Addiction And Addictive Personality
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Caution Is Not A Concern
Theres a prevalent feeling among young people that theyre invincible. This lack of self-awareness and caution can lead to addictive behaviors.
Consequences of addiction are one of the main deterrents of partaking in addictive behaviors. Without regard for those consequences, there is a much higher likelihood a person will get wrapped up in addictive patterns.
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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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.
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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How Do I Know If I Have An Addiction
Generally, addiction causes people to have a strong desire for a substance or behavior. They might find themselves constantly thinking about the substance or behavior, even when they dont want to.
Someone experiencing addiction might start out by relying on the substance or behavior to cope with challenges or stressful situations. But eventually, they may need to use the substance or do the behavior to get through each day.
Generally, people experiencing addiction have a hard time sticking to any personal goals of not using a substance or engaging in certain behavior. This can lead to feelings of guilt and distress, which only increase the urge to act on the addiction.
Other signs that can indicate addiction include:
- continued use of a substance despite negative health or social effects
- increased tolerance to the substance
- symptoms of withdrawal when not using the substance
- little or no interest in your usual daily activities and hobbies
- feeling out of control
- struggling at school or work
- avoiding family, friends, or social events
Helping Others With High Risk Of Addiction
Mental health professionals, including therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists, can help an individual struggling with the risk factors for addiction. Addressing these issues early on and identifying and implementing healthy coping mechanisms can decrease the individuals likelihood of developing an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Additionally, many treatment methods exist that can help those with an addiction to recover.
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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.
Weak Commitment Towards Goals
Goals are things that allow us to gauge whether or not were moving our lives in a positive direction. Without goals, especially as an adult, its easy to fall into patterns of depression and feelings of being without purpose.
Those feelings are found regularly in people who are managing addictive personalities or full-blown addiction.
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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.
Signs Of Addiction And Symptoms Of An Addictive Personality:
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What Does It Mean If You Have These Personality Traits
If these addictive personality traits sound familiar, it may be indicative of someone who has an addictive personality. Many people exhibit one or more of these personality traits, but may not be prone to addiction.
However, it is the combination of these traits that leads to someone having an addictive personality. Someone who is sensation seeking may be more likely to try drugs, but if they are not very impulsive and have strong social connections, they may use only occasionally and within a controlled setting.
People who do not have a compulsive personality will be less likely to engage in activities that negatively impact their lives, even if they engage in these activities experimentally.
People who do fit this combination of personality traits, however, may have an addictive personality. This means they may be more prone to develop addictions to drugs, alcohol or other habit forming behaviors. These people may not be able to drink socially, but instead may feel compelled to have six more drinks after the first one.
If you or a loved one has an addictive personality, it is important to be aware that it may be easier to succumb to temptation and develop habits that can negatively impact daily life.
Why Is The Idea Of An Addictive Personality Harmful
At first glance, the concept of an addictive personality might seem like a good tool for preventing addiction.
If we can identify those who have the highest risk, wouldnt that make it easier to help them before they develop an addiction?
But boiling the complex issue of addiction down to a personality type can be harmful for several reasons:
- It can lead people to falsely believe they arent at risk because they dont have the right personality for addiction.
- It may make people who have an addiction think that theyre unable to recover if addiction is hardwired into who they are.
- It suggests that people experiencing addiction exhibit traits that are generally considered negative, such as lying and manipulating others.
In reality, anyone can experience addiction including goal-oriented people who have a large network of friends, plenty of confidence, and a reputation of honesty.
Experts have identified a number of factors likely to increase someones risk for addiction.
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What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
Also visit the online treatment locator.
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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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.
Dont Use Marijuana To Relax
If you are tense or anxious at the end of a long day, you might have found that some marijuana can help you relax. But it has a rebound effect when it wears off. Anxiety actually increases. It can also harm your motivation or trigger psychological problems.
Do: Look for safer methods of stress management and relaxation
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Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
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.
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Doing Enough Vs Being Enough
Those of us with addictive personalities allow our pursuits to overshadow our lives. We arent human beings in a sense – were human doers. We dont know how to just be and we tend to associate our worth with our productivity and results. What really drives us is the desire to become something greater through attaining progressively greater goals but its just never enough. The worst thing that can happen to us is reaching the top rung.
You Just Cant Seem To Quit Your Vice
This might be more obvious, but itâs worth mentioning when weâre talking about addictive personalities. If you have a vice â whether itâs substance-related or not â and no matter how much you try, you canât seem to shake it, this is a red flag. According to WebMD, this might mean you continue to do the behavior even though itâs not only affecting you, you know itâs also affecting your family, your friends, your job, and potentially more.
Just because you might align with some of these signs does not have to mean youâre fated to be an addict by any means, according to Weaver. He told WebMD, âYou can get help and lead a successful, productive life.â By admitting to yourself that you have an addictive personality, you can begin to get yourself on the right track. The best way to manage it is to first admit it. Then, if you don’t have a current addiction, try to avoid substances or behaviors that you believe may be addictive for you, whether that’s alcohol or online shopping. If you’re already an addict, get the right help. Websites cited in this article â including AlcoholRehab.com and 12KeysRehab.com â are great sources of information on addiction. You can also see a health care professional if you believe your addiction has become a problem.
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Lack Of Impulse Control
Studies have shown that people who take part in impulsive, risk-taking behavior are more likely to develop addictions. People who act impulsively may have higher levels of dopamine in their brain, which can affect their sensitivity to it. Therefore, these people need more intense experiences to feel the dopamines effect. These experiences could include skydiving, extreme sports, and drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, people can develop a tolerance to drugs and alcohol and start increasing their intake to obtain greater levels of dopamine.
What Causes Addiction
Some people may be more vulnerable to addiction than others no single personality type or trait guarantees a substance use disorder or other addictions. The most important thing to remember is this: Addiction is a disease. It can happen to anyone at any time. With that in mind, there are many outside factors that can contribute to addiction, including genetics, relationships, mental health disorders, and a lack of impulse control.
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Is It A Myth
Many addiction specialists and health professionals believe that addictive personalities are a myth.
In part, this is because addiction is a complex issue that affects all kinds of people.
Its just as possible for someone with a so-called addictive personality to avoid addiction as it is for someone without the addictive personality traits to become addicted to a substance. It all depends on their experiences and choices.
Furthermore, addiction is a brain disorder that has nothing to do with personality. Someone with a laid-back, easygoing personality has as great a risk of developing an addiction as someone with a high-strung personality.
There is no evidence that a specific personality has a higher risk of addiction than another.
Despite no scientific evidence or support for the theory of an addictive personality, understanding the various things that increase a persons risk of addiction can make it easier to avoid a substance use disorder.
- Antisocial personality disorder