Addictive Personality Traits

Dr Sunita Patel speaks about personality traits that make a person more vulnerable to addiction

-Dr Sunita Patel

Addiction is synonymous with alcohol and substances commonly known as drugs. And generally people either avoid talking about it or have much negative understanding of it. Why is it so that some people drink alcohol in moderation and others don’t know when to stop or are compelled to keep drinking? Same goes for shopping, eating, watching television, mobile phones, using internet, gambling, pornography and exercise. Rather than blaming the person or the object it is very important to know and understand why some people succumb to addiction.

Research says there are personality traits which make a person more vulnerable to addiction known as Addictive Personality Traits.

What are Addictive Personality Traits? Sensation Seeking
A person who is sensation-seeking is one who is constantly seeking out new experiences and new sources of adrenaline rushes. This constant desire for newness can lead to experimentation of drugs and alcohol, which opens the door later to substance abuse.

Impulsive Behaviour
Impulsive behaviour means acting without thinking about the impact of your actions, which can include anything from drunk driving to stealing something from a family member. be indicative of an addictive personality.

Weak Commitment to Personal

Goals & Values

Mood Swings & Negative Self Worth
While the thrill of a new addiction or impulsive provides a high of its own, the truth is that when these feelings of happiness ebb, all one is left with is the ramifications of this destructive behaviour, especially if things like drugs, alcohol and gambling are involved.

Not being accountable or responsible for the outcome is a classic trait of someone with an addictive personality. This is a problem because, by blaming others they are blind in seeing their own flaws and how they’ve contributed to the problem.

If you find that you often isolate yourself from others, this could lead you to feel alone in life. Feeling alone could cause you to drink alcohol and do drugs.

When a person depends on drugs or alcohol, they will stop at nothing to manipulate those who love them most. They make promises they never keep, profess love they don’t have and come up with gut-wrenching, emotional stories to get money – all in the name of feeding an addiction.

Addiction is all about lying. First, the user lies to himself about having an addiction, then he must lie to everyone else around him. The more dependent he becomes on drugs or alcohol, the more likely he’s going to feel the need to lie.

Criminal Behaviour
Once the money runs out, a person who’s using will do anything and everything to keep his supply of drugs and alcohol open. Often times, he resorts to committing crimes to fill that need.

People with addictive personalities use their addictions as coping mechanisms when in stressful situations. However, since their addictions do not actually soothe them, so much as they provide momentary relief from anxiety or uncomfortable emotions, these individuals feel the need to use their addiction more often.

What Does It Mean If You Have These Personality Traits?
If these addictive personality traits sound familiar, it may be indicative of someone who has an addictive personality. Many people exhibit one or more of these personality traits, but may not be prone to addiction. However, it is the combination of these traits that leads to someone having an addictive personality and still it does not mean that if you or someone you know fits in the description is the one, it may mean that you should watch your relationship with harmful substances and activities because you may be more prone to addiction.

(Dr Sunita Patel, personal counselor, psychotherapist, homeopath can be contacted on

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