We have created an image of a person addicted to alcohol or drugs. This is what we call an addictive personality. And sometimes, we assume that an individual is destined to develop the problem of substance addiction just because that person shows the traits in addictive personality. When you are worried about the development of substance abuse in your loved one, you want to learn more about the traits of this personality. Sometimes, the label of an addict is attached to a person due to his personality, but actually, he is not an addict. It is because the whole idea of an addictive personality is based on both fiction and truth.
The Generic Addictive Personality
There is a myth of a generic addictive personality. In her book Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction, Maia Szalavitz (an American neuroscience journalist) presents her personal experiences and pieces of evidence to show that there is no generic personality leading to the development of addiction. Some desperate traits and factors can lead different personalities to alcohol or drug abuse.
You can recognize some traits in a person with substance abuse disorder. However, not all traits are common in individuals becoming addicts.
Traits Indicating High Risk Of Addiction Development
There are some recognizable traits of a person likely to become an addict. You can try to identify the following traits:
- Obsessive and compulsive
- Problems in self-regulation
- Disconnected and cautious
- Adventurous and risk-taking
- Other mental health issues
- Related to others with addiction
Let’s Explore These Traits A Little More
Related To Others With Addiction
There is no doubt that genetic makeup has at least something to do with the risk of the development of addiction. It has been shown in studies that if someone from your family is already struggling with addiction, you are also likely to develop this problem. Experts have also identified certain portions of the human genome directly linked to specific addictions.
Other Mental Health Issues
There are some individual health traits leading to a higher risk of addiction development. Some pre-existing mental health disorders are also linked with it. These disorders can lead to substance abuse. These conditions include:
- Bipolar disorder, depression or other mood disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Anxiety or panic disorder
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia
Studies show that schizophrenia and addiction to nicotine are linked.
The Adventurous, Risk-Taking
There are some personality traits having a higher risk of addiction. These are the people who cannot control their impulse to experiment. They love to take part in new activities to get new experiences. Trying alcohol or drugs is one such activity. This has something to do with the levels of dopamine and the brain’s sensitivity of the person.
The Disconnected, Cautious Trait
Male bold, risk-takers are likely to develop an addiction. Cautious people also struggling with social relationships, anxiety, and depression or both are also likely to develop an addiction. Most of the time, women have this type of personality.
The Compulsive, Obsessive Trait
There is a link between impulse control and addiction. This does not include the ability to resist impulses only. People who are able to manage their impulses can also end up having a drug addiction.
Problems In Self-regulation
Not being able to regulate feelings, thoughts and behaviors can make someone to try alcohol or drugs. The diminishing sense of pleasure can also lead to addiction.
Once the addiction is developed, this can lead to a lot of troubles in life. The addict can visit a luxury drug rehab center for treatment.