The idea of the addictive personality is not a new concept. You either have it or you don’t, right? Actually, the truth is not so simple. While addiction is often solely associated with drugs or alcohol, addiction can show up in a variety of forms: food, sex, gambling, work, exercise. In fact, the most addictive thing of all, according to a Psychology Today article, is love.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a chronic disease of the brain related to reward, motivation, memory, and similar circuitry. While most commonly associated with alcohol or drugs, an addiction can develop for any stimulus that causes a person to feel an inability to relinquish.
Signs of addiction include:
- Secretive behavior
- Always wanting more
- Inability to stop
- Replacing relationships with behavior or substance
- Continuing despite negative outcomes
- Breaking personal, social, or legal rules in order to continue using/doing
What Exactly is an Addictive Personality
In broad terms, a person with an addictive personality would be one who is born with an inherent tendency to become addicted to a drug, drink, behavior, etc. Though, despite the frequent use of this phrase, the addictive personality is not considered a psychiatric disorder.
While there are many factors that can combine to make a person more prone to addictive behavior, such as genes, social environment, support, education, and/or family life, these factors are not necessarily personality traits. In addition, just because a person has one or more of these factors does not mean they will ever become addicted to anything.
Common characteristics associated with addictive personalities include:
- Risk Taking
- Having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
The Difference Between Excessive Enthusiasm and Addiction
So how do you if your love for exercise is a passion or an addiction? In a Psychology Today article, Psychologist Mark Griffiths discusses the differentiation between healthy excessive enthusiasm versus addiction. To this Griffiths suggests that the difference lies in our overall response: “a healthy excessive enthusiasm adds to life whereas an addiction takes away from it.”
One of the components of addiction often overlooked is in its relation to other co-occurring mental illnesses. An addiction to gambling could be a way to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. Depression could be the reason a person reaches for the liquor night after night.
In this case, treatment requires a dual diagnosis in order to offer the best chance at total recovery. Quitting a substance is a good start, but alone, it shouldn’t be considered a cure. Total recovery requires a deeper analysis.
In addition to offering treatment for addiction, First Step Center of Arizona provides individualized care for each client at its inpatient residential treatment center. With only 10 beds, our all-male clientele benefit from receiving a personalized program tailored to meet specified needs.
We offer programs and therapies like:
First Step Center also offers:
- Partial Hospitalization Program
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Residential Addiction Treatment Program
Is there such thing as an addictive personality? It may be some more time before we come to a definitive answer. Regardless, if you or someone you love is struggling with substance use disorder, today is the perfect day to get well. Call First Step Center now at 866.832.6398