Addiction is far more common than we may think. Those with an addictive personality can start with inclinations for seemingly innocent things. From binge-watching TV to obsessive collecting to hours spent on social media, the issue doesn’t always start with drugs or alcohol.
An addictive personality is when someone has a difficult time controlling their desire to take part in an enjoyable activity. Often, they quit one addiction only to have another take its place. There are many things you can become addicted to besides illicit substances, such as gambling, sex or food.
If this sounds like you, remember that an addictive personality doesn’t have to lead to painful, life-altering addictions. There are healthy ways to meet the underlying needs that often cause addictive personalities.
What Causes an Addictive Personality
The term “addictive personality” is actually a misnomer. Research has shown that there isn’t one generic personality type that’s more prone to addiction. Addiction is a complex health concern that can affect anyone, no matter their background or personality.
So why do some people develop an addiction to activities or substances while others can try them briefly then move on? Addiction is not a personality trait — it’s a disorder that affects the brain. The reward circuits in your brain can become rewired to constantly crave the things you’re addicted to.
Addictive Personality Traits
While an addictive personality is something of a myth, those who have a higher risk of succumbing to addiction often share certain common traits. Some things to look out for include:
- Difficulty with impulse control
- Lack of personal goals
- Susceptibility to risky, impulsive or thrill-seeking behaviors
- Failure to take responsibility for actions
- Low self-esteem
- Intense mood swings or irritability
- Isolation or a lack of strong friendships
- A close relative who struggles with addiction
- Mental health conditions
- A tendency toward obsessive or compulsive actions
Healthy Ways to Overcome Addictive Personalities
Whether it’s compulsive comfort eating or an obsession with social media, any addiction can be used to mask a deep, underlying need. Instead of feeding your addictive tendencies, you can take certain actions to feel healthier and more at peace:
- Practice restorative activities, like mindfulness meditation, yoga, relaxation in a hot bath, exercise or a good night’s sleep.
- Connect with others through shared interests and activities that you enjoy.
- Limit your non-work screen time as well as how much time you spend streaming TV or movies.
- Avoid using shopping, sex or other substitutes to bolster your self-esteem.
- Try seeking excitement through healthy avenues, like trying a new activity, traveling or setting a goal for yourself.
- Get professional help if you develop a Drug or Alcohol Addiction.
Help for Addictive Personality Traits at 7 Summit Pathways
If you have an addictive personality, you may feel like you have no control over your Substance Addiction. You are not helpless or hopeless. At 7 Summit Pathways, we will work with you to address the unmet needs that may have led to a life of addiction. Our personalized treatment approach will give you the tools and support you need to start your Recovery journey.
Contact us today to speak with a compassionate and experienced member of our team. We will be with you every step of the way as you move toward health and healing.