcome An Addictive Personality
Yes. If you have a high risk of addiction, you can avoid substances that pose a risk of physical dependence, such as alcohol and drugs. Likewise, you can carefully monitor your behavior and intake.
Recognizing your specific risk is an important part of making the best choices for your situation and your health.
If you arent successful and you do develop an addiction, many addiction treatment options are available. For many, its helpful to seek treatment sooner rather than later when there is a high risk of addiction.
Substance abuse treatment options include:
- Inpatient care that offers round-the-clock medical supervision in a medical or residential setting.
- Outpatient care that provides less-intense treatment and allows patients to return home and participate in their regular lives during treatment.
- 12-step programs that offer peer support in a safe, substance-free environment.
- Relapse prevention programs that help people make healthy life choices and better manage lifes challenges.
You Couldnt Care Less About Conforming To The Norm
According to The New York Times, one of the primary signs of an addictive personality is that you are all about nonconformity. AlcoholRehab.com agreed â many with addictive personalities consider themselves to be a ârebel.â They donât care whatsoever about fitting into the norms, and rather will do things that are perceived as deviant by most other people, the outlet said.
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Personality Its What Makes You Who You Are
The American Psychological Association says that personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. Furthermore, the APA notes, personality study focuses on understanding two broad areas: individual differences, such as irritability or sociability, in certain personality characteristics, and how various parts of an individual coalesce into a whole.
In short, each of us has multiple, often intertwined characteristics of varying degrees on a continuum. How we think, feel and act varies according to the way we were brought up, what we learned in school and through experiences, through interpersonal relationships, our biological makeup, emotional intelligence and other factors. Your personality, then, is what makes you who you are.
The Genetics Of An Addictive Personality
Much research is being done on the medical diagnosis of addictive personality as personalities are multifaceted and complicated. Research has discovered a link between genetics and someones ability to have an addictive personality. Those born to parents who have been addicted to a substance or exhibited a behavioral addiction are more likely to exhibit addictive personalities themselves.
Additionally, individuals born to parents who have suffered anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, or bipolar disorder can be predisposed to having an addictive personality. Genetics are not the sole indicator of addictive personalities however, they can be a great influence on someones personality traits.
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The Addictive Personality Isn’t What You Think It Is
In her new book Maia Szalavitz recalls her behavior as a child in school and at home. Anxious, bright and slightly obsessive, she didn’t seem to fit the stereotype of the addictive personality. Nevertheless, in college she would become addicted to heroin and cocaine, forcing her to reexamine her assumptions about addiction and its treatment. The following is an excerpt from Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction,
Although addiction was originally framed by both Alcoholics Anonymous and psychiatry as a form of antisocial personality or character disorder, research did not confirm this idea. Despite decades of attempts, no single addictive personality common to everyone with addictions has ever been found. If you have come to believe that you yourself or an addicted loved one, by nature of having addiction, has a defective or selfish personality, you have been misled. As George Koob, the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, told me, What were finding is that the addictive personality, if you will, is multifaceted, says Koob. It doesnt really exist as an entity of its own.
It seems that the same regions that gave me my intense curiosity, obsessive focus, and ability to learn and memorize quickly also made me vulnerable to discovering potential bad habits and then rapidly getting locked into them.
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 .
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Youre Not Really Into Setting Long
Long-term goals? Who needs âem? At least thatâs your take on it. According to LIVESTRONG, addictive personality types have trouble planning out long-term goals and aspirations because theyâve become used to instant gratification. They donât like the idea of having to wait to get pleasure out of something.
Personality Traits And Addiction
Addiction is defined by scholars as a biopsychosocial disorder characterized by persistent use of drugs despite substantial harm and adverse consequences”. Substance-based addictions are those based upon the release of dopamine in the brain, upon which the range of sensations produced by the euphoric event in the brain changes the brains immediate behavior, causing more susceptibility for future addictions. Behavior-based addictions, on the other hand, are those that are not linked to neurological behavior as much and are thus thought to be linked to personality traits it is this type of addiction that combines a behavior with a mental state and the repeated routine is therefore associated with the mental state.
Read Also: How To Let Go Of An Addict You Love
The Myth Of The Generic Addictive Personality
The fiction is the concept of a specific addictive personality. In fact, most researchers in addiction today would caution against the idea of a single, generic personality that is prone to addiction. An article in Scientific American verifies and offers evidence for the fact that there is no one personality type that leads to addiction. In fact, some seemingly disparate traits can lead different people to become addicted to drugs or alcohol, depending on other factors.
While there are several different types of traits that can be recognized in individuals who develop substance use disorders, they are not all present in every person who becomes addicted. Therefore, the image that some people see of the socially outcast criminal is an inaccurate vision of the individual who becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol.
What Are The Traits Of An Addictive Personality
Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW
South Florida Drug Rehab » What are the Traits of an Addictive Personality?
