Addictive Personality Disorder

Addictive Personality
Addictive Personality Traits
The Addictive Personality



Addictive Personality Disorder
The addictive personality displays certain traits which can be treated



Addictive personality, also called by some addictive personality disorder, is a controversial diagnosis sometimes used to explain why some people become addicted to alcohol, drugs, activities and even emotions.

It is not recognized by the established medical community as a genuine disorder at this point in time.

However, there are many who do support this theory and research appears to indicate that there is something to it.

The same reasons are actually given as “evidence” by both sides in defense of their positions, which is a rather unusual situation.


Addictive Personality Disorder
The Case Against

With substance abuse and that includes alcoholism, there are physical signs that occur during addiction including actual changes in the brain.

The medical professionals that don't believe in the concept of addictive personality will point to this as evidence that it takes an outside agent (i.e. drugs or alcohol) to trigger these changes. These changes then lead to further substance abuse and it's a vicious cycle.

When it comes to such things as sex addiction or gambling addiction, the mainstream medical community will often argue that because there is no substance abuse, it's not really addiction in the true sense of the word.


Addictive Personality Disorder
The Case For

However, researchers and professionals who support the theory of the addictive personality are actually saying that much of the same physical symptoms and changes in the brain occur with these other types of behaviors.

In fact, brain scans have shown that the same parts of the brain that become very active with substance abuse, also become active when a patient engages in other addictive behaviors.


Addictive Personality
Traits

There are specific traits that point to addictive personality, including:

  • Insecurity – Those with addictive personality tend to have problems with relationships because they are very insecure. They either fail to make the commitment needed or have a hard time trusting the other person. They often become controlling in relationships, due to this insecurity. They will often be seeking approval constantly from peers.
  • Antisocial – They will alienate themselves from others, turning down social invitations and even avoiding family members.
  • Isolated – This is largely due to the results of the first two traits but they also feel isolated deep down within themselves even when they are in relationships. The addictive personality feels different and cut off from others.
  • Inability to deal with stress – People with personality disorder have no tolerance for stressful situations and will do anything they can to get away from the stress. This is one thing that drives them to escape into whatever their addiction of choice has become.
  • Short term thinking – Those with personality disorder see the present and very near future only. Thinking ahead or planning for the future is difficult because they cannot think beyond the moment.
  • Repeat addictions – If something occurs that stops their enjoyment or prevents them from engaging in their addiction, they will turn to a new activity that quickly becomes an addiction.


Addictive Personality Disorder
Treatment

With addictive personality, the best course of treatment is to get extensive psychotherapy and counseling.

The roots of the problem must be dealt with in order to stop the cycle of repeat addictions.

By helping the person to learn how to cope with stress more effectively, much of the other character traits can then be worked upon.

Of course, the addiction to the particular substance(s) or activity must be dealt with first, and only then can the addictive personality be treated.





If you found this page helpful, then the following will be of interest to you:



Return from Addictive Personality Disorder to Signs of Alcoholism 

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