"An addictive personality is a trait, or set of traits, that develops in response to habit-forming drugs/alcohol or compulsive behavior (gambling, overeating/undereating, sex)." Sadly, there isn't much medical or scientific data to support the theories propounded on addictive personalities. Thus, the fundamentals of addictive personality disorder are ambiguous to a large extent. Usually, an this disorder is diagnosed after the addiction to an external factor, completely takes over the person. Fortunately, there are many ways in which persons with this disorder can be treated to get back to their normal state of living. However, before you go out looking for a treatment, let's see what are some of the symptoms of this disorder.
A person, likely to be diagnosed with an addictive personality, will be asocial in nature. They will try to withdraw themselves completely from their social circles, families, relatives, and friends. The reason why addictive personalities withdraw, is because they can be in their shells, where the questions of morality and ethics cannot be raised. Persons who take to drugs, will stay in their rooms for hours or even days. Avoiding people is a great way of fostering addictions to drugs, alcohol, sex, or other self destructive habits.
Substitution of Vices
Addicts function like parasites. They will suck on to one thing, till it totally satisfies them (or kills them), and the moment it becomes unavailable, they desperately seek for other options to derive similar satisfaction. These negative hedonists, keep switching from one addiction to the other, under the garb of, 'I am trying to get over it'. For instance, a druggist may switch to alcohol consumption in unhealthy amounts, as he/she tries to get over the previous addiction.
A person suffering from this disorder craves and lives for instant gratification. An addict believes in the mantra 'its now, or never'. This is why, such people will never have long term goals. The mindset of instant gratification, comes from substance abuse. Since, drugs or any other psychotropic substance delivers instant gratification, they believe, everything else should also act in the same way.
Anxiety and Depression
A little delay in gratification, and the person will show severe bouts of mood swings, which may turn into violence too. The addict may become extremely defensive or irritable, with family members. They may go into long-lasting pangs of anxiety and depression, making things worse not only for them, but also for those around them. An addict may show aggression towards therapies of anxiety cures or an effort to get him/her sober.
The need to hide addiction is evident. Clandestine behavior showed by addictive personalities, is out of fear and shame. Since, addicts are perpetually out of control, they massively fear being caught. Moreover, if they are caught doing something illegal, it definitely brings shame to the family. Understanding of these two factors, motivates them to keep their acts of addictions under complete secrecy.
There are many disorder tests with which a person showing such symptoms can be diagnosed of his/her flaw. Psychotherapy, admitting in rehabilitation centers, relapse prevention therapy, and early treatment are some of the ways with which this disorder can be treated.
Addiction recovery has to start as early as possible. The deeper the addiction gets rooted, the more difficult it gets for the addict to recover. The first step towards treatment is not selective deletion, but to accept them as persons at dis-ease, and treat them with care and compassion.