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What is an Addictive Personality? Are They Real?

Additionally, there are no universal personality traits inherent in every person who suffers from an addiction. Researchers believe that genes account for around 40% to 60% of a person’s risk of addiction. Recovered is not a medical provider or treatment provider and does not provide medical advice. Recovered does not endorse any treatment provider or guarantee the quality of care provided, or the results to be achieved, by any treatment provider. The information provided by Recovered on this website is not a substitute for professional treatment advice. The CDC reported that 2019 trends in substance use treatment, show alcohol and cannabis were the top two drugs people sought treatment for.

There are quite a few people who feel they are simply not capable of becoming addicts, and they will continue to exhibit these behaviors because they believe they have control. The lack of control that is then exhibited simply pushes them closer to becoming an addict. Add addictive eco sober house complaints personality to one of your lists below, or create a new one. Someone with such an addictive personality should perhaps stay sober. I would probably describe myself as having an addictive personality. Do you think you may have traits of the dark triad personality?

SAMHSA has a wealth of information and resources to assist providers, individuals, communities, and states during this difficult time and is ready to help in any way possible. 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. Having both a mental health condition and a substance use disorder is known as a dual diagnosis. According to statistics from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, around 3.3 percent of adults in the United States had a dual diagnosis in 2014. Some people use alcohol or drugs occasionally, enjoying their effects but not seeking them out regularly.

  • Pain, trauma, and difficulty sleeping are some of the psychological problems that people commonly try to treat with drugs.
  • It’s not a surprise then that people who are worried about developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol often try to find out what the traits of an addictive personality might be.
  • At Recovered, we recognize the impact COVID-19 has had and the continued challenges it poses to getting advice and treatment for substance use disorders.
  • Additionally, overall mental health plays a role in addiction.
  • Scientific American is part of Springer Nature, which owns or has commercial relations with thousands of scientific publications (many of them can be found at /us).

In other words, there’s no proof that a personality type is linked to a higher chance of addictive or compulsive behaviors. In general, an “addictive personality” typically refers to a group of traits that can make you more prone to becoming dependent and addicted to substances and other things. Impulsive Behavior – Acting out without thinking about the effect of your actions is impulsive behavior. Most people do have bad judgment at times but people who regularly present this type of behavior are showing impulsive behavior.

Take control of your life

While the term is quite popular, the concept itself is controversial and there is a lack of consistent evidence supporting the existence of an addictive personality. What all of these traits have in common is an inability for the individual to regulate behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that might otherwise enable an ability to moderate use of alcohol or other substances. Addiction sometimes has to do with a lack of impulse control, but this is not exclusively the inability to resist impulses.

It could be a glass of wine, a casino environment, a shopping spree, or a delicious meal. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, she continued her studies at New York University, earning a Master’s of Social Work degree in 2002. She has extensive training in child and family therapy, and in the identification and treatment of substance abuse and mental health disorders. The truth is that the modern idea of an addictive personality is modeled on both fact and fiction. The idea of a generic, specific personality type that is predisposed towards addiction simply does not exist. Instead, there are a range of factors that can lead to someone being more predisposed to addiction and they can appear in a wide range of personality types.

Diagnosed with Other Mental Health Disorders

Sensation Seeking– As with a person with an addiction, a person with an addictive personality often needs to feel the next “rush” and the reward. They look for the next high and often need more of it to keep the good feelings flowing. A person who is sensation-seeking is one who is constantly seeking out new experiences and new sources of adrenaline rushes. One main problem with sensation-seeking is the continuous desire for something different and new, which can lead to the experimentation of drugs and alcohol, which can lead to substance use disorder. An addictive personality is a personality that is more likely to become addicted to something. This can include someone becoming extremely passionate about something and developing an obsession or fixation.

  • If an individual deals with anxiety, depression or any kind of stress disorder, people may develop addictions to things that can increase their moods during the activity.
  • In fact, most researchers in addiction today would caution against the idea of a single, generic personality that is prone to addiction.
  • Drug and alcohol dependence are more common among those who struggle to regulate their emotions.
  • Research finds no universal character traits that are common to all addicted people.
  • Someone with a mental health disorder has a higher risk of addiction than someone without any co-occurring disorders.
  • Extraversion, self-monitoring, and loneliness are also common characteristics found in those who suffer from addiction.

Manipulation– The very thing that a person is addicted to most likely takes top priority over everything in their life, whether it be family, friends, or partners. As a result, they will manipulate others to fulfill the addictive itch. I could be lying or making up stories to get money or even feigning love and attraction to have the person take them out bar hopping. Similarly, a person with an addictive personality will also use the manipulation card for their personal benefit.

Addictive personality

The negative implications of the term can also impact your healing process, says Friday. “Substances, for example, can be a way to self-medicate, helping someone live with the uncomfortable, often painful, physiological symptoms of trauma. Addictive habits can temporarily soothe a dysregulated nervous system, allowing people to function in society,” adds Milnor. On the other hand, the term is laden with stigma, not backed up by research, and offers an incomplete view of a complex challenge. Common psychological problems that people try to self-medicate for are pain, trauma, and difficulty sleeping.

  • The rewards are random and happen just enough to prevent people from controlling their impulsive behaviors, leading to often catastrophic financial losses.
  • Instead, there are a range of factors that can lead to someone being more predisposed to addiction and they can appear in a wide range of personality types.
  • A study that compared 861 pairs of identical twins and 653 pairs of fraternal twins showed that identical twins were more likely to obtain an addiction up to 60 percent more than fraternal twins.
  • Many people suffering from isolation can resort to addictive behaviors as a means of coping.

At first glance, the concept of an addictive personality might seem like a good tool for preventing addiction. And it means alcohol and other drug use and problems are not inevitable, even if you have a genetic or personality predisposition. Later those ideas further developed into a broader “disease model”. The disease model and the later “brain disease” model viewed alcohol and other drug problems as a lifelong and incurable disease of the mind, making abstinence the only option.

Don’t Use Alcohol to Socialize

Handling stress is difficult, but there are a number of people who simply turn to addictive substances because they cannot manage their lives. They will hope the addiction may cover up the pain they feel. Doing something on impulse is common, but there are quite a few people who cannot control their impulses. They are far more likely to form addictive behaviors as a result. Psychosocial predictors of substance and behavioral addictive disorders. Big Five personality traits and alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and gambling disorder comorbidity.

Risk-Taking – The excitement of risk-taking is another common trait of a person with an addictive personality. The simple act of doing something dangerous and impulsive supplies that rush of dopamine that makes the person feel pleasure. Lying – Addiction and lying go hand-in-hand and have several layers. For example, first, the user lies to himself about having an addiction. The deeper he gets into his addiction, it’s more likely he’s going to feel the need to rest. Before long, the lies become truths to the addict and he is trapped in a cycle of lies and denial.

Offering hope and sharing with them how life is better when they do not succumb to an addiction. 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. The addicts who are in denial will continue to deny that they have a problem. There are many different people who will deny that they have a problem, and they will continue to excuse their behavior because they insist that they do not have a problem in the slightest. Incentive salience attribution, “sensation-seeking” and “novelty-seeking” are independent traits in a large sample of male and female heterogeneous stock rats.

One study indicates the predisposition to addiction could be related to a breakdown in cognitive processes, specifically the part of the brain that becomes increasingly fixed or focused on the addiction. There is no evidence that a specific personality has a higher risk of addiction than another. Each person who has an addictive personality must be shown that their behaviors are a problem for them and the people around them.

what is an addictive personality

Critically, in Shedler and Block’s data, the traits that marked both abstainers and heavy users could be seen long before drug use began. After all, the authors had started following these children in preschool. Once they knew how the participants behaved in adolescence, they could look back and see what early traits were linked to particular problems. People who are addicted are typically the last person to realize it. When they do, it sometimes has taken a toll on their mental and physical health, relationships and job. Addiction usually is a self-medicated solution that doesn’t address the core problem.

In some instances, an “addictive personality” may be mentioned if you’ve experienced these symptoms repeatedly and related to more than one object or activity. For example, if you tend to feel this way in all or most of your relationships, hobbies, or interests. Yet, current research hasn’t reached a consensus on what exactly an addictive personality means or if it actually even exists altogether.

The person at the office who always wants to go for drinks after work. We often assume these people have an addiction or are more predisposed to forming substance or behavioral abuse disorders. The amount of stress a person experiences can also be a sign of an addictive personality. Individuals will be in constant distress when they are not doing the action they have become addicted to doing. They are in a constant stage of panic, and are not sure how to continue on with their lives if they aren’t engaging in their preferred behavior. Any kind of activity that makes a person’s dopamine levels increase drastically can be a sign that someone is becoming addicted to that act.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition(DSM-5) includes obsessive-compulsive disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder . One is an anxiety disorder and one is a personality disorder. Some research suggests that addiction can fall into behavioral addictions or substance addictions. There are genetic and brain-based reasons for addiction behaviors.

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