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7 characteristics of addictive personality
November 25, 2020
The characteristics of the addictive personality allow us to understand certain behaviors. There are people with a more significant tendency when it comes to leading to some type of addiction: gambling, cannabis, pornography, alcohol, psychotropic drugs.
It is true that we can never predict 100% who can fall into one of them and who cannot, however, there are usually significant factors. There is an interesting quote that appears in the British Journal of Addiction 1990 by Dr. Isaac Marks. In that work it was pointed out that life itself is, sometimes, a set of addictions. Somehow, we all have a certain obsession or need for things.
There are activities that we need to do frequently because they make us feel good, please us or help us to relax tensions. Now, from a clinical point of view, they are not addictions as such. By contrast, addictive behavior is one that gets in the way of the proper performance of a normal life. Is when we lose control.
Knowing how to identify which personality traits are those that, on average, make someone more vulnerable when it comes to drifting into that more pathological area can help us.
Addictive Personality Traits: 7 Dimensions We Must Consider
It is important to know how to differentiate excessive enthusiasm from an addiction. There will be those, for example, who love to play video games and spend all their free time on it. However, as long as you fulfill your work and academic obligations and do not neglect your relationships, we cannot consider you an addiction.
Addictive behaviors do not refer only to the consumption of substances, be they drugs, alcohol or psychotropic drugs. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) includes addictions to gambling, pornography, technology, the Internet or even certain types of food.
It is interesting to know, therefore, what are the characteristics of the addictive personality. We cannot ignore the fact that it is adolescents who show a greater risk of leading to these behaviors.
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1. Loneliness and social distancing
People with poor social skills. Men and women who have just left an emotional relationship. Young people with problems in high school or college. We could give a thousand examples of how people close ourselves in avoiding contact.
Isolation and addiction often go hand in hand. In fact, studies such as those carried out by Necmettin Erbakan, in Turkey, highlight that this factor, loneliness, is usually behind the addiction to the internet or video games in adolescents.
2. Stress and anxiety disorders
One of the characteristics of the addictive personality is the presence of psychological conditions such as stress and anxiety. An example is that of many people who channel these states through food.
Hence the binge eating or compulsive eating. We cannot forget that addiction is a disorder that also affects eating. On the other hand, stress and anxiety can also be triggers for alcoholism.
3. Impulsive personality
The impulsive personality is also often behind addictive behaviors. They are people who are incapable of controlling their desires, regulating their behavior and managing their emotions. Likewise, this tendency also defines them for wanting to experience new things, trying new sensations and not knowing how to say no when something concrete is proposed to them, even if it is harmful.
4. Lack of vital meanings, goals and commitments
As noted by the psychiatrist Viktor Frankl: what gives meaning and purpose to the human being is to have a vital meaning, believe in something, commit to a goal, values. Thus, when the person goes through their day to day empty of commitments, hollow of values and meanings, without expecting anything from themselves and their own future, the risk of leading to an addiction rises.
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5. Low self-esteem
Low self-esteem is the root of much of psychological disorders and addictive behaviors. When you have a negative image of yourself, when it is not appreciated or respected, the void is so immense that you have to fill it with whatever it is.
It is very easy to approach drugs in this situation and it is also common that the refuge of the game or pornographic pages is sought as a mechanism to feel something, to appease negative emotions.
6. I have no problem: defiant denial
Another characteristic of the addictive personality is denial. When they have a problem, when something goes wrong, or when they are in a dangerous or complicated situation, it is common for them to deny what is happening to them. Many show a defiant or contemptuous attitude towards those who support them, towards those who care about them.
7. The fear and insecurity that saturates everything
The fear of failing, the anguish of not being as others want, the constant insecurity. The personality of those who have a greater risk of falling into the problem of addictions sometimes hides a complex emotional world. There are deep fears that are camouflaged behind a shield of aggressiveness. There is insecurity and even fragility.
That fickle character is what leads them to fall into bad company while looking for something not to think about. Something that makes them forget.
Common characteristics of addictive personality can be a warning
To conclude alright It is true that behind every addict there is a unique personal history and characteristics of its own. However, there are almost always common elements to be seen, factors that allow us to assess the risk that someone close to us ends up in a situation as problematic as it is dangerous.
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