How Do You Manage an Addictive Personality?

An addictive personality is used to describe a set of personality traits that could make a person more susceptible to addiction and substance use disorder.

An addictive personality is a popular term that is used to describe a set of personality traits that could make a person more susceptible to addiction. Even though you may often hear this person may have an “addictive personality”, it is a controversial term and there isn’t enough evidence to support the existence of an addictive personality.

There are some personality traits that have been linked to different types of addictive behaviors. Traits of people that are at a high risk of developing an addiction.

How Do You Manage an Addictive Personality

Traits of People at High Risk of Addiction

There are traits in individuals that are recognized as having a higher risk of becoming addicted to psychoactive substances. People who are at higher risk of addiction include those that are related to others who have developed an addiction, those who are experiencing other mental health disorders, those that are adventurous and risk-taking, those that are disconnected and cautious, those who are obsessive and compulsive, those that are apathetic, and those who are unable to self-regulate.

Having a genetic makeup puts a person in direct connection to specific addictions. Some other traits can include:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Poor coping skills
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Selfishness
  • Not confronting social norms

The word “addictive personality” is a label. It should be avoided at all costs because it is not supported by research and it promotes the idea that all people who develop addiction are the same. This is stigmatizing and marginalized.

Risk Factors for Substance Abuse

Although there isn’t sufficient evidence to support the addictive personality, there are risks of developing an addiction. Three of the big risk factors for addiction include family history and genetics, environmental factors, and mental health conditions.

There are also some behaviors that one should look out for. Eating for comfort, using alcohol to socialize, staying hyperconnected on the internet, using sex to replace intimacy, shopping to feel better, self-medicating with drugs, and using marijuana to relax.

Managing Addictive Personality Traits

For those that are concerned about their risk for addiction, there are tips for avoiding risky behaviors or managing an “addictive personality”. Some things you can do in order to manage problematic behavior are:

  • To practice good self-care – Nurture yourself. Meditation, a good bath, and a good night’s sleep
  • Social without alcohol – Leave the alcohol alone. Say no or don’t engage with anyone who drinks
  • Build strong relationships – Listen to your partner express their feelings
  • Limit your internet screen time – No more than 2 hours per day
  • Work on building yourself up – Build up your self-esteem
  • Address and get help for any mental health concerns – See a psychiatrist or mental health provider to treat any mental illness
  • Use relaxation techniques to lower stress – Practice stress management and relaxation techniques

Another way to manage problematic behavior is through therapy and counseling. And these days with the Coronavirus still spreading, you do have options. Counseling can be done using either online services or virtual counseling or you can do regular in-office therapy with a licensed social worker, therapist, or counselor.o