We all think we might have a slightly addictive personality, but odds are not all of us understand what the real boundaries are when it comes to real issues it brings. Addictive behavior is shown on every facet of our digital world today. From online advertisements, music videos, political arguments to weekly YouTube hauls and “mukbangs” that showcase binge behavior, it’s hard to know what is considered “normal” and not these days. Glamourizing the use of drugs or alcohol to this mix with subliminal messages is also playing a huge role in the new extremes in addictive behavior that we are seeing in young adults today. The statistics are showing that more than ever are abusing addictive substances and activities than the past generation, and points to the dependency that we unknowingly have on our digital content every day.
No matter what your age is, gender, or background, anyone can become addicted to using drugs or alcohol for the mental benefits it provides. People who have an addictive personality tend to become easily dependent on substance that provide short term pleasure, relief, and an escape to the troubles occurring during their reality. Teenagers and adults who are going through stressful environments are even more prone to abusing drugs and take on symptoms of an addict after using intense substance long enough. Every addict looks and acts differently when they are developing a dependency on a new substance or behavior, so it’s hard to recognize as an outsider unless they do so themselves. Let’s walk through the top signs of an addictive personality and how they can be better understood.
Signs of Addictive Behavior
- The psychology of addictive personalities may be hard to understand, since they rely not just on our actual experience but on how we interpret them in our minds.Addictive behavior may be related to your genes, but it might not be either. Studies have shown that even twins who were born to addicted parents but then adopted by non-addicted families found that genes were responsible for about half the chance becoming addicted during their lifetime. If your environment and family encourages the use of drugs or alcohol, you may have an increased chance to become addicted yourself after enough exposure. If your parents or close relatives are abusing substances near you on a consistent basis, you could start picking up their traits and behavior after a certain amount of time. Make sure that you talk to a counselor if you feel unsafe or unwelcome at home if this is the case. The same goes for having close friends who are abusing drugs, as spending enough time around them can lead you down the road to addiction to fit in with them. No one wants to realize that they’ve developed a dependence on drugs from another person’s influence.
- People who crave excitement, spontaneity and often goes through “phases” in life are the most likely to develop addictive personalities. They may love taking their car and driving fast, taking risks in their daily lives and career, having sexual outings with different people, and doing various activities without considering the consequences to feel pleasure overall. Dopamine is the main chemical in the brain that makes you feel pleasure, so once a person gets a taste for it they often seek it out as much as possible to get away from their daily stress. If you add addictive drugs and alcohol into the mix, the person who seeks pleasure will be more prone to using them on them on a regular basis so they can get their fill and immediately feel better in the short term. In fact, some people with addictive personalities have said to experts that trying new drugs or alcohol drinks helped them feel the best they’ve ever felt. As their addiction increases, their bodies develop a strong tolerance and need to consume larger quantities to recreate that amazing feeling.
- People who have additive personalities have an inability to quit the bad habits that they started. In their mind, finding an exciting hobby, person, or hobby in their life leads to an “all or nothing” mantra. They want to go all in on what was invited into their daily routine and will have a hard to stop and reflect on if it’s really a good influence on them. In younger adults or children, recognizing this trait can be difficult as different personalities and outliers exist. There’s not one set persona or behavior that allows a parent to diagnose as an addictive personality. Yet, as they grow into adults and face issues with their addiction,experts say that just acknowledging the trait for not being able to quit substances or negative activities alone is the first step to getting the treatment needed for a healthy and productive life.
- Many people who abuse substances and negative behaviors may experience high stress and a poor sense of self confidence. In many cases, this stress may be independently created when someone chooses to worry and feed into the insecurities that developed since childhood. It may also be caused by external factors like their boss at work, a friend from their night out, or their parents who are exerting extreme pressure to do well. People who struggle with mood disorders like anxiety or bipolar disorder are also more likely to have higher stress levels due to the imbalances of hormones that could be happening in their mind. Coupled with a low sense of worth, individuals can turn to self-medicating themselves with drugs or alcohol to feel better temporarily. They may find that these substances provide more emotional comfort and pleasure than even talking to another peer about their problems.
Assessing Your Personality
It never hurts to learn more about yourself and your thought patterns. Many people learn that they have an addictive personality later on in life that could’ve helped them better understand their emotions, actions, and priorities earlier on. If you or someone you know is dealing with drugs or alcohol to cope, make sure they understand what the boundaries of an issue is. Make sure you stay educated on addiction symptoms and learn as much as you can about addictive personalities before it’s too late.