Similar Personality Traits Between Those with Behavioral Addictions and Those with Substance Addictions

Addictive tragedies continue to strike communities and people of all genders and types of economic status. People may suffer from just one addiction or a variety of addictions, including substance, alcohol or behavioral. Is there a connection among these types of addictions? Learn more about those with substance addictions and those with behavioral addictions and any personality traits these individuals may share.

What is Substance Addiction?

Substance addiction is a type of addiction where an individual continually consumes or uses certain substances despite knowing the harmful and negative effects these substances can have on the mind and body, as well as the legal ramifications. The overuse of certain substances may fall in the category of substance abuse or substance dependence, both which can lead to substance addiction.

Both types can lead to mental problems, physical problems and clinical impairments. Individuals who continue to use these substances generally cannot quit on their own and are referred to as addicts. The most common types of substances abused are:

  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Prescription medications

What is Behavioral Addiction?

Behavioral addiction is a type of addiction not caused by drugs, alcohol or other substances. Behavioral addiction involves continually engaging in a specific behavior that generally causes negative results or consequences to the individual’s mental, physical, social or financial well being.

When a person continues to do things that they know will cause negative results but cannot control the urge to do them anyways, they are said to be a victim of behavioral addiction. Some forms of behavioral addiction include:

  • Gambling
  • Gaming
  • Shopping
  • Sex
  • Eating
  • Internet Usage

What Personality Traits Do These Two Types of Individuals Share?

Although behavioral addictions and substance addictions are quite different in nature, they may not be as different as we think, at least in terms of personalities. Experts say that while the term “addictive personality” may be less than accurate, there are certain personality traits that addicted people share.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Impatience
  • Arrogance
  • Constantly seeking thrills and excitement
  • Making impulsive choices
  • Feeling alienated from society

It’s often that these personality traits lead to addiction. However, it’s important to realize that while most addicts share these same personality disorders, not everyone with these personality disorders are necessarily an addict.

What Can Be Done to Help?

The debate on whether addiction is hereditary has been going on almost since professionals came up with the term addiction. Medical professionals believe that while addiction in itself may not be hereditary, the tendency to become addicted may be linked to genetics. Based on this belief, can addictions be prevented? Here are some possible ways to prevent substance addiction or behavioral addiction.

  • Acknowledge any family history of addiction. If there is a history, protect yourself by avoiding drugs and alcohol
  • Look for healthy methods to deal with stress. The less stress you have in your life, the lower the chance of starting addictive behavior
  • Look for things in your life that make you happy, regardless of how small
  • Seek counseling or therapy. Don’t wait until addiction has already hit you or your family to seek help
  • Set boundaries and be consistent. This goes for both you and your family
  • Set a good example. If you have children, lead by example. They’ll be less likely to develop addictive tendencies if they don’t see it in their homes

Anytime there’s an issue of an addiction, the first and most important step is acknowledging that there is a problem. Once that has been accomplished, seeking help is vital. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you or a loved one may be suffering from addictive behavior. Contact a professional today!

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