Personality Traits That Are Common With Addiction
August 30, 2012 | Written by : Alastair Mordey
Millions of people around the world suffer from an addiction. This may be to alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medications, or other types of addictions. It is often forgotten that there are millions of people at risk for developing an addiction because of certain personality traits they may have.
There are people who have a greater risk at becoming addicted. This may be due to certain personality traits, genetic makeup, their childhood, or the current stress factors in their life. Doctors and therapists around the world have categorized these personality traits into signs of someone having an addiction, be at risk for developing an addiction, or have a personality that is more susceptible to addiction. This addiction could be to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, eating, etc.
There Are Also Legal Addictions
People, who become easily addicted to everyday things like television or caffeinated drinks, have a high chance of developing other addictions. Although these are rarely seen as a problem, it shows that the person may lack control. Therefore, they have a greater chance to develop some type of other addiction in the future. These types of personalities may be especially vulnerable when they are in stressful situations.
Types of Personality Traits
Studies done on addicts of drugs or alcohol have shown that they all have similar personality traits that contribute to their addiction.
Please note that these personality traits may appear in people who have no problems in life. However, they appear more uncontrollable and exaggerated in people who have a drug, alcohol or other addictions.
Behavioral Personality Traits of an Addiction
There are two behavioral personality traits that are most commonly associated with a person with an addiction.
Mental Personality Traits of an Addiction
Anyone who may have anxiety, depression, stress, personality disorder, or obsessive compulsive disorder has a greater chance of developing a drug or alcohol addiction. This may be to: relieve any of their problems; help them to manage their emotions; or to ignore any underlying problems or issues.
Compulsive Behavior Personality Trait
People who have compulsive behaviors are unable to drink or use drugs in moderation. They either need it or cannot have it. In other words, addicts tend to feel the need to be in control or powerless. The person may give into the substances whenever they are around them. If they are constantly giving into drug or alcohol temptations, they may exhibit the inability to stop; if this happens they may develop an addiction. This is also known as ‘black and white thinking' which means all or nothing.
Antisocial Behavior Personality Trait
People who have an antisocial problem may turn to drugs or alcohol to replace being social with other people. On the other hand, a person may want to drink or use drugs in order to be social around other people. This can be due to, most people think drugs or alcohol makes them feel more comfortable around other people.
More commonly referred to as, grandiosity. A person may think that the world revolves around them. They may feel this way as a way of hiding their insecurity.
The person may dread or fear various things in life. This anxiety can lead a person to turn to anything to get their mind clear.
The person may become easily frustrated especially in uncomfortable situations. These people are also very impatient.
A person may become extremely offended by something, gesture etc., that was unintentional. They may dwell upon the situation and become very resentful towards whoever did it.
The person may keep away from people because of their own insecurity. They are considered to be a loner. They would rather be alone and may turn to drugs or alcohol as company.
Low Self Esteem
Low self esteem is more common than most people think. The person may develop depression and may be unable to change their behavior.
How to Improve Traits of an Addictive Personality
There are a few things that one can do to improve any addictive traits they may have.
A person who has personality traits of addictive behavior can benefit greatly by making a list of anything they worry about. This can help a person develop their own will power and self control.
Learning about the harmful effects of drug or alcohol addiction can create a negative image in a person's head; therefore, eliminate any desire to use. If a person is feeling insecure, has low self esteem, or frequent negative thoughts, they should write down any of these thoughts and then come up with an argument against each one.
Practice breathing techniques, meditate, take a yoga class, and exercise frequently. These are all great ways to alleviate stress, which can prevent a person relying on harmful substances to do so. If a person is unable to improve any of these traits and feels like they are unable to cope with them, they should seek help and advice from a professional therapist or doctor.
Everyone is different; therefore, different people will exhibit different personality traits. If a person is able to become aware of the types of personality traits that can be associated with addictions, then they can put themselves in a more prepared position. Many people may have some of the traits listed above and never develop any kind of addiction. It all comes down to the individual person. Being able to recognize one's own tendencies and habits can lessen the chance of anything dangerous becoming routine. Routines can become repetitive, and repetition may lead to an addiction.
If you or anyone you know is developing or already has a drug or alcohol addiction, it is important that treatment is sought. Treatment can help a person with any of the above personality traits and teach someone how to develop positive traits and behaviors, and ultimately heal their addiction.