Do you have an addictive personality?
Back when I was a drinker I used to claim that it was simply because I had an addictive personality.
I based this self-diagnosis on the fact that I seemed to get into loops with my behavior.
Binge watching TV shows and eating the same meals over and over again was my evidence that I was just one of those poor unfortunate people who got very easily hooked on ‘stuff’.
But is there any truth to it?
When I quit drinking I realized that my addictive personality problem was just another justification I had come up with the absolve myself of any blame!
I am not alone!
Many of us may claim to ourselves that we are a coffee junkie, or addicted to chocolate, our career’s, or know friends who we may refer to as being addicted to tv series or using porn. But do these beliefs have any grounds in reality?
The problem all boils down to exactly how getting fixated on things is characterized, to begin with, as a lot of us in the business take issue about what the primary elements of dependency really are. Countless will say that the terms ‘dependency’, ‘addiction’ and ‘addictive‘ are employed so much in daily situations that they have ended up being rendered pointless.
For example, stating that a book is an addictive read or that a particular TV series is addictive viewing makes the phrase worthless in a professional context.
Here, the term ‘addicting’ is perhaps being churned out in an entirely productive way, to describe something good that is happening and because of this, it cheapens its genuine definition.
Healthy passion … or a genuine problem?
So, what is the distinction in between a healthy and balanced, but high passion activity and a real dependency?
A passionate obsession with something contributes to the quality of our existence, while a dependence (or addiction) subtracts from it.
I additionally think that to be classified as an addiction, any such habits should make up a variety of major negative elements, incorporating overriding fixation with doing ‘the thing’. Problems committing to our obligations, responsibilities and intimate relationships.
Plus withdrawal signs and symptoms when not able to participate in the endeavor (such as problem drinking), a significant rise in the use of the addictive element with time (alcohol tolerance), and use of the same substance to modify emotional state (drinking to cope with life and so forth).
Other repercussions, like feeling out of control with the substance and cravings for the substance that is frequently there. If all these symptoms and signs exist then I would name the actions a genuine addiction.
However, that hasn’t prevented other people accusing me of making the whole subject of addiction too black and white.
The technology of substance addiction.
A couple of years ago, renowned addiction authors released an evaluation analyzing the connection in between numerous habit forming pursuits: smoking cigarettes, consuming booze, taking illegal substances, excessive food consumption, betting, internet pornography, sexual activity, physical exercise, work, career and even what we call ‘retail therapy’.
They analyzed the information from 85 major addiction reports and revealed an incidence of a dependency amongst United States adults that varied from as modest as 17% to as elevated as 62% in a 12-month time frame.
It also revealed it possible that 48% of USA adults struggle with maladaptive symptoms of an addiction over a 12 month period. Simply put, and with lots of forewarnings, the report contended that at any one-time practically fifty percent the United States populace is addicted to several habits (such as smoking, excessive eating or drinking alcohol).
The US is hooked
There is a great deal of clinical information proving that having just one dependency raises the tendency to have various other addictions.
For example, it is very common to find people who have linked several addictions together, such as smoking and drinking alcohol etc.
It is also commonplace for folks who quit one particular substance addiction to substitute it with yet another, this is called “reciprocation”.
When you think about it, this is pretty easy to understand, as when an individual quits one dependency it leaves behind a vacuum in the particular person’s daily life and frequently the only actions that can occupy the hole and provide comparable experiences are other extremely addicting habits.
This has led lots of people to incorrectly define this kind of men and women as having an “addictive personality”.
I always advise people who quit drinking with me, to make sure they replace ‘the missing drinking time’ with something fun.
Too much time on your hands is not helpful in the process.
Although there are lots of reasons for people to get into loops of addictive patterns, incorporating genetics and personality type, like elevated neurosis (nervous, miserable, susceptible to harmful emotional states) and low conscientiousness (spontaneous, reckless, disorganized), addictive personality is a misconception.
If there was really such a thing as an ‘addictive personality’ then surely these people would be addicted to EVERYTHING. I was a problem drinker but I never smoked or was even tempted by other addictive substances.
Although there is excellent clinical proof that the majority of people with dependencies are extremely obsessive, neurosis in on its own is not prognostic of dependency or addiction. For example, there are very obsessive men and women who are not hooked on anything at all, So neurosis or OCD is not foretelling of addiction.
Simply put, there is absolutely no decent documentation that there is a particular characteristic or set of attributes, that is predictive of addiction or ‘addictive personality’.
Passion or addiction?
Undertaking something repeatedly or excessively does not always render it a problem. Although there are numerous activities like consuming excessive coffee or watching a binge-worthy amount TV that could, in theory, be referred to as habit-forming behaviors.
However, they are most likely to be recurring routines that are significant in an individual’s lifestyle yet really lead to very little or zero real difficulties.
Because of this, these kinds of routines ought to not be referred to as an addiction except if the actions create considerable emotional or physical consequences in their everyday lives.
If you are ready to dump the old ‘I have an addictive personality’ excuse for your drinking.
If you are ready to escape the painful loop of daily drinking or binge drinking.