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What is an Addictive Personality?

preparing for detoxEveryone is “addicted” to something these days. Whether it’s watching TV, eating chocolate, working, exercising, gambling, alcohol, or drugs, there are very few humans that don’t suffer from addiction in one or another form. While some addictions are less damaging than drugs or alcohol, the compulsive behaviors that make us keep wanting more of whatever our high is, are present in almost everyone.

Have you ever sat in front of the TV for hours watching Netflix while a pile of dishes or laundry are waiting to be cleaned? That is a form of addiction because you know you should be taking care of the important chores, but you can’t help watching one more episode and another and another.

According to Mark D. Griffiths, Ph.D., the difference between a healthy excessive enthusiasm for something and addiction, is that the former adds to life while a damaging addiction takes away from it. Both can damage relationships, so there are similarities between binging on a TV series and losing yourself in drugs, but there are certain worrisome characteristics of addiction to harmful substances.

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Addictive Personality Signs

If we go with this theory, things such as using your cell phone too much, or constantly reading, in detriment of your significant other or family obligations is a form of addictive personality. Some common behaviors in addictive personalities include, among others:

  • Moodiness and irritability,

  • Relationship problems,

  • Work absenteeism,

  • Family neglect,

  • Stomach or gastrointestinal disorders,

  • Domestic violence or abuse,

  • Financial problems,

  • Anxiety and depression,

  • Sleeping disorders.

For any activity to be labelled an addiction, some elements need to be present, including, mood swings when not able to engage in the preferred diversion; tolerance or needing more of the substance in order to find satisfaction; withdrawal symptoms; conflict with other activities, such as family obligations, work, or other hobbies; and the importance of participating in the behavior takes over the person’s life.

Why Do Certain People Develop Addictive Personalities?

It is not clear why certain people develop destructive addictions, while other gravitate to activities that add meaning to their lives, while not interrupting the family or work obligations everyone has. Even though the jury is out on why, scientists believe that addictive personalities have certain traits that are present and predispose them to getting hooked a substance of choice.

Genetics is believed to influence someone to become addicted. According to some studies, genes are responsible for the addictive personality in about 40 to 70-percent of cases depending on the substance. The National Institute for Drug Abuse states that genetics and the environment in which a person is raised plays a significant role in the development of addiction. Nature vs. Nurture.

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Addictive Personality Traits

Addiction is a complex behavioral subject and while researchers think they understand why some people become addicted, while others know when to stop, there are certain personality traits that can determine who becomes addicted. These include, among others:

  • Narcissism – or when a person thinks they are better than everyone else,

  • Selfishness – people who are selfish and only focused on themselves,

  • Neuroticism – when a person responds to challenges with anger, sadness, or anxiety,

  • Impulsiveness – this trait has been associated with several emotional problems including addiction,

  • Aggressiveness – when someone reacts with hostile or violent behavior towards others.

People who have addictive personalities suffer from an inability to control themselves and their favorite substance or activity takes over their lives to the detriment of their family and work obligations. This not only hurts them in mind and body, but in many cases, it results in broken families and relationships, including the loss of a job and the ability to get an income to support a family. Drug or substance addiction can have devastating emotional consequences that can make the addict sink into depression, which can, in turn, lead them to hang to their addiction even more fiercely. It’s a vicious circle.

However, you can do something about it and it’s never too late to seek the treatment that you need. We are only one phone call away and we offer you traditional and holistic treatments to deal with what you are going on. You are not alone, and you don’t have to suffer in silence. Our staff is trained to give you the answers you need, and we can customize the best treatment plan according to your and your family’s wishes.

Whether you have been addicted for a long time or it is something that is worrying you or your family, we can address any level of addiction at our many beautiful locations. We also offer reduced cost treatments if you qualify and we will take care of verifying your insurance, so you can focus on taking care of yourself. The first step is the hardest and if you are visiting us, it is a good sign and you recognize you need help. We are here for you via email, or a phone call. We won’t judge you.