Addictive Behaviors Vs Addictive Traits
Rather than focusing on personality traits when considering addiction risk, it may be more beneficial to observe and examine behaviors. If you tend to have a higher risk for developing addiction due to some of the factors above, engaging in certain habits or behaviors may be more problematic for you.
The Obsessive Compulsive Trait
Addiction sometimes has to do with a lack of impulse control, but this is not exclusively the inability to resist impulses. In fact, people who are too rigid with managing their impulses may also end up using substances as a manifestation of an obsessive-compulsive behavior pattern. In fact, addiction often becomes a compulsion to use the substance based on a habit that has formed over time rather than a single impulse to try something new.
In this way, people with intense focus and habitual behaviors may be as likely to develop addiction as those who are unable to control impulses. The obsession with using psychoactive drugs is a main symptom of the disorder, and it can exist both separate from and in concert with a lack of impulse control that can also be a hallmark of addiction.
There Is No Specific Addictive Personality Type
In fact, there is no single personality type that identifies a person as an addict. Many people from very different backgrounds become addicted and sometimes it is not possible to say why this happened, let alone predict the event in advance. Nevertheless, there is a certain commonality of character traits that regularly appear sufficient to be considered as warning signs.
Impulse Control And The Addictive Personality
Other factors include ones personal interests. Another indicator of an addictive personality includes the need for stimulation. Someone who is restless and is in need of constant excitement may develop characteristics of an addictive personality. In the case of impulsivity, or rapid unplanned behavior without due regard for ramifications, decision-making abilities can be impacted. Poor impulse control can also invite the need for variety, influencing someone to seek out new habits. These habits may soon become compulsions or addictions.
Do Addictive Behaviors Lead To Addiction
Some people are more likely to develop a substance use disorder. We often blame their personalities for placing them at risk. But, that increase their risk of addiction.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse also includes having addicted parents or family members with mental health disorders. These things can make someone predisposed to having addictive traits and addiction. For example, growing up with parents that misused alcohol can increase your risk of struggle with alcohol abuse.
However, its impossible to pinpoint addiction to someones personality.
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.
Do You Think You Have An Addictive Personality
To find out, take a quick quiz.
Read through the following questions. They are not meant to provide a true diagnosis but to get you started on determining if you may have a highly addictive personality and need help. We encourage you to answer honestly to yourself and then to seek out care from our team at FHE Health if you feel you are at risk.
Its important to know that an addictive personality doesnt mean you have a chemical dependency. However, if youve taken this quiz, you may already be worried about your behaviors. It may be time for you to talk to a professional about your concerns.
Make sure you take our quiz first! We dont want your honesty to be spoiled by seeing the results.
We asked a group of over 500 participants the same questions as shown above. The data below was also used to create the Results/Score graphics seen at the end of the quiz. The data below is based on the initial survey, not from completions of the survey on this page. Results from people like yourself filling out the quiz on this page are not displayed anywhere. What follows are the results from our 500 participant survey:
- 11.58% fell into the 0-5 point group
- 11.58% fell into the 6-10 point group
- 24.58% fell into the 11-15 point group
- 24.11% fell into the 16-20 point group
- 28.37% fell into the 21-25 point group
Read Also: Transitional Housing For Recovering Addicts
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.
I Know That I Have An Addictive Personality
The other day my wife asked me what I would be doing if we werent together. She said something about maybe shed 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 hadnt met her theres 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. Its all very ironic, because now Im 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.
Recommended Reading: Bible Verses About Alcohol Addiction
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 Does Coastal Detox Offer
If youve been struggling with the effects of an addictive personality, theres no time like the present to seek help. Its important to identify and address these characteristics. Doing so can either prevent addiction from developing or help bring an end to substance abuse in your life.
Coastal Detox offers our clients a residential setting with the option of individual and group therapy. We match the best treatment plan to help you move forward and increase your chance of recovery success.
Our recovery management plan works to allow us to maintain a long-term relationship with you. Contact us for more information about how we can help you. Wed love to assist you in taking the necessary steps so you can regain control of your life. Please reach out to us today and begin your journey to freedom!
Read Also: Can You Get Addicted To Tylenol
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.
Read Also: How To Quit Sugar Addiction
Signs You Might Have An Addictive Personality
Theres no medical test to determine who may develop an addiction, but there are certain personality traits that can make someone more prone to developing an addiction.
One common factor underlying every addiction is the feeling of reward. The brain registers all pleasures in the same way, whether they originate with a glass of wine, the sights and sounds of a casino, a shopping spree, or a satisfying meal. When a person receives the feeling of reward, the brain is instantly flooding with the neurotransmitter dopamine. One of the parts dopamine plays is controlling a persons emotions. The right balance of dopamine is vital for both physical and mental wellbeing.
Here are some signs of an addictive personality:
Also Check: Why Do People Get Addicted To Alcohol
Lack Of Impulse Control
While it may be easy to argue that having an addictive personality is obvious to the individual, it usually isnt. Most of the time they are motivated by subconscious urges, or more commonly, lack forethought. Examples of this may be to thoughtlessly take money or possessions from another, as a means to get what they want. The thoughtlessness of how this would affect the other was nonexistent, and therefore, nothing was holding them back. Another example would be getting behind the wheel when intoxicated.
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.
Also Check: How Many People Are Addicted To Smoking
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.
Jump to a Section
You May Like: How To Get Over Gaming Addiction
Finding Help For An Addictive Personality
The proper lifestyle can reduce the chances of developing dependency issues, but if you find yourself suffering from addiction, there are ways to get help. There are several rehab facilities that can provide you with the therapy you need.
If you go on the internet, you will find a variety of treatment centers that offer help with addiction. Atlanta Recovery Place takes an approach that sets us apart.
Atlanta Recovery Place integrates dual diagnosis into our therapy treatments. We target both the addiction and its underlying causes, providing a method that leads to long-term recovery. We understand that each patient is unique, and we work out customized plans that are targeted for success.
We offer outpatient treatments, including partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment. These allow patients to recover without disrupting their everyday lives. Clients can split their time between therapy, work, home, and whatever other responsibilities they may have. Recovery is not easy for someone with an addictive personality, but Atlanta Recovery Places customized approach will help you make it through. to find out whats involved in treatment. We will get you on the road to wellness and an improved quality of life.
You May Like: Can You Get Addicted To Anything
Types Of Things Addictive Personalities Find It Hard To Resist
The first thing to remember when examining an addictive personality is that addictions can be developed into many things. The irony is that some of the activities and behaviors may not be considered to be addictive. That is, in the sense that many dont cause physical withdrawal when suddenly without or coming down. However, there are a few specific staples that coincide with having an addictive personality.
A few of the most notable are:
- Spending money uncontrollably
- Substance abuse drugs and/or alcohol
The idea is that the behaviors harm the life of the individual. The harmful impact is what sets them apart. Because whats to say that an individual having an addictive personality wouldnt prefer an activity like yoga, or even fitness. Having these options available, especially during rehab for addiction, can ease into a healthier lifestyle. This is why, especially in recovery, professional treatment offers long-term solutions with individualized recovery models
Be Aware Of The Dangers
If you think that you or a loved one may have an addictive personality make sure that you are aware of the dangers and can recognise when certain habits can become dangerous and detrimental. If it is too late and you or a loved one has developed an addiction. Seek help immediately as it is never too soon or too late to overcome an addiction.
The Haynes Clinic is an alcohol and drugs rehabilitation clinic which provides detox and rehab for all addictions.
Please call 01462 851414for free and confidential help and advice.
Recommended Reading: How To Help Someone With Addiction
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.