Thursday, 28 Oct 2021

Addictive personality disorder traits: Five warning signs of addiction

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Approximately 10 percent of the population will develop an addictive personality. This sort of person will develop destructive, self-sabotaging, compulsive behaviours and the condition needs treatment to avoid a dangerous spiral out of control. Here are the most common traits of addictive personality disorder, according to wellness author and addict in recovery, Christopher Dines.

An addictive personality is a set of personality traits that make someone predisposed to developing addictions.

While the first thing that springs to mind is substance abuse, you can be addicted to a whole range of things other than alcohol and drugs.

For example, you might be addicted to gambling, sex, the internet, plastic surgery, television, food or shopping.

Not all experts agree that there is an ‘addictive personality’ and there isn’t a universally accepted definition for the hypothesis.

Lots of experts think that the personality traits associated with addiction don’t predict addition, they result from addiction.

The strongest argument is that genetic factors play a role in a predisposition for addiction.

Addiction is a family illness, according to Christopher.

He said: “You’ll find that at least 40 percent of addictive personalities (gambling addicts, drug addicts, alcoholics, etc.) will have one or more other addicts in their family.

“People who have experienced ongoing trauma (Complex PTSD) are more likely to develop an addictive personality.”

What are the symptoms?

Christopher listed the following as symptoms of an addictive personality:

  • Losing control/destructive behaviour
  • Cannot refrain from acting out (for example using drugs, alcohol, gambling etc.)
  • A habit becomes a compulsion with often serious consequences
  • The addict repeatedly seeks to escape and numb out from his/her/their feelings.
  • Cross-addiction

Christopher said: “It may manifest in cross-addiction, for example, someone suffering from an eating disorder may start self-medicating with alcohol.

“This is because they have failed to address the underlying emotional disturbance at the root of the addictive behaviour.”

How can it be treated?

An addictive personality can be very destructive, but it can be treated with support and appropriate professional intervention.

Christopher said: “Support groups, EMDR therapy, mindfulness and connecting with nature can produce incredible results.

“It’s important to direct kindness inwards and practise plenty of self-care.”

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