Is There Such a Thing as an Addictive Personality?
Addiction is a complicated subject. Even though it has been studied across every field, from sociology to neuroscience, experts are still struggling to form a clear understanding of the causes of addiction.
And yet, addiction is all around us, affecting either ourselves or those closest to us. Many are often described as having an “addictive personality”, but is this a real trait?
What is an Addictive Personality?
An addictive personality is a layman term that describes exactly what it sounds like, someone who easily falls into addiction. Some people are more predisposed to addiction. Scientists have noted that those who easily become fixated or obsessed with tasks have a higher chance of developing an addiction.
Are Addictive Personalities Real?
Addictive personalities, for how commonly we use the word, is not a scientific term. Many psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors have gone on record to suggest that the concept of a “personality-type” that is more susceptible to addiction is a myth.
We can use our previous experiences to gauge how well we respond to potentially addictive substances and activities. However, we cannot use an “addictive personality” as an excuse for doing so.
What Are the Problems with the Term?
The reason most psychologists may avoid using the term “addictive personality” is that it seems to draw a direct line between addiction and a person’s personality. Of all the things that cause addiction, personality has never been a big factor.
The current scientific consensus is that addiction comes from our brains, not our personality. People with all sorts of personality types have addictions. By stigmatizing personality traits, we often make reaching out for help more difficult than it should be.
I Think I Have an Addictive Personality – Now What?
While the term “addictive personality” is at best inaccurate, and at worst harmful in what it says about addicts, we may still acknowledge that our experiences indicate an underlying problem with self-control. Some people try a drug once and that is the end of it; others immediately fall into the cycle of addiction. If you know someone who has fallen into the cycle, it is time to get help.
Kuldip Counselling and Consulting has two convenient locations in Surrey and Langley. They offer counselling services and compassionate therapy in the areas of addictions counselling, and family and marriage counselling.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (604) 764-9575.