The Addictive Personality

Addictive personality is a term used to describe the behavioral traits possessed by a person which makes him susceptible to any form of addiction, be it drugs, alcohol, sex, work, or even exercise. This PsycholoGenie article will help you understand about this personality type.
PsycholoGenie Staff
"Addictive personality" is a term used to define a serious psychological trait that is developed due to environmental factors and circumstances. If someone smokes pot every night to relax, or runs to the refrigerator the minute he/she is back from work, or shoplifts, spends hard-earned money in gambling, works day and night, and so on, then all these can be considered as signs of having an addictive personality. These people turn self-destructive and display compulsive behavior.

Addictive personalities are addicted to many things like substance abuse, gambling, playing video games, pornography, alcohol, food, and even their work. Humans are an interesting group of living beings, with a very complex psychology. Not only does the personality characteristics of people differ, but individual capacity to react in certain situations is also very different. You can never predict when a person loses self-control and gets addicted to something. However, research shows that people involved in different addictions, tend to share a distinct psychological trait that predisposes them to becoming an addict. Let us look at some types of addictive personality.

Types

Anxious Personality

People with stressed or anxious personality find it very difficult to manage stress. They break down easily under pressure and have poor stress management skills. These people become addicted to alcohol, drugs, etc., to overcome their anxiety and forget their problems.

Difficulty Delaying Gratification

Such people find it really difficult to plan and achieve their long-term plans. They are so focused on their short-term needs, that they cannot manage to concentrate on the long-term goals. They are on a look out for 'quick fix' solutions, display impulsive behavior, and have a tendency of taking risks in life. These people are often addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Passive Aggressive

These people often appear calm and peaceful, externally. But internally, they tend to hide their anger and have poor anger management skills.

Immature

These people have a very childlike outlook towards life. They brag about minor achievements and love the adulation they receive for it. They cannot control their immature behavior and tend to be boastful in nature.

Substituting Vices

These people switch over from one addiction to another, when they can no longer continue with their previous addiction. For example, alcoholics who give up drinking alcohol, take up smoking instead. These people may be prone to multiple vices. The perfect example would be of a workaholic who takes up smoking and drinking alcohol every night after work.

Insecurity

These people have difficulty to commit in a relationship, or to trust someone. They may constantly seek approval of others to overcome their insecurities, failure, or lack of self-confidence.

Compulsive Behavior

They have a black or white approach towards life. These people may be perfect in everything they do or the way they look. They may be in complete control of their life and have a dominating personality. On the other hand, some people falling into this category, may be total failures and utterly powerless in their lives. These people easily fall prey to any kind of addiction.

Antisocial

These people cannot follow the rules of the society and alienate themselves socially. They suffer from feelings of isolation, lack of intimacy, and total failure with personal relationships. They turn to drugs, alcohol, and smoking as a substitute of their lack of social support.

Causes of Development of an Addictive Personality

These people may have an obsessive behavior that cannot quantify their actions and results. They tend to repeat their behavior over and over again, and it gives them an adrenalin rush that they love. This obsessive behavior helps them build a feel-good emotion.

Second cause is stress, that makes people turn to alcohol and drugs to cope up. They mask their stress and their inability to overcome the pressure. Many times, people cannot handle the responsibilities of their actions. They cannot find any fault with themselves and do not understand the gravity of consequences due to their immature behavior and personality.

Tests

The doctor may conduct a physical examination to determine the height, weight, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, etc. He may even conduct a complete blood count, screen you for alcohol or drug addictions, and conduct a thyroid function test. Next, is the very important psychological evaluation test. Here, the doctor tries to determine the patient's behavior pattern, addiction, their compatibility in relationships, etc. He will try to find the hows and whys, along with the severity of the addiction. This is the right time to talk to him about any thoughts of suicide, self-destruction, and even feelings of harm towards others. There are many tests available on the Internet that may point towards something wrong in your behavior. If you find anything unusual, visit a psychologist and ask him for further help.

If your partner is suffering from any sort of addiction, and you suspect that he/she may fall under this personality type, help him/her seek medical help. Even after medical and psychological help, if the addictive behavior does not change, or becomes even worse, the best thing to do is walk off. It is not easy to break relationships, but if the other person has no regrets over his/her behavior, and continues with the addiction, it is wise to call it off. If the person shows improvement, and is really trying hard to become normal, give him/her your full support and care. Together, with love and mutual understanding, you may help your partner control his/her weakness.

People with an addictive personality develop dependent personality disorders. If you suspect of having this problem, then visit a doctor for further analysis. With therapies, rehabilitation, and medications, you may be able to control your harmful behavior.

Disclaimer: This PsycholoGenie article is meant for informational purposes only, and should not be considered as a replacement for expert medical advice.