Are Addictive Personalities Real
Yes and no. The idea of a single, monolithic, character flaw simply isnt real. There is no evidence that because you have a certain personality, you will become an addict. The myth that addictive personalities are inherited, however, does have some truth to it. While your parent cannot pass on a certain monolithic personality, they can model personality traits that lead to addictive behavior, such as lack of self-control or willingness to engage in risky behaviors. You can unknowingly pick up on these behaviors which contribute to the idea of an amalgamated addictive personality. Though this conception of a disposition is fiction, the traits that comprise it can have some very real consequences.
Negative And Harmful Behavioral Traits
An individual with an addictive personality may be more prone to negative behavioral traits that involve malicious acts towards others. Even if they feel a sense of remorse for these actions, they are willing to behave this way to get what they want to further their addiction or escape consequences for their addiction. While not all addicts exhibit these traits, most who are lost in their addiction do. Here are some examples:
How Do You Know If You Have An Addictive Personality
During addiction treatment, there will be many opportunities to evaluate your behavior as it contributes to chronic substance abuse. In group therapy, individuals that open up about their urges are learning how to deal with an addictive personality.
For example, individuals that are more likely to become addicts or have addictive personalities, often have the following in common:
- Have other family members that suffer from addiction.
- Were raised by parents or guardians with addictive personalities.
- Have romantic relationships with partners that like similar addictive tendencies.
- Have a history of frequent mood swings or are described as pushy.
- Engage in thrill-seeking behaviors or are easily excited.
- Often seem obsessive and/or compulsive.
- Prefers a quick-fix instead of a long-term, sustainable solution.
Although having an addictive personality depends on a persons life experience, some things can make them more prone. By keeping an eye out for red flags and motivation behind your behaviors, improvement is often possible. Addictive personality treatment while participating in addiction treatment allows for a safe environment to make positive behavioral corrections.
You May Like: What Is The Most Addictive Illegal Drug
Recommended Reading: How Addictive Is Smoking Cigarettes
Related To Others With Addiction
There is no question that genetic makeup has at least some effect on a persons risk of developing addiction. As described by many studies, including one from the journal Psychiatry, having a close family member who is struggling with an addiction can make it more likely that an individual will develop an addiction as well.
In fact, certain portions of the human genome have even been identified as having a direct connection to specific addictions, according to a study in Nature. With this knowledge, it may be possible in the future to more accurately identify just how likely a person is to develop addiction. Still, genetic potential is no guarantee that an individual will develop addiction. Other complex, environmental factors also contribute to the potential that a genetic predisposition will become a true substance use disorder.
Do You Have An Addictive Personality 3 Signs & When To Worry
This morning, I picked up my phone to look at Instagram no less than 20 times. I’d just posted something new and wanted to know what people were saying about it. But as I reached for my phone yet again, a thought crossed my mind: Was I addicted to my phone?
I tend to get really excited about things, like new hobbies and activities, and this felt a little bit addictive, too. I’d heard people talk about addictive personalities on occasion, so I wondered: Do I have an addictive personality?
Also Check: What Causes Relapse In Drug Addicts
Mental Health Conditions Vs Addictive Personality
However, just because it is not classified in the DSM-5, does not mean that therapy cannot help. Often, its individual therapy that begins the process of breaking some of these destructive behaviors. The one-on-one space to freely express the compulsive nature of having an addictive personality is a valuable means of treatment.
Other illnesses that are often diagnosed along with an addiction, as well as with an addictive personality include:
Coping With Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms can be a difficult aspect of overcoming addiction, both for substance and behavioral addictions. With substance addictions, the physiological aspects of withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable, feeling like a bad flu, or can even be life-threatening. For this reason, it is a good idea to talk to a doctor about the best way and the best place to quit a substance.
Fortunately, most of the acute symptoms of withdrawal pass within a week or two of quitting. However, some people who quit an addiction find that certain withdrawal symptoms seem to go on and on. This is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome, and it can go on for weeks, months, or even years in some cases.
The risk of dying from an overdose is extremely high if you have been through withdrawal, as your tolerance of the drug will be much lower than it was before you quit. Make sure you have someone with you if you decide to use again.
In addition, addictions can sometimes mask underlying mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and even psychosis. If you are feeling blue or agitated, or you are concerned that the world or other people seem strange or upsetting since you quit, talk with your doctor. There are effective treatments for these problems that are much more effective than addictive substances and behaviors.
Don’t Miss: Why Am I Addicted To Masturbating
Kids And Addictive Behavior: The Setting
Children today have to deal with the ubiquitous availability of instant gratification. Unhealthy food is more accessible and cheaper than healthy food. This year in the United States, there are over 200,000 fast food restaurants operating and sales in the snack food market reached $124 Billion.
