Having a family history of heart problems does not necessarily mean that you will immediately enter cardiac arrest. In the same way, having an addictive personality is not the same thing as having a substance use disorder or process addiction. Of course, those with a family history of addiction and with an addictive personality may need to be more careful than others. Showing the signs of an addictive personality does not mean that you are doomed forever. Personality, family history, and genes all play a major role in predicting addiction.
At Northpoint Recovery, we believe that recovery is always possible, regardless of your family history or addictive personality. Our programs provide evidence-based treatments and therapies that give you the best chance for long-term success. With the right combination of support and guidance, anyone can achieve lasting sobriety from addiction and live a healthy, fulfilling life. Find more addiction information on our site or talk with one of our specialists by calling 208.486.0130 today.
What Is an Addictive Personality?
Before diving into the impact of an addictive personality, it is crucial to establish what causes an addictive personality and what it looks like in individuals. If you search for “addictive personality test,” you will see a whole set of quizzes. But the truth is there is no scientific addictive personality disorder test. In fact, there is no such thing as an addictive personality disorder. These kinds of addictive personality tests are not helpful for a diagnosis because there is no official psychiatric diagnosis for an addictive personality.
The Truth About Addictive Personalities
The underlying point is that an addictive personality is not something that exists on its own. In other words, experts have never found that people who struggle with addiction all have the same personality type or even the same range of personality types. If there is no personality trait that predicts addiction, what causes an addictive personality?
What Causes an Addictive Personality?
You may have come here looking for a specific list of symptoms of an addictive personality. Unfortunately, there really is no such list—personality is complicated and plays only a small part in substance abuse and addiction. When people talk about an addictive personality, they may instead be talking about the role of genes in predicting addiction. Even if there is no such thing as an addictive personality, there is a significant biological element of addiction.
It is widely accepted that there is a genetic aspect of addiction. This means that if you have a parent or even extended family member who has struggled with addiction, you are more likely to develop an addiction as well. Scientists have determined that genes passed on from relatives are responsible for around half of the likelihood of you developing an addiction.
The Symptoms of an Addiction
In addition to the impact of genes, there are some warning signs that you may be prone to addiction. These are not symptoms of an addictive personality so much as they are signs that addiction may be forming. Some of these signs include:
- Lying about your substance use
- Manipulating others to get drugs or alcohol
- Acting impulsively
- Engaging in criminal behavior as a result of using drugs or drinking alcohol
- Shifting blame for your personal problems to others
- Constantly experimenting with new substances or experiences, seeking out new sensations or adrenaline
- The inability to quit using drugs or drinking alcohol, even after this use begins to cause interpersonal problems at work or at home
The Difference Between an Addictive Personality and Addiction
More than anything, it is important to know that having an addictive personality or a family history of addiction does not automatically mean that you will turn into an addict yourself. That said, having an addictive personality could be a precursor to addiction. If you know that a family member has struggled with substance abuse, it is a good idea to monitor your own relationship with alcohol and drugs. Similarly, if you begin to see yourself abusing substances, it is better to just quit using them altogether.
The Role of an Addictive Personality in Relationships
Dealing with the heavy topic of addiction becomes even more crucial when you take into consideration the effect that addiction can have on even the closest of relationships. These relationships can be:
- A partner that has an addictive personality
- A brother or sister with an addictive personality
- A child with an addictive personality
- Any extended family member with an addictive personality
Someone who has some of the personality traits associated with addiction will most likely experience some issues in their relationships—especially with those closest to them.
Addressing an Addictive Personality
Instead of seeking treatment, all you need to know about how to deal with an addictive personality is to manage your own temperament, attitudes, and choices. This is doubly true when talking about the role of addictive personality in relationships. Doing this can mean the difference between having some personality traits that are precursors to addiction and struggling with addiction itself.