We’ve all heard it before, from a friend talking about a new show they just binged all in one sitting, or a family member talking about a snack food they can’t stop eating. It serves as almost a justification for binge behavior, “I couldn’t stop myself because I have an addictive personality.” For some, it sounds like a cheap cop-out, but for others, it is a very real concern. Is an addictive personality genetic? Does it develop over time? Should I stop drinking if I have an addictive personality? These anxiety-inducing questions are enough to drive anyone crazy so it’s time to get the facts on what is an addictive personality.
Are Addictive Personalities Real?
Yes and no. The idea of a single, monolithic, character flaw simply isn’t real. There is no evidence that because you have a certain personality, you will become an addict. The myth that addictive personalities are inherited, however, does have some truth to it. While your parent cannot pass on a certain monolithic personality, they can model personality traits that lead to addictive behavior, such as lack of self-control or willingness to engage in risky behaviors. You can unknowingly pick up on these behaviors which contribute to the idea of an amalgamated “addictive personality.” Though this conception of a disposition is fiction, the traits that comprise it can have some very real consequences.
What Are The Traits Of An Addictive Personality?
Though, as stated above, the actuality of there being one specific type of personality that causes someone to be an addict is not real, there are a few traits that have been proven to be common in individuals who have an addiction. These traits include:
- Lack of Self-Control
- Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior
- Diagnosis of Other Mental Health Disorders
- Enjoyment of Risky Behavior
Now, having a few of these traits does not guarantee you’ll become an addict. Instead, these traits may indicate a greater change that you might become addicted to substances. In this case, it can be easy to blame your “addictive personality” and not address the underlying problem. Doing this, you avoid the necessary treatment to overcome your addictive behavior.
How Can I Get Rid Of Addictive Personality Traits?
Start out by expressing your concerns to a family member who may have experienced the same behaviors. Or, talk to a therapist who can help you identify the root cause of your addictive personality traits. Once you know what the trait specifically is, you can do your research and work to actively eliminate it from your life.
Having an addictive personality may not be real but the consequences of your behavior are. If you find yourself behaving impulsively, without control, you may want to talk with someone. Talking with a therapist and developing a plan to address these behaviors can help tremendously. Don’t wait until these behaviors develop into something much more dangerous.
If you feel you need help, contact Fritz Clinic at (205) 877-8585. Or you can contact us by filling out our online contact form. We’ll do everything we can to give you the resources and help you need to help you overcome your addiction to opioids.