Our children have access to rapidly-changing, sophisticated animation. Every iPhone or iPad offers instantaneous access to 2 million iOS Apps. Our television, social media and video games are on demand. We live in an instant gratification society. This environment is incredibly difficult for children with addictive personalities.
What Treatment Options Are Available
Addictive personality treatment requires that a person receive treatment for a diagnosed mental illness and a substance use disorder. Clinicians now receive extensive training in the treatment of both disorders. This type of treatment is called dual diagnosis because the therapist treats a mental illness and a substance use disorder at the same time.
Treatment facilities offer substance and addictive personality treatment, and it begins with detoxification. During the detoxification process, the medical staff administers medications that make the withdrawal process easier for the member to tolerate. Then, it is less likely that the member will go in search of his drug of choice before he completes his treatment program.
After detoxification, the member isnt finished with the rehabilitation process. The member has social, psychological, and behavioral issues to work out, and this must be done in one of the following types of treatment programs:
Recommended Reading: How To Deal With Food Addiction
Resisting Behaviors Of An Addictive Personality
Communication is a crucial aspect of coping with a friend or loved ones susceptibility to addiction. Addiction is a lifelong battle for many that no one should have to fight alone. This arduous fight may seem winnable when friends, family members, and significant others know what is needed.
Support from close relatives and friends can assist the person in staying clean. Perseverance is also key in order to help a person overcome difficult and sad moments. Recognizing these moments as temporary allows them to continue concentrating on what it takes to maintain a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle.
Test For Biological Causes
Shelly Allen, NYC Psychotherapist, explains it like this:
The addiction is not the problem, it is the solution to the problem. For example, if a kid has lowered GABA or dopamine levels due to epigenetics or nutrient deficiency, a way to boost these levels is often temporarily achieved by a behavior that provides instant gratification like the internet, video gaming, and substances like food, alcohol or drugs. The cycle of addiction begins when a person does not have a better way of alleviating this imbalance. This also helps explain why some people develop various addictions and others dont.
First, I always recommend patients get proper blood work to assess for any deficiencies or high levels of the following: Folate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iron, Magnesium Serum, Copper, Whole Blood Histamine, Homocysteine, Plasma, Zinc, Urine Pyrroles, Serum Ceruloplasmin, and Thyroid Panel. These tests can catch imbalances that may be causing behavioral issues.
Also Check: Is An Alcoholic An Addict
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.
Trends Of Addiction In Relationships
If your boyfriend has an addictive personality, or you think you have a husband with an addictive personality, you may see some of the following trends:
- Trust issues: It may be difficult to establish trust with your loved one. Sometimes this is due to past traumatic experiences which is also a precursor to addiction.
- Conflict issues: Every couple fights, but someone who struggles with the possibility of addiction may bring more conflict to their relationships. This has a lot to do with their feelings of guilt, inadequacy, or low self-esteem.
- People-pleasing issues: Instead of staying true to themselves, someone with a tendency toward addiction may compulsively focus on the needs, wants and opinions of others. Over time, this can be damaging to relationships.
These trends of an addictive personality in relationships are not necessarily signs of an addictive personality, especially since it is impossible to nail down an exact definition of an addictive personality. But these trends do often act as a precursor to addiction or substance abuse.
Addiction itself has more of a negative effect on relationships. Because of this, it is crucial to watch for signs of addiction in your partner, husband, wife, child or loved one.
Don’t Miss: How To Admit You Have An Addiction
Quitting An Addictive Behavior
Quitting is a different experience for everyone. Some find the process liberating and empowering, and feel they can achieve anything. Others find it painful, difficult, and frustrating, sometimes needing many failed attempts before achieving their goal. Still others discover new sides to themselves during the quitting process .
There is no “right” way to feel while you are quitting. But if you are feeling depressed or find yourself constantly wanting to return to the addictive behavior, you should seek support and treatment.
Traits Of People With High Risk Of Developing Addiction
Nevertheless, there are traits that can be recognized in people who have a higher risk of becoming addicted to psychoactive substances rather than just being able to moderate behavior around these types of substances. People with this higher addiction risk include those who are:
- Related to others who have developed addiction
- Experiencing other mental health disorders
- Adventurous and risk-taking
A more thorough discussion of each of these traits is explored below.
Also Check: How To Treat Tramadol Addiction
Overcoming Harmful Addictive Personality Traits
If you are currently dealing with the effects of an addictive personality disorder, then you probably know that it can be very hard to break out of the grasp of this disorder. It can be extremely challenging to fight the urges of impulsivity, compulsive behaviors, depression, and anxiety. Overcoming these challenges is far from easy. But, that doesnt mean that its impossible!
