What is an Addictive Personality? Are They Real?

If you can’t control or evaluate your actions or set healthy boundaries, you may also have elements of an addictive personality. If you or a loved one is actively struggling with an addiction, seeking out addiction treatment can seem intimidating. Being dependent on a substance can make stopping the use of it an extremely difficult process, especially if you are attempting to do so on your own.

what is an addictive personality

The concept of an addictive personality, although often referred to in pop psychology, is actually less of a thing than you might think. For there to be an addictive personality, that would suggest that there is one specific personality type that makes people addicts. However, the diversity among people with addictions suggests otherwise. It is important to note that mental health disorders ultimately boil down to genetics, environmental factors and/or the complicated interplay of genetics and your environment.

If you believe you have an addictive personality, it helps to develop protective factors that lessen your risk of developing an addiction. People with addictive personalities find it difficult to manage their stress levels. In fact, lack of stress tolerance is a telltale sign of the disorder. They find it difficult to face stressful situations and fight hard to get out of such conditions.

Also, individuals who are able to give up one addiction commonly replace it with another. Perhaps after giving up alcohol or opioids, they become addicted to cigarettes or vaping, for example. Talking about addictive personalities can also reinforce negative stereotypes about people with substance disorders. It creates a stigma and links to addiction and negative traits. While above, we discuss traits that we often see in people with addiction, we also have to be very careful when talking about this subject.

What Are Some Traits That Can Contribute to Addiction?

While it is normal to try something new in order to spice up a persons life, it can become much worse if it becomes a consistent need, which is not a stable approach to an individuals daily activities. The popular notion of what an addict looks like is influenced by what we see in the media. The media images we see aren’t necessarily all that representative.

  • Others might try a substance once and crave more almost immediately.
  • The reality is that substance use disorder is a disease that can affect anyone, regardless of their personality.
  • The reality is that no matter your personality or individual traits if you’re struggling with addiction, you can change your harmful behaviors.
  • Personality processes related to the development and resolution of alcohol use disorders.
  • Firstly, its essential to differentiate between habits and addictions.
  • With drug and alcohol addiction, common environmental factors are stress and the availability of addictive substances.

People who need overstimulation often get their high from activities or substances like sex, food, or shopping. This restlessness is a brewing pot for an addiction to develop. 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. 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.

This level of openness is among the most dangerous traits of those with an addictive personality. It’s one of the primary drivers behind making illegal, life-altering choices. Experiencing abuse or other trauma as a child can also increase someone’s risk for beginning to use substances earlier in life. In essence, addiction refers to a set of thoughts and compulsive behaviors that you find unable to stop despite negative consequences. If you’re wondering if you have an addictive personality, you may find it helpful to separate fact from fiction and understand the nature of the term. Of the above behavioral addictions, only gambling use disorder is classified as an addiction per DSM-5.

Addictive Personality: Are Some People More Prone to Addiction?

While many medical professionals put different traits to the subjective term, our team has filtered through the clutter and distilled the answer into 8 qualities. Some people https://sober-house.net/ use alcohol or drugs occasionally, enjoying their effects but not seeking them out regularly. Others might try a substance once and crave more almost immediately.

what is an addictive personality

Exposure – Obviously, someone who has never been exposed to alcohol can’t become addicted to it. In other words, even if you have an addictive personality, you can’t become addicted to a substance unless you are exposed to it. While health organizations do not endorse the idea of addictive personalities, there is some evidence that certain traits may make addiction more likely. In this article, learn more about the relationship between personality and addiction, the concept of an addictive personality, and the factors that may contribute to one. Pain, trauma, and difficulty sleeping are some of the psychological problems that people commonly try to treat with drugs.

Neuroticism – Neuroticism is the state of having personality traits or symptoms typical of someone with a neurosis . This is also another possible trait of a person with an addictive personality. Those people with high neuroticism frequently respond to challenges or threats with negative reactions such as anger, sadness, anxiety, and irritability. Research has shown that people with high neuroticism are more likely to have a substance use disorder .

What Is… an Addictive Personality

We don’t want to reduce it into something too simplistic by simply saying someone has an addictive personality. Dishonesty—if you’re often dishonest with yourself or others, you could have a personality prone to addiction. The more dependent someone is on drugs, alcohol, or addictive behavior, the more they feel the need to lie.

People with very severe personality disorders are more likely to become addicts. Addictive substances usually stop primary and secondary neuroses, meaning people with personality disorders like the relief from their pain. I’ve struggled with both addiction and mental health for a good chunk eco sober house boston of my life. Sometimes I’m not sure which came first, like the “chicken or the egg” scenario. Other times, I’m convinced that childhood trauma led to severe depression and fear of people early in life. I’m sober today and being sober is the only way I address my depression/anxiety.

And for many, addiction doesn’t involve substances at all, like gambling. Big Five personality traits and alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and gambling disorder comorbidity. There’s no established list of traits or signs that indicate someone may have an addictive personality or may be more prone to developing one.

While certain traits are sometimes shared by people who develop addictions, these traits are not consistent and not everyone with an addiction has these traits. While addiction can strike anyone, there are some people who are more predisposed than others to develop an addiction to substances, gambling, the Internet, and other outlets. Some experts believe that these people have what they call an addictive personality. Although there is not one specific type of personality that is more prone to addiction, there are several personality traits that are common among people with addiction. While drugs and alcohol dependencies have not been found to cause personality disorders, they have been found to play a role in the development and the intensity of their side effects.

what is an addictive personality

Offering hope and sharing with them how life is better when they do not succumb to an addiction. Engaging other people in their lives who care about them to express concerns similar to yours. Expressing concern about their behavior and explaining how their choices are negatively impacting you and others in their lives. An addiction specialist can answer your questions and guide you through your options. Challenges cause them to express sadness, anger, anxiety, and irritability. Whereas for LSD and Ecstasy (the latter being a so-called „Party drug”) users N has no significant deviation from the population level and E can be higher.

Wrapping Up What Does Having an Addictive Personality Mean?

There’s a longstanding myth that some people simply have an addictive personality — a personality type that increases their risk for addiction. In other words, there’s no cookie-cutter “type” of person that is more likely to face mental health challenges, including addiction and substance use disorder. Although researchers have reported some personality traits common to those with addictions, this does not necessarily mean there is an addictive personality. Psychology Today describes an addictive personality as one in which the individual is unable to control their participation in substance use, alcohol consumption, or engaging in gambling or sex. This accounts for perhaps 10% of the US population, according to the same source. Impulsive Behavior – Acting out without thinking about the effect of your actions is impulsive behavior.

This may present itself in contrast to some of the other points on this list given that qualities like impulsiveness and stimulation seeking rely on a variance of activities. People who find it easy to bend situations to suit their needs are often addiction-prone. In order to get away with destructive behaviors and still be able to enjoy the support of friends and family, lying is integral. With a high degree of impulsiveness comes a willingness to try destructive behaviors. That willingness to try can lead to a lifetime of addiction. Addiction is a complicated brain condition that can affect anyone, regardless of their personality type.

Thousands of people before you have been able to stop the damage and rebuild their lives in recovery. With evidence-based treatment delivered by highly qualified eco sober house rating addiction counselors, you, too, can be one of them. This study also confirmed that there were differences in the profiles of those using different drugs.

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