The Addictive Personality

We’ve all heard the phrase “addictive personality” thrown around, but what does that phrase really mean? Are there people who are more susceptible to addiction because of their personality, and what are they like? How can people with addictive personalities know that they are at risk, and what can they do about it?

What Is an Addictive Personality?

According to the latest research, 10-15% of the population has a personality that makes them more susceptible to addiction. Not all of these people will become addicted to drugs; “addictive personality” simply means that they have trouble knowing when to stop or can easily become obsessed with any activity, whether it’s drinking, drug use, gambling, or going to church.

Obviously, not all behaviors are equally dangerous, and it is when a person with an addictive personality discovers drugs or alcohol that the problem arises.

Addictive Personality1

Features of an Addictive Personality

There is no one “addictive personality” trait that some people have and others don’t. It is a collection of traits that, when put together, make it harder for someone to stop destructive behavior. Common personality traits of people who are more susceptible to addiction can include:

  • Obsessive behavior: People with addictive personalities tend not to be able to let things go easily, or to become obsessed with an activity beyond what happens with most people. This inability to self-regulate and stop performing activities normally can become dangerous when applied to drinking, drugs, and other self-destructive behavior.
  • Risk-seeking: Another common aspect of an addictive personality is the need to seek out exciting or risky activities. Risk-seekers often need the thrill of dangerous or taboo behavior in order to get an adrenaline rush, which can lead them to drugs and alcohol.
  • Depression or anxiety: When people suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental conditions, they can be more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol to relieve their symptoms.

It is important to note that having any of these personality traits is not a guarantee of addiction; many people with some or all of these personality traits will never become addicted to drugs or alcohol. However, the combination of behaviors and states of mind that make one more susceptible to addiction can make it harder for some to set proper boundaries for themselves, or to regulate their behavior, which can make them more likely to become addicts if they ever encounter drugs and alcohol.

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