An addictive personality is a psychological term for a potentially self-destructive pattern of behavior that may be passed down genetically.
People with an addictive personality usually become easily addicted to drugs, gambling, and alcohol.
While not everyone who experiments with these vices becomes addicted, those with the addictive personality are at higher risk.
Recognizing this personality type and seeking help early can often prevent a person from destroying himself or his family.
However, many people addicted to drugs or alcohol, as well as those who engage in some other type of addictive behavior can't easily understand they are having a problem, even if their behavior affects others.
Therefore, it is important for family members of addicts to be able to recognize their addictive personalities.
The following list describes some behaviors that are common in people who have an addictive personality:
They Act Impulsively
Impulsive people are more likely to take risks, including the risk of addiction.
This is one of the most common characteristics of addictive behavior and is especially prevalent in adolescents because they are underdeveloped when it comes to sound decision-making.
People who act impulsively often do not consider long-term consequences and will engage in activities that may seem fun or pleasurable at the time but can have disastrous results down the line.
Impulsive people also often have difficulty controlling their emotions, which increases the risk of developing addictions, like turning to drugs or alcohol for a quick fix.
They Are People Pleasers
People with addictive personalities too often feel the need to please others, no matter what it takes.
They are often unable to say “no” when someone asks them for a favor, even if they have work or other obligations that would prevent them from being able to do what is asked of them.
This behavior often causes problems in their relationships and at work.
The most common reason for this behavior is a fear of rejection.
To avoid feeling rejected, people with an addictive personality will often comply with what others ask them to do, even if it means neglecting themselves and their responsibilities.
So when someone with an addictive personality says “yes” to something, it is likely because he or she feels they must rather than because he or she wants to do that activity.
They Have Low Self-Esteem
People with low self-esteem often feel like they are not good enough and need something outside of themselves to feel better about who they are and their place in life.
This leads them to develop addictions, whether it's food, sex, alcohol, or drugs because these vices ultimately give them feelings of fulfillment and pleasure.
Unfortunately, this satisfaction does not last for long, and people with addictive personalities will soon find themselves needing more of their vice to get the same feeling as before.
People who have low self-esteem may also become people, pleasers because they feel the need to be liked by others to boost their self-esteem.
They Are Easily Bored
People prone to boredom cannot often entertain themselves.
This makes them more likely to seek out external sources of stimulation, such as addictive substances or activities.
People who cannot amuse themselves will often seek the companionship of others, and this social interaction can lead to addiction as well.
Boredom also makes people more likely to engage in risky behavior like unprotected sex and illegal activities like drug use or gambling.
The constant need to change their mood creates a state of restlessness that leads these people to seek out thrill-seeking activities.
They Are Often Active and Outgoing Early in Life
People who are active and outgoing when they're young tend to be at higher risk for addiction later in life.
The reason for this is that these people often develop addictions as a means of coping with the loss of that same sense of constant activity and stimulation.
Active children usually become less active adults and, ironically, this makes them more likely to develop addictions to fill this void.
These people become thrill-seekers and engage in dangerous behaviors to feel the sensation of excitement that they once experienced as children.
The most common type of addiction they develop is substance abuse.
These are just some common behaviors in people who have an addictive personality.
Do not think that you or someone you know have an addictive personality simply because you do a few of these things.
Addictions are complex and many different factors come into play when a person becomes addicted to anything.
So, if you are concerned that you or someone you know has an addictive personality, consult a doctor or addiction specialist.
Addiction is treatable and with the right help, you can overcome your addiction and live a happy, healthy life.