Do you know someone who has an "addictive personality"? Is there such a thing, and if so, is it genetic or does something in the environment influence an entire personality ?
Such an interesting topic, because addiction could be related to so many different behaviors: alcohol, sex, shopping, food, nicotine, other drugs, gambling....
The research I've read suggests that there is not an addictive personality, but that unhealthy behaviors "define" how others perceive that person (and their "personality"). For instance, many people whom we may describe as having an addiction share similar personality traits, such as they are gregarious, impulsive, a little rebellious... someone who is probably very fun to be around, and they may be "the life of the party" (particularly with substance abuse and addiction). And, if you see someone with these personality traits, they are not necessarily predisposed to developing an addiction. Conversely, someone who is reserved, contemplative and cautious are not "immune" from developing an addiction.
Then the question becomes similar to the chicken and egg theory: do people who are more gregarious, impulsive, and rebellious choose unhealthy behaviors that can lead to abuse/addiction, or, do people who have an "addictive personality" gravitate towards unhealthy behaviors that can lead to abuse/addiction?
Anyways, just a fascinating topic to discuss, as I'm very close with friends and family who have compulsive tendencies (that was a very nice way to say that, right?!) :-) These loved-ones of mine don't do things half-way...it's all the way for them! It is wonderful to know these people and have these qualities yourself; but when these qualities start including alcohol, food, sex, gambling, drugs, etc, it can become harmful very quickly.
I'd love to hear your stories and talk about what others have experienced in their families or with themselves!
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