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No, you don’t have an “addictive personality”

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It’s natural to want to clump together All of our different personality traits—good or bad To a neat bucket, or “personality type.” i am guilty of it. Eating, drinking, and watching is a constant binge, and I often describe myself as having what is called an “addictive personality.” (if that means other people were dependent on To myself. alas )

However, the term “addictive personality” rank of Thoroughly Misused Phrases,Alongside gas lamp“OCD,” and “Trauma.However unlike other abuse Clausethe definition of an addictive personality is not Based entirely on clinical psychology. Here’s why the “addictive personality” belief is a myth and how using it can harm real addicts.

What does it mean that a person has an “addictive personality”?

The term “addictive personality” has been thrown around to describe how People who exhibit certain characteristics are probably They are more likely to develop addictions such as substance abuse. People with so-called addictive personalities can be impulsive, obsessive, out of control, pleasure-seeking, or weak. Put it all together and you have someone who can’t help but fall into an addiction. As far as I can tell.

In reality, addiction is complicated. At least more complicated than personality quizzes. Family history, upbringing, socioeconomic status, and lifestyle all affect addiction risk.

Anyone can become addicted To various substances and behaviors such as drugs and gambling. Not surprisingly, people who develop addictions have common traits.However, attempts to classify credible “addictive personality types” are unscientific at best and actively harmful at worst.

Addicting Personality Myths

Ashis 2015 Essay by Substance Abuse Scientist Marian Amodeo explain, there Not a generalizable study to support the idea of ​​an “addictive personality.” Despite how often the term appears around treatment programs and support groups today, not enough evidence Also scientific backing suggests that one personality type has greater tendenciesability to develop Addicted. Further, Amodeo writes: Traits used to describe addictive personalities are: Predict addiction; they occur Addicted.When it comes to prevention, throwing phrases around doesn’t helpor worse, can harm actual addicