There are roughly 328 million people living in the United States. Of that group, 1 out of every 7 will struggle with some form of addiction in their lives.
That staggering ratio paints a somber picture of the amount of pain and suffering addiction brings to the lives of individuals and their families.
And if you’re someone with an addictive personality, your chances of facing serious addiction-based struggles are much higher than the average person.
But what is an “addictive personality”? While many medical professionals put different traits to the subjective term, our team has filtered through the clutter and distilled the answer into 8 qualities.
A core trait in people who have addictive personalities is impulsiveness. When an impulsive person sees something that they want, they do what they have to to get it.
Consequences are an afterthought to people who are impulsive and consequently, they rarely weigh outcomes before taking action.
With a high degree of impulsiveness comes a willingness to try destructive behaviors. That willingness to try can lead to a lifetime of addiction.
Weak Commitment to Values
People who are strong in their values are hard to sway towards behaviors outside of their wheelhouse. Those whose values are malleable or those who don’t identify as having values at all put themselves in a position where nothing is off the table.
This level of openness is among the most dangerous traits of those with an addictive personality. It’s one of the primary drivers behind making illegal, life-altering choices.
Stress and Anxiety Prone
One of the primary reasons why people turn towards substance abuse is to help themselves cope with difficult feelings. These feelings can lead to a tireless cycle of uncontrollable stress and discomfort.
If you’re prone to extreme stress even when presented with only moderately stressful circumstances, you are at a higher risk of developing an addiction to activities of substances that may help you temporarily cope.
Reading social cues and managing one’s self in groups is a skill that even the most well-rounded people can struggle with. When the struggle is extreme, a person may find themselves without friends and desperate to latch onto any group of people who are willing to offer them a sense of companionship.
This social ineptitude and consequential yearning for belonging is a powerful pathway towards addiction. It is a pattern commonly seen among those with an addictive personality.
A Constant Need for Stimulation
It can be very difficult for those with addictive personalities to feel at peace. Long days lounging about or afternoons passively enjoying a nice day can leave them feeling restless and nervous.
Only through stimulation are those feelings of unrest quieted. The pursuit of achieving that sense of peace can be very troublesome.
People who need stimulation to feel balanced will undertake riskier behaviors. They are also more suggestible than the general population.
This suggestibility can lead to theft, drug use, violence, and a number of other negative behaviors.
People who find it easy to bend situations to suit their needs are often addiction-prone. In order to get away with destructive behaviors and still be able to enjoy the support of friends and family, lying is integral.
To that end, people who are addiction-prone tend to not feel guilty when they lie or take actions that come at the expense of others. They also tend to be so vested in their alternate presentation of reality that they can even convince themselves that what they’re saying is true.
A strong inability or unwillingness to break patterns is another common trait among addicted persons. This may present itself in contrast to some of the other points on this list given that qualities like impulsiveness and stimulation seeking rely on a variance of activities.
Still, it’s common for those who have intense focus to partake in an addictive behavior, even in moderation, and quickly become obsessed with incorporating the behavior into their lives.
Mental Health Disorders
While not necessarily a personality trait, those with mental health disorders are substantially more likely to fall into the jowls of addiction in comparison to those who are otherwise healthy.
Conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia and anti-social personality disorders all lead to an uptick in risk.
If you experience any of those issues or other challenges not listed, talk to your healthcare provider or find community services to get the support you need. Being proactive in dealing with your mental struggles today can help save you from life-destroying coping mechanisms in the future.
Wrapping Up What Does Having an Addictive Personality Mean?
In our experience, those with addictive personalities exhibit a number of the traits we’ve outlined in this article.
Each of them, especially in conjunction with one another, make people more prone to sampling destructive habits and less likely to be able to take on experiences in moderation.
If you feel that you have an addictive personality, it’s important to lean on friends, family, and medical professionals to help you solve your underlying issues and help mitigate the risk of future substance abuse.
If you’re struggling with addiction now, the sooner you get help the sooner you’ll be able to get your life back on track.
To that end, our team can help.
At Recovery Resource Center, we help people get the assistance they need to navigate through drug addiction, alcohol addiction and more. Let us take our expertise and help you.
Learn more about the addiction you’re struggling with and find out how you can get the support you need today