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Addictive behavior personalities and characteristics

Addictive personality types may turn to drugs, food, sex or alcohol when they experience bad feelings. People with addictive personalities see their addictions as a way to control situations or others. Instead of dealing with their stress head-on, they turn to an addictive personality behavior – like binge eating or drinking to excess. Addictive personality behavior characteristics results when a person uses his or her addictions as a way to self-soothe.

A Vicious Cycle

Addictive personality behaviors affect people psychologically and physically. Although their behaviors normally start as a response to stress or strong emotions, eventually the behavior itself causes more stress, which leads to more of the addictive behavior. Thus the vicious cycle of addictive behavior continues. They may start drinking to deal with stress at work, but their excess alcohol consumption may cause problems at work – which leads to more stress and more drinking.

Addictive Personalities Take Many Forms

Addictive personalities can take many forms. The need to feel free from stress compels a person with addictive personality to disconnect from their normal relationships. They replace friends and families with activities and substances that offer relief from their pain. This constant pleasure seeking overrides the need to fit into society and finding balance.

There are several tell-tale signs for an addictive personality. These include:

  • Impulse control issues: Addicts may exhibit problems delaying gratification. Addictive behaviors are often psychological or physical masks that hide a deeper issue. A person may seek pleasure in an effort to avoid the pain of dealing with the issues that are making them unhappy.
  • Antisocial behavior: Those with addictive personality behavior tend to be thrill-seekers. They are obsessed with nonconformity and unconcerned with society’s values. They may alienate others to indulge in their addictive behavior without judgment, and once they are confronted they may deny and hide their compulsions. As their addictive behaviors become more and more prominent, they may end relationships and avoid people in order to protect the status quo.
  • Low tolerance for stress: Addictive personalities lack coping skills to deal with even a moderate amount of stress. The tools to self-soothe in a non-addictive way may be missing or misaligned. They want to avoid the pain of dealing with their immediate needs, so they turn to an addiction time and time again.

Healthy Boundaries Necessary

Without healthy boundaries and moderation, a person suffering with addictive personality behavior will spiral deeper into their addiction causing serious harm.

Fortunately, there are outpatient and inpatient rehab treatment programs that can help those with addictive tendencies overcome their addictions and deal with the emotions that led to their dependence.

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