Many people feel that its not possible to overcome addictive personality traits. They feel that, if you have this disorder, you will inevitably struggle with addiction and will, most likely, never break free from these problems. But, this is definitely not true. You can certainly become free from these issues through commitment, dedication, and professional treatment.
There are plenty of ways in which you can work to overcome the effects of addictive personality traits. Here are 5 of them:
- Talk about it. Theres nothing like talking about your problems to someone who can offer you help and comfort. Sometimes, your family members or friends will misunderstand what youre going through. They may not understand the struggles youre facing. So, speaking to them will help you to feel less alone and isolated, which are two things people often feel when theyre dealing with an addictive personality disorder.
The Importance Of Overcoming Addictive Characteristics
There are countless reasons why its important to overcome the effects and symptoms of an addictive personality disorder. Its clear that addictive personalities can lead to addiction, which is certainly something everyone wants to avoid. However, there are even more reasons why you should work to prevent this disorder from affecting you any longer.
Addictive personalities may not always lead immediately to addiction. But, they certainly cause problems and challenges in the lives of those who deal with them. These personality traits have a tendency to interrupt everyday routines and prevent individuals from leading normal lives. They can cause short-term and long-term negative effects.
Sometimes, people who struggle with addictive personalities may struggle with anxiety or depression. Both of these are mental health disorders that affect a persons overall mood, mental and emotional health, ability to communicate with others, and much more. Often, people who have anxiety or depression become emotionally withdrawn, keeping all of their feelings and emotions inside.
This prevents them from successfully connecting with their loved ones. In some situations, this can lead to marital problems. It can also cause an emotional separation between siblings, parents and their children, and friends.
Recommended Reading: How Can I Help Someone Addicted To Drugs
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 Behaviors With Chemicals
The lifetime occurrence of substance use problems among adults in the general population is approximately 25 percent. They may be addicted to alcohol, recreational drugs, or prescription medications. In comparison, 50 percent of adults with ADHD have a history of dealing with substance use at some point in their lives.
Many reasons account for addictions among adults with ADHD, however two general causes come up again and again. First, adults with ADHD are more likely to self-medicate, particularly so when they lack awareness or understanding of their ADHD biology and have not yet learned how to manage it well. Second, many adults with ADHD are drawn to thrill-seeking and novel experiences. One individual said he liked to play with his brain.
Also Check: How To Get An Addict To Stop
Using Marijuana To Relax
Tense? Anxious? You may have found that a joint can help you relax at the end of a stressful day. But did you know that weed has a rebound effect that increases anxiety after it wears off? Or that it can seriously interfere with your motivation in life, or trigger serious psychological problems?
Healthy ways to meet this need: The younger you are, the riskier it is to smoke pot. But even for older folks, the idea that pot will help you relax is, overall, incorrect. Instead, look to safer methods of stress management and relaxation.
Addictive Personality Meets Physical Dependence And Withdrawal
Together, the cycle of addiction is driven by having an addictive personality, reinforcing biological dependency, prompting the experience of withdrawal. A lot of times, what starts as just this once, quickly turns into a lifelong struggle with addictive personalities. So how do you know if you have an addictive personality? To start, make yourself aware of the signs. Then, determine if your behaviors compare to the findings.
Read Also: Can You Get Addicted To Lorazepam
S To Break Your Addiction To A Person
In his book, How to Break Your Addiction to a Person, Howard Halpern first explains what an addictive relationship is, then gives guidelines for recognizing if youre involved in one. Then, he offers several techniques on how to end an unhealthy relationship .
Ive compiled and adapted all of his suggestions into the following dozen techniques, excerpting what I found to be the most important passages for each.
1. Keep a Relationship Log
Keep track of the events and happenings of the relationship, but above all, and in as honest detail as you can, set down your feelings about the contacts with your partner. The reasons this can be extraordinarily helpful are It compels you to notice what is going on and how you feel about it, It can help you to look back through it and see the shape of the relationship, what it has really been like and felt like, what have been its patterns over time, and It can curb your tendencies to distort the relationship by either twisting events, repainting your feeling and forgetting either the unpleasant or the pleasant.
2. Find the Patterns
It can be eye-opening to see if there is a pattern in the people you have tended to get involved with and the types of relationships you have formed, so unless your current partner is the only love relationship you have had, I suggest you do a Relationship Review.
3. Write Memos to Yourself
4. Make Connections.
5. Foster a Supportive Network
7. Be Aware of Your Body