Some people experience trauma, yet, because of their greater resiliency and coping skills, they do not go on to experience PTSD, which puts them at risk of addiction. The study also found that bipolar disorder carried the highest risk of developing addiction. The only increased risk for alcohol addiction was among those with oppositional defiant disorder, intermittent explosive disorder or an existing nicotine addiction.

what is an addictive personality

The concept of addictive personalities suggests that the reason some people develop addictions and others do not is due to their character. The concept of addictive personalities comes from the idea that some people develop addictions due to their character. However, even if you are unaware of your genetic risks and/or you have few environmental risks, you might still be concerned about your risk of addiction. If you are worried you could develop an addiction, there are things you can do to reduce your risk.

What to Do When an Alcoholic Relapses

Additionally, overall mental health plays a role in addiction. Someone with a mental health disorder has a higher risk of addiction than someone without any co-occurring disorders. The term ‘addictive personality’ is sometimes used to describe a person who has a high risk of developing an addiction.

what is an addictive personality

As one 2017 research article points out, it’s not always clear whether the trait developed before or after addiction. Addiction is a complex health issue that can affect anyone, regardless of their personality. Personality processes related to the development and resolution of alcohol use disorders. It may also be about developmental trauma,” explains McGuffin. But, again, this is likely due to other reasons and not because of your personality type. “The best way to understand addiction is to see it as a coping mechanism that helps people recover from immense stress or trauma,” she explains.

Here are the signs of love addiction withdrawal and how to deal. “It can often be weaponized by family or others in society. It is typically seen as a derogatory term, which most of my clients are unlikely to endorse when living with a use disorder,” he explains. Addiction and genetic vulnerability to addiction are complex and nuanced, says Dr. Nicole McGuffin, PsyD, a therapist in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Obsessions are unwanted, distressing, and persistent thoughts you feel you cannot control.

Likewise, those who have low self-esteem also seek peer approval; therefore, they participate in “attractive” activities such as smoking or drinking to try to fit in. Many of them discover this later in life, after losing friends, family, jobs and everything but their addictions. Once they find that recovery is possible, life opens up again and they grieve the lost years. Some would say I have an “addictive personality,” or an inherent voraciousness. Personally, I’ve taken to thinking it’s that same inner demon my mom cautioned me about when I was just a kid playing wizard until I’d fall asleep at the computer. There were also differences in the personality profiles for users of specific substances.

The term also suggests that people with this personality type engage in repetitive pleasurable actions and choose them over other important activities. This, in turn, also increases the likelihood of developing addiction. Quite the opposite to the risk-taking type, individuals who are more cautious and disconnected from others may also be at risk of developing an addiction. Because these individuals often struggle with forming social connections, they may be more prone to developing certain mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. Many factors can increase your risk for addiction, but there’s no evidence that a specific personality type causes people to develop an addiction to something. Seeking Sensation – Similar to a person with an addiction, a person with an addictive personality frequently needs to feel the next “rush” and reward.

Adverse Childhood Experiences

It can also interfere with your motivation in life or trigger serious psychological problems. This means they turn to alcohol or other substances to manage negative emotions, such as stress, anger, or sadness. The hypothesis about importance of E for addiction was not supported by this aggregated analysis of use of all illicit drugs.

what is an addictive personality

Although there are many different personality traits that can be correlated with substance abuse, there is no scientific consensus on the existence or otherwise of an addictive personality. A 2018 study of 109 mostly male participants eco sober house price found that impulsive behaviors correlated with a higher risk of addiction. Impulsivity may increase a person’s likelihood of taking risks or using substances, thereby elevating their risk of becoming addicted.

Addictive personality

Certain traits such as impulsivity and novelty seeking can also be inherited, and lead to an increased risk for addiction. However, having those traits or having a family history of addiction does not necessarily mean that you will develop an addiction. If you aren’t successful and you do develop an addiction, many addiction treatment options are available. For many, it’s helpful to seek treatment sooner rather than later when there is a high risk of addiction. If you have a high risk of addiction, you can avoid substances that pose a risk of physical dependence, such as alcohol and drugs. Likewise, you can carefully monitor your behavior and intake.

  • Participants often reported alienation, discomfort in social situations, anxiety, or depression.
  • This can lead to feelings of guilt and distress, which only increase the urge to act on the addiction.
  • The only indicator a person is prone to addiction is their behavior and how it affects their lives.
  • And as you point out, “people don’t choose to become addicted, and addiction isn’t about being weak or having a character defect”.
  • While certain personality traits might be present in multiple individuals struggling with addiction, these specific traits can exist as minor parts of completely contradicting whole personalities.

Even if you are not sure of your risk or you know you do not have an addiction but you are concerned, you can avoid things with a high likelihood of triggering negative coping skills. Many addiction specialists and health professionals believe that addictive personalities are a myth. SS Sensation Seeking is defined by the search for experiences and feelings, that are varied, novel, complex and intense, and by the readiness to take risks for the sake of such experiences.

Wrapping Up What Does Having an Addictive Personality Mean?

Heroin users were significantly higher in neuroticism and impulsivity as well as lower on extraversion, openness to new experience and agreeableness than were ecstasy users. It is generally accepted that genes account for roughly 50% of the probability of developing addiction. Take care of yourself mentally and physically, so you’re less likely to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms. When you first get into a relationship with someone, you may feel a euphoric high. The newness and the intimacy you think you feel can trigger the same reward response in your brain as drugs or alcohol. Manipulation—do you ever feel like you manipulate people to get what you want??

These personality impairments cannot be attributed to the direct physiological effects of a substance or a general medical condition (i.e., severe head trauma or brain disease). Impairments in the individual’s personality functioning and personality trait expression cannot be attributed to their developmental stage or socio-cultural environment. Furthermore, people raised in strict, overly-authoritative households, as well as individuals who lacked any parental involvement or structure, are also prone to increased addiction risk. When it comes to someone’s personality, certain traits may be viewed as being either positive or negative. Self-regulation refers to an individual’s ability to regulate their thoughts, behaviors, and feelings, often leading to compulsive behavior or unmoderated habits. Thus, abusing substances like drugs, which directly affect the dopamine system, may be more of a risk for these individuals.

Compulsions are rituals you engage in to decrease the distress caused by obsessions. “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. Alcoholism and drug addiction are both diagnosed according to the criteria in DSM-5, the fifth and most current edition of the APA’s seminal Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This is one of the top reasons heavy drinkers give for overdoing alcohol.

We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy. Anyone who has an addiction, or is worried they might, can speak with a mental health professional who specializes in this area. Only a qualified professional can assess if someone has an addiction, so it is important to seek advice if possible.

People can have a compulsive disorder and an addiction at the same time. However, there are behaviors that people can find difficult to stop that are not the result of addiction. The only indicator a person is prone to addiction is their behavior and how it affects their lives. An insecure attachment style was also common in this group. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as a chronic, relapsing disorder, which means it can come and go over long periods. To an observer, it may look like relapses occur due to someone’s personality when in truth, they are a part of the illness.

Studies have found numerous environmental factors that correlate with addiction. Children who tend to react to distress in a more rash way have been linked to becoming more likely to drink and smoke in their adolescence. Results from this research found that this was because the reaction to distress affected psychosocial learning, which led to increased expectancy to drink or smoke.

Not everyone who struggles with addiction shares the same personality traits. There is no single personality type that is more prone to addiction. Anyone can become addicted to substances like drugs and alcohol or certain behaviors like gambling.