How Can Someone With An Addictive Personality Prevent A Future Of Addiction
If you are aware of the presence of an addictive personality in yourself or a loved one, you can better manage it, accept it, and use it to create a positive and productive life. Having an addictive personality does not mean that you or a loved one is weak all it requires is the understanding of how you react to addictive situations so that you can help prevent addiction from ever happening.
Once a person is aware of the signs of an addictive personality, they can better understand the risks associated with certain behaviors and how to avoid them.
How To Help A Person With High Addiction Risk
Various forms of behavioral therapies can help individuals struggling with these issues to learn to manage their behaviors and acquire self-regulation skills that can moderate the addictive response. In addition, for those who have already developed substance use problems, treatment programs can incorporate these therapies with other demonstrated treatments. This approach may help the person safely stop using drugs or alcohol and live a sober life as well as gain control over the various traits above.
Seeking out research-based, professional care can provide the individual with tools to understand and manage these various traits, making recovery possible.
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.
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Traits Of People With Addiction
As mentioned above, several traits have been identified by researchers as being positively correlated with addiction, most notable being impulsivity.1, 2
Studies have strongly supported the idea that impulsivity, defined as rapid, unplanned behavior with little forethought of the consequences, can have a significant impact on addiction.1 Research has also shown a correlation between neuroticism and addiction.3, 6
The American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders provides diagnostic criteria for SUDs. These criteria include behavioral, cognitive, and physiological symptoms.7 Some of the behavioral criteria includes:7
- Impaired control over substance use, such as taking the substance more often than intended or being unable to cut down or stop substance use.
- Social impairment, such as being unable to fulfill important obligations at home, work, or school due to substance use.
- Risky use of the substance, such as using the substance in situations where it is physically dangerous to do so, or continuing to use the substance even though the person has a physical or mental health problem that is probably due to the substance.
People who display high levels of impulsivity may act in ways that are consistent with the above criteria. They may be more prone to seek immediate gratification despite the long-term harm caused by substance misuse.6
An Inability To Say No
For some people, saying no is second nature For others, its impossible.
The inability to say no is one of the key drivers behind peer pressure. This apprehension stems from being afraid of judgment from people around you.
While not saying no may seem like the trait of somebody who is simply pleasantly accommodating, not saying no also means having no boundaries. Without boundaries, its impossible for people to manage their well-being. Therefore, not saying no is a tell-tale sign of an addictive personality.
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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.
What The Research Says
While health organizations do not endorse the idea of addictive personalities, there is some evidence that certain traits may make addiction more likely.
A 2018 study of 109 mostly male participants found that impulsive behaviors correlated with a higher risk of addiction. Impulsivity may increase a persons likelihood of taking risks or using substances, thereby elevating their risk of becoming addicted.
A 2019 paper also highlights some other traits and behaviors that researchers have linked to addiction, including sensation seeking, nonconformity, and tolerance of behavior that breaks social rules.
However, the 2019 paper also emphasizes that most researchers oppose the idea of addictive personalities because it is deterministic. In reality, addiction is a complex, multifaceted illness related to many factors.
For example, there is also an association between addiction and temporary emotional states, such as feeling stressed or alienated. People not having the opportunity to learn healthier coping skills for dealing with these emotions may also play a role.
A 2021 study of 94 people with addictions aged 1432 living in Switzerland, France, and Quebec observed similar trends. Participants often reported alienation, discomfort in social situations, anxiety, or depression.
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An Inability Or Lack Of Desire To Quit
An addictive personality can cloud your ability to make a clear, conscious decision to stop using drugs or alcohol. Excuses are made as to why you believe you dont suffer from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. You may break the promises you made to yourself and those around you thus, the destructive behavior continues.
This all happens at the expense of your family and friends who are your support system. The strong urge to continue using the substance overrides the attempt to quit, and without that desire, nothing can change.
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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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.
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.
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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.
Risk Factors For Addiction
Again, there is no singular pathway toward addiction, just as there is no singular personality trait. Rather, there are a combination of factors at play at any given time. These include expectations, internal and external triggers, immediate reinforcers, positive aspects of use, and negative aspects of use.
Here are risk factors that place a person at risk of addiction:
- Expectations of use
- Internal triggers for use
- External triggers for use
- Immediate reinforcers
- Positive aspects of use
- Negative aspects of use 3
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Addressing Addiction And Getting Help
Though addiction is a complex disease, it is treatable. The best treatment options are those specific to each person and their needs.
Studies show that addiction treatment is most effective when combined with behavioral therapies, which can include individual, group, and family therapy.
Is An Addictive Personality The Same As Having Ocd
No. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a formal mental health diagnosis that involves symptoms like obsessions and compulsions.
Obsessions are unwanted, distressing, and persistent thoughts you feel you cannot control. Compulsions are rituals you engage in to decrease the distress caused by obsessions.
