Having an addictive personality can be both a blessing and a curse. When used correctly, having an addictive personality can allow someone to focus on an activity or skill so much that they can get very good at it and use it to their advantage whether it’s professionally or personally.
Unfortunately, there can be a dark side to an addictive personality as well. Addiction personality can lead to a substance abuse disorder or even an unhealthy addiction to an activity as well such as gambling. For those who are in recovery, having an addictive personality can make staying sober even harder and more challenging. So, how can you manage it and now allow it to result in relapse? Let’s take a look at some of the best ways that you can manage addiction personality disorder as it relates to addiction treatment and recovery.
What Is An Addictive Personality?
Before we address how an addictive personality can be managed, it’s important to first fully understand what exactly an addiction personality disorder is.
When someone has an addictive personality, it means that person can become easily addicted to something they enjoy. This might be drugs, alcohol, or even an activity such as gambling or even using technology. While most people associate addiction personality disorder with drugs and alcohol, many people find themselves addicted to other things such as their phones, social media, gambling, or even something like sex. Oftentimes, an addiction personality disorder can lead to significant issues both mentally and physically.
While many people assume that addiction personality is genetic, that is not always the case. Most researchers in addiction today would caution against the idea of a single, generic personality that is prone to addiction. However, that doesn’t mean that there is no risk of developing an addiction if it runs in the family. In fact, certain portions of the human genome have even been identified as having a direct connection to specific addictions.
In addition to genetics, certain mental health conditions can lead to, or play a part in, the development of an addictive personality. People who struggle with various mental health conditions can be more likely to abuse and become dependent on substances. These conditions include but are not limited to:
- Depression, bipolar disorder, or other mood disorders
- Anxiety or panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
- Antisocial personality disorder
What Are Some Signs That I Might Have An Addictive Personality
For it not to get out of control, there are certain things that you can look for to identify that you might suffer from an addictive personality? Below are some of the most common signs that you might have an addictive personality.
You Constantly Feel Like You Need More
Someone who has addiction personality disorder might feel like they either can’t get enough of whatever they are addicted to or constantly feel like they need more and more of it. They might even know that what they are doing is bad for them, yet they still feel the need to constantly do it. They might even have harm to themselves or others as a result of their constant need for whatever their fix is.
You Continue To Do It Despite Bad Things Happening
When someone has an addictive personality, most of the time they know that what they are doing is bad. Unfortunately, many people just assume that if it’s bad you can just stop it. When you have an addictive personality though, it doesn’t always work like that. For example, someone who might suffer from a gambling addiction might continue to keep gambling although they know they have run out of money and can no longer pay their bills. It’s not like they want to continue to do it, but their brain won’t allow them to stop.
You Constantly Obsess Over Your Addiction
When someone suffers from an addiction and has an addictive personality, whatever it is they are addicted to is constantly on their mind 24/7. Either they are thinking about something that just happened involving their addiction, or they are thinking about how they are going to get their next fix. Having this obsession can have significant consequences. It can result in the inability to complete basic daily tasks or it can even prevent the ability to go to sleep at night.
Your Addiction Has Negatively Affected Your Relationships
Many times, your obsession with your addiction can harm those around you. If you are spending all your time and energy on your addiction then you aren’t giving the proper time and attention to those around you, such as spouses, children, friends, or family. Many times, even the threat of being left by a loved one or spouse isn’t enough to break the spell.
You Try And Hide Your Addiction From Others
As we have discussed, many people who suffer from an addictive personality know what they are doing is wrong but they just can’t stop. As a result, many people will try and hide their addiction from others out of either embarrassment or a fear of repercussions. They might see someone at the bar have 1 drink and go home or they might sit next to someone at the casino that plays for a little bit and gets up and leaves. This can result in them feeling great shame. As a result, they might try and hide their activities from friends or family so they don’t get caught.
What Can I Do To Address My Addiction Personality Disorder?
In addition to undergoing treatment for the addiction itself, there are several things that you can do to help address your addictive personality so it does not continue to control your life in the future. Let’s take a look at a few of them below.
For many people it’s not that they don’t want to stop, it’s that they can’t stop. This can cause the brain to get overwhelmed with thoughts. They might wonder what is wrong with them or why other people can do the same activity in moderation and they can’t. Writing thoughts down in a journal can not only be very therapeutic but can also help the person better understand what exactly is going on in their brain. Journaling for mental health can manage anxiety, reduce stress, and help cope with any depressive thoughts. The only way it can truly work though, is, to be honest with yourself.
Talk To Someone
Talking through your issues can be a great way to figure out how to best deal with them. Who you choose to talk to is up to you. You could talk to the therapist, a counselor, a treatment professional, or even others who have had similar experiences to you in a 12-step meeting such as AA, NA, or GA. Similar to journaling, taking your thoughts and verbalizing them shines a different light on them.
Take Care of Yourself
Chances are your addictive personality has to lead to some unhealthy choices. It’s important to make sure you take care of yourself as much as you can. That might mean avoiding places and situations where you might be tempted to do something you shouldn’t or even make a conscious effort to live a healthier life. As selfish as it might seem, taking care of yourself should be your #1 priority.
Don’t Obsess On the Past, Look to the Future
Many people feel regret or shame when it comes to their addiction. That can result in painful feelings arising to the surface. It’s important not to beat yourself up too much and know that your addiction is a disease. It’s also important to know that you can change it. That’s why it is important to look forward to the things you can do to fix it and not continue to dwell on things that have happened in the past. That’s not to say that it’s not important to reflect on past decisions that you made, but there is no need to beat yourself up about it.
Want To Know More About Addictive Personality?
It is important to remember that having an addictive personality isn’t a defect or something to be embarrassed or ashamed of. It is a mental health issue and can be treated just like other ailments.
At Casa Nuevo Vida, it is our goal to make your transition to your new, sober life as smooth as possible. In addition to offering to house those in need, we also provide counseling and 12-step meetings for those who require support during this difficult time. We offer gender-specific housing as well as amenities and activities to help your transition back into society as a newly sober person.
Contact us today to learn more about our sober living options and how we can help you with your addiction personality disorder.