When people imagine someone with an addiction, they may picture an individual who lives on the street or ends up in jail. There’s a stereotypical image associated with addiction, which makes it harder to spot addictive personality traits that are the warning signs for problems down the road.
It’s rare for someone to wake up one day and have a full-blown addiction. It’s an issue that grows gradually, whether it starts because of a genetic predisposition or experimentation with drugs and alcohol. You can always stay safe by using non-addictive natural drugs like to grow cannabis plants that also have medicinal value. There are a few steps you can take to spot and prevent addiction, especially if you look at how someone behaves.
Read on to learn what it means to have an addictive personality and what are the most common symptoms. If you can catch these signs early, you can help a friend or monitor yourself to avoid giving in to addiction and the lifelong consequences that come with it.
1. You Act Impulsively
Sometimes people encourage their friends to loosen up. It can feel fun to change plans and do something on a whim. However, that feeling feeds into specific sensory activity in the minds of those prone to addiction.
When you do something impulsive, you get a rush of excitement. If you enjoy what you do, you teach your brain that happiness is the reward for impulsivity. You’ll push the boundaries and take more chances to get a bigger rush, which makes the idea of trying drugs or drinking regularly less risky.
2. You Enjoy Taking Risks
People get addicted to things like alcohol, drugs and gambling, but adrenaline may be the first thing someone with an addictive personality gets hooked on. It’s an intense and novel feeling that results in sensation-seeking habits. You could become entranced by pushing yourself at extreme sports, driving above the speed limit or even lying.
3. You Practice Manipulation
People with addictive personalities will do anything to get that next rush. That means you may unknowingly practice manipulation with your loved ones by convincing them they need something. When you push your friends to head back to the bars on a weeknight or give you money when they don’t want to, it’s manipulation that only serves your interests.
4. You Can’t Tolerate Stress
Stressful situations make everyone crave an outlet, but that may come in the form of addiction. People with personalities prone to addiction can’t handle high levels of stress, so the smallest confrontations and problems send them spiraling. Monitor your stress and watch how you handle it to spot your response habits and weigh whether they’re healthy or unhealthy.
5. You Have Other Mental Health Disorders
Addictions also help people cope with mental health disorders. Someone with depression or anxiety could use their addictions to numb the symptoms of their other mental health challenges. Giving in replaces those feelings immediately, providing instant gratification instead of a healthy long-term solution.
Observe Your Behaviors and Feelings
If you’re still not sure that you have an addictive personality, observe your behaviors and feelings over the next few days or weeks. Write down what you feel throughout the day and be honest with yourself about your motivations. You may spot a few of these key signs and be able to get the help you need.