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 Is The Myers
The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator is an introspective self-report questionnaire thats designed to determine an individual personality type, strengths and weaknesses, and preferences. The science behind the questionnaire is based on two different philosophies. The first philosophy arises from the studies of Carl Gustav Jung, the father of analytical psychology.
In the early 20th century, Jung created his theory of psychological types that categorized people in terms of various personality patterns. He identified four basic psychological functions:
Extraversion vs. Introversion
Thinking vs. Feeling
Judging vs. Perceiving
In the 1920s, his philosophy caught the attention of Katharine Cook Briggs, a teacher who was interested in personality typing. Working with her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, they created what is known as the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator. They began testing their closest friends and family and worked on perfecting the test over the next twenty years.
When completing the Myers-Briggs questionnaire, people can notice acronyms like INTJ-A, ENFP-T, or ESTJ-A. These are the acronyms for the four basic psychological functions identified by Jung, plus the addition of a fifth function Assertive vs. Turbulent.
Personality Traits Of An Addictive Personality
Simply because you fit the description of several traits of an addictive personality does not necessarily mean that you have one. However, it may mean that you should watch your relationship with harmful substances and activities because you may be more prone to addiction. The following personality traits may be indicative of someone with an addictive personality.
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Is The Concept Of Addictive Personalities True
So, exactly what is an addictive personality? People who appear naturally drawn to addictive behaviors seem to have addictive personalities.
However, researchers continue to debate this concept. Although certain factors can put people at a higher risk for addiction, there is no strong evidence that specific personality traits count as such factors.
What research does tell us is that existing addictions tend to foster further addictive behaviors.
In other words, having one addiction increases the likelihood of developing other addictions. Addiction is not limited to drug and alcohol use.
People can also be addicted to eating, exercise, and the internet, among other things. A common example of co-occurring addictions is gambling and alcoholism.
Multiple addictions can make it seem like the addiction is simply a part of a persons nature.
It is also common to replace one addiction with another. When a person can recover from one addiction, they may notice a large absence or void in their lives, which they used to fill with activities and behaviors related to their addiction.
Some feel they can only fill the void again with other potentially addictive behaviors.
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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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.
Do You Have An Addictive Personality Take This 20
Some can’t say no to alcohol, others can’t stop smoking pot. Some prefer the antiseptic high of a pill mass produced in a pharmaceutical clean room, while others crave the soiled rush of a powder purchased on the street and snorted in secret. Familiar to every race, class, occupation, and ethnicity, addiction is the unseen pull of an illicit urge, addiction is the wormhole to a forbidden self. The National Institutes of Health estimate nearly one in 10 Americans over the age of 12 can be classified as a substance abuser or substance dependent. A quick glance at your friends, family, and acquaintances would tell you most anyone can become addicted though some people seem to be more vulnerable than others. The simple question, Why? is not easy to answer, though.
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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.
People Grow And Change
Personally, I am skeptical that many people substitute addictions. In my experience, people who are addicted tend to have a particular affinity for a particular class of drug, not for all drugs and alcohol. This is probably based on some combination of their neurochemistry and their psychological makeup. I was addicted to opiates, but didnt have difficulties with substances in other classes. I have seen this to mostly be the case with thousands of my brothers and sisters in recovery who I have had the honor to interact with. People continue to add to their coping skills toolbox throughout life, so the unhappy 18-year-old who is struggling is not the well-adjusted 50-year-old who has worked through many of their problems, or who has improved their life circumstances. Vulnerabilities can improve over time. People arent static, which is what reminds us to never give up hope when dealing with an addicted loved one, no matter how dire the circumstances appear to be.
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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.
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
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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.
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.
Healthy ways to meet this need: Instead of using alcohol to connect with others, connect through common interests or activities that you enjoy. When everyone around you is drinking, learn how to say no to alcohol and how to host a party without your guests getting drunk.
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Helping Those With A High Risk Of Addiction
While there may not be one personality type that is more susceptible to addiction, there are individuals who, through a combination of factors, traits, and impulse control issues, may be more likely to abuse substances and form an addiction.
For those in this position, there are a range of behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy , that are available to locate the source of behaviors and impulses as well as developing coping mechanisms to deal with and overcome them. If a person has developed an addiction to a substance or behavior already, attending an inpatient or outpatient rehab center can help by incorporating these therapies alongside other treatments proven to help with addiction. Contact a treatment center today to find out what options are available.
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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.
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Benefits Of An Addictive Personality
An addictive personality isnt necessarily a bad trait. An awareness of the possibilities of negative consequences and troubling behaviors can actually be very positive. In fact, the personality traits of an addict can be challenged into positive activities and results. Some of the personality traits that make you more prone to having an addictive personality can also make you shine in the workplace and in your personal life.
Addiction can result from the repetition of pleasure-causing activities, such as drugs or alcohol. The ability to identify productive pleasure-causing activities could lead to positive results.Identifying these activities is a key way to channel an addictive personality into a positive direction. Again, this does not mean you should substitute one vice for another. A work or exercise addiction can negatively impact your health and personal life as well.
But you can channel compulsivity, impulsiveness and sensation seeking into positive results. Doing so can help you work harder, get in shape, make friendships and more.
An addictive personality can help you achieve your goals as long as youre able to monitor your life for potential negative impacts. In fact, some experts say that the personality traits of an addict also make for great leaders and business people.
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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If Drugs Are Addictive How Come I’m Not Addicted
Posted March 14, 2009
A major misconception involving addiction is the idea that certain substances are, all by themselves, addicting. That a drug can captivate an unwary victim is an idea popularized in the 1936 film Reefer Madness. In that movie, it took just a few puffs of marijuana to turn a gentleman into a slobbering dope fiend his health shattered his life ruined. While such heavy-handed propaganda might be met with less credulity today, the fact remains that most Americans still believe the basic message – Just Say No or you’ll wind up hooked. What makes this truly odd is that, according to numerous national surveys, most Americans have tried marijuana and didn’t become dope fiends. Indeed, several years ago, a group of US congressmen attempted to come forward, admit their prior pot use and put an end to a draconian system that confiscates property and puts people in prison for years. But the electorate clearly wasn’t ready for any such reappraisal of the drug laws and the movement quickly died.
Asking such simple questions should make it plain to anyone with any common sense that the truth regarding drugs and addiction is concealed behind so many layers of ignorance and emotion, and special interests that it will remain a major problem for a long time to come.
Suffering From Other Mental Health Disorders
Individuals struggling with pre-existing mental health conditions are at a higher risk of developing addictions. Some of the conditions included are:
- Depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders
- Anxiety or panic disorder
- Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
- Antisocial personality disorder
One reason these particular mental health disorders can lead to addiction is because they are the types of disorders that lead to personal isolation, therefore making the individual more likely to self-medicate, rather than reach out to others for help.
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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.