Its possible to have both a diagnosis of OCD and behavioral addictions.
Researchers cant pinpoint the exact cause of addictive or compulsive behaviors, as everyone is different. Its probably a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Some of these may include:
- family history of similar behaviors
- lack of interpersonal support
- low distress tolerance
- unresolved trauma
Addiction and genetic vulnerability to addiction are complex and nuanced, says Dr. Nicole McGuffin, PsyD, a therapist in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
I like to exchange the term addictive personality for heartbreak, she says. In this guise, we can meet ourselves or others with empathy, compassion, and understanding.
In my worldview, addiction may be about heartbreak, disconnection from self and others, perhaps not knowing how to attune to your needs, guilt, pressuring yourself, not trusting, or self-medicating that heartbreak. It may also be about developmental trauma, explains McGuffin.
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Using Alcohol To Socialize
Socializing is one of the top reasons heavy drinkers give to explain their overindulgence in alcohol. A beer or a glass of wine can seem like a quick and easy way to lower inhibitions and have a laugh with friends. But all too easily, alcohol can become the only way to get along with people, leaving you feeling bored or anxious in situations where everyone is sober.
Buying Things To Feel Better
Overshopping can be caused by a lot of things. But one of the main reasons compulsive shoppers give for running up retail debt is the boost they get when they think the new clothes, the new shoes, and the new gadgets will change who they are and make them better people. But as soon as they are yours, the objects feel worthless.
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Signs Of An Addictive Personality: What Are The Personality Traits Of Addicts
Among the most frequently studied subjects in addiction science is the reason why some people are prone to become addicted to drugs or alcohol while others are not. Over the years, traits have been identified that form the definition of an addictive personality, the personality type that makes one more likely to become an addict compared to others. Identifying whether or not you have an addictive personality can help you determine if you are likely to become an addict, and it can even assist you in recognizing if you currently suffer from an addiction to alcohol or drugs.
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.
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A Guide On How To Recognize The Signs Of A Personality Disorder
Not everyone with an addictive personality becomes an addict. Although, it does make repeated substance abuse more likely. Having an addictive personality is a common character trait that tends to run in families, much like an addiction. Or more specifically, alcoholism. While facing the ups and downs of chronic substance abuse, ignoring personality traits like this could lead to future relapse.
First, youd have to receive an accurate diagnosis, and learn how to manage it moving forward. Recognizing the signs of an addictive personality is crucial. Here is our guide to answering your question: do I have an addictive personality?
Drugs or alcohol become the vice that brings on those desired feelings. The need for drugs or alcohol to fulfill these emotional needs starts to increase, and a habit is formed. Thus begins the cycle of addictio
What Does It Mean If You Have Any Of These Traits
Many people who display one or more of these traits may never suffer from an addiction, but the presence of one of these traits or a combination of them shows a vulnerability to addiction. For example, a sensation-seeker may be able to use drugs occasionally without becoming addicted because they are not impulsive and have supportive friendships. That is why a combination of these traits is the most indicative of an addictive personality.
If you feel that you or a loved one has an addictive personality, it is important to be aware of the situations that may cause you or another person to succumb to temptations that can have negative consequences. It is also important to understand that preventing addiction is completely possible.
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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.
There Are Some Ways To Avoid Becoming An Addict For Example:
- Avoid drinking to socialize with others
- Avoid constantly checking social media, email, etc.
- Avoid self-medicating or using pills or marijuana for relaxation
- Dont avoid quitting due to its difficulty
- Seek help from professionals
A person doesnt have to hit rock bottom to realize that they need help. While a person may have a personality that craves more, they do not have to live an unhealthy lifestyle. Personality doesnt determine a persons future.
Residential rehab facilities are able to help individuals struggling with addictive personality disorder to end their addictions and receive treatment for co-occurring disorders. Once the addiction and co-occurring disorder is treated, individuals are able to live highly productive lives.
The first step to getting help is acknowledging that there is a problem. Once the problem is acknowledged, a residential rehab can provide the professional help needed for healing.
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Theres Help Available For Addictive Personalities
The same changes in pleasure and reward that occur in chemical addictions occur in people with behavioral addictions. Just as those with substance abuse disorders feel a sense of temporary relief when they drink or do drugs, people with behavioral addictions feel relief when they engage in their addictive behaviors.
Indeed, addictive personality traits tend to share a common denominator: an impaired sense of self-regulation. People with one or more of these traits tend to be unable to resist temptations and control their emotions and behaviors. Lack of self-regulation can lead to problems with addiction, eating disorders, gambling, and spending, among others.
Remember that having addictive personality traits does not necessarily mean you will become addicted to substances. However, because it puts you at higher risk, its important to recognize the signs of addictive personalities.
If you believe addictive personality traits are leading you toward substance abuse, get in touch with our experts at 12 South Recovery. We can help you identify the core issues and design an appropriate treatment path for your needs.