Have you ever heardpeople say that they or someone they know has an addictive personality?Perhaps, youve thought this about yourself after staying up all night to shoponline for the umpteenth time. Or maybe youve wondered if a loved one is stuckin another financial hardship because he or she has an addictive personality.
On the other hand, maybeyou or someone you care about has shown some concerning behavior and may be onthe road to developing a harmful addiction problem.
The truth of the matteris that addiction is very complex. People can become addicted to specificsubstances, behaviors, and activities. And, yes, there is definitely such athing as an addictive personality.
However, its importantto understand that not everyone who is extremely interested in or passionateabout certain things have an addictive personality. While some have troublefinding a healthy balance between pursuing their passions and taking care ofthemselves, it doesnt always mean that they have addictive personality traits.
Even so, though, itscertainly a good idea to get a better understanding of the traits of a personwith an addictive personality. If indeed you or your loved one is dealing withany of these traits, it will be very important to seek help in order to avoidfurther problems, such as substance abuse.
What is an Addictive Personality?
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Using Sex To Replace Intimacy
It might seem contradictory to suggest that sex could replace intimacy. After all, isn’t sex the most intimate act between two people? But people who are addicted to sex tell a different story: Constantly seeking sexual arousal and gratification can actually distance you from your partner, as you lose yourself in the sensations of the sexual experience, rather than being aware of the feelings of the other person.
Healthy ways to meet this need: Even if you haven`t really felt addicted to sex, listening to your partner express their feelings may help strengthen your relationship as much as, or even more than, having sex.
Character Traits Of Those At Greater Risk Of Addiction
What are the character traits of those at greater risk of addiction? While there are several commonalities of character trait types that are recognized in those who struggle with addiction, they are not all present in everyone who suffers from addiction. In addition, some of the traits, such as being adventurous or risk-taking, can be positive attributes when directed toward healthy endeavors. That being said, people with these traits can be challenged with moderating certain behaviors and substance use:
- A family history of substance abuse
- A family history of mental health issues
- A personal history of mental health issues
- Those who are impulsive and/or risk-takers
- Those who have experienced trauma
- Those who are unable or dont have the skills to self-regulate
Read Also: How To Deal With Addicts In The Family
Your Relationships Are Suffering
People with addictive personalities often have trouble maintaining relationships. Their addiction takes the place of healthy relationships and often pushes away family and friends.
If your relationships are suffering then a substance or behavior may be to blame. When a substance or behavior becomes first priority there isnt time for healthy relationships.
And in many cases, the family and friends of addicts suffer as well. If you are having the same types of relationship problems with many different people the problem could be with you.
Feelings Of Negative Self Worth
Not holding yourself in high esteem is a powerful breeding ground for addiction. When people feel like their lives are not worth regulating or in severe cases, worth saving, theres no guardrail keeping them from doing high-risk behaviors.
Because of that, if you frequently feel poorly about yourself, you may have an addictive personality.
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Dont Believe Quitting Is Too Difficult
If you have an addictive personality, you may believe that quitting everything addictive is just too hard. Maybe you went from sex to overeating, overeating to drugs, and on and on. You may think that life without excess is too boring and too normal. This is denial.
Do: Get help with your addiction. Even people with long-term addictions can get help. After you find that it is possible, you may grieve the lost years once you recover.
What Can You Do If Someone You Love Has An Addictive Personality
Living with someone who has an addictive personality can be difficult because it involves monitoring and hand holding at times that many family members are not prepared to offer. The first step in helping a family member with this type of disorder is to recognize the symptoms and enroll them in a program designed to tackle not only their addiction but also their addictive personality disorder. Finding a good therapist and program that can work with your loved one may be time-consuming, but tackling the root of the problem is the only way to set your loved one up for success.
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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
- Using alcohol to socialize or relax
- Checking ones phone or social media too much
- Replacing sexual partners for a false sense of intimacy
- Impulse buying/excessive shopping
- 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.
You Practice Addictive Math
We have all read the guidelines on the side of a prescription drug bottle. They may warn against drug interactions or give directions on how to take the drug.
Many people with addiction problems disregard these guidelines entirely. Whats worse, they give themselves their own dosage advice.
Rather than taking 1 pill every 4 hours they take 4 pills every 1 hour. Or they may create some other addictive math equation that suits their needs.
Some addicts claim this is because they have a high tolerance. In any case, if you arent taking your prescriptions as prescribed you may be at risk.
Also Check: How To Talk To An Addict In Denial
Know When To Get Help
Unfortunately, sometimes identifying your addiction and its cause may not be enough to help you overcome it. In fact, some addictions, especially those with a neurochemical component, may be virtually impossible to overcome on your own. Instead, you should seek professional help if you:
- Lie or hide the habit
- Have trouble stopping the habit at any time. If youre not sure about this, give yourself a cooling off period of some weeks. If you cant go without, you need help.
- Engage in the habit despite negative consequences
- Let the habit crowd other things and people out of your life
- Are told by others that they are worried about you because of your habit
If you are noticing these signs, then its time to admit that your addiction is out of your control, and you need professional help.