An addictive personality refers to a hypothesized set of personality traits that make an individual predisposed to developing addictions. Some of the symptoms of what a an addictive personality is characterized by are an overwhelming attraction to one person, obsessive thoughts about one person, feeling the need to protect the person you are addicted to or in “love” with, possessive thoughts and actions, extreme jealousy over other interpersonal interactions, and low self-esteem.
A person with an addictive personality will have addictive behaviors, or a stimulus related to behavior (e.g., sex or food), that is both rewarding and reinforcing, and is associated with the development of an addiction. There are predisposing factors for addictive personalities, including genes and personality traits. Some of these traits are neuroticism and low conscientiousness. Neuroticism is when someone is prone to unhappy, anxious, and negative emotions. Low conscientiousness is that of a careless, disorganized, impulsive personality.
How Does Having an Addictive Personality Fuel Substance Abuse?
Addiction is defined as a disease by most medical associations, including the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, addiction is caused by a combination of behavioral, environmental and biological factors. The hypothesis states that there may be common personality traits observable in people suffering from addiction.
The biological processes that cause addiction involve the reward pathways in the brain. These circuits provide rushes of positive feeling and feel-good chemicals to “reward” substance use. The areas of the brain responsible for stress and self-control also undergo long-term changes during an addictive disorder. While most people can have a cocktail, buy a lottery ticket, or even experiment with drugs without getting hooked, those born with a specific personality type are wired to fall down the rabbit hole of addiction the moment they take their first sip, smoke, or bite.
How Can You Shift an Addictive Personality to do Something Positive?
The addictive response can be moderated by behavioral therapies that will equip you with the ability to manage self-regulation skills. Some good things to substitute the drug or alcohol addictions with our efforts to being polite, reading books, eating healthy, keeping your word, striving for peace of mind, fitness, getting up early, writing, solitude, traveling, learning, deep conversations, helping others, or punctuality. These things will take effort, energy and will freshen your mind fill you with motivation, cheer, you will attain amazing friends, you will begin to have genuine fun. You will also find that with these new habits comes newfound courage that lightens the heart.
How Can Garden State Treatment Help You?
You can get help and lead a successful, productive life. The first step is acknowledging the potential problem and just by asking yourself whether you have an addictive personality, you’re already on the right track. Here at Garden State Treatment Center, we provide group therapy, individual addiction counseling, relapse prevention treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, 12 step addiction treatment and many other services that help teach you the skills needed to regulate addictive personality traits.
We believe in treating the entire person, not just their addictions. We personalize the treatment plan based on the individual’s characteristics to provide a long-lasting and meaningful recovery. Our admissions team is standing by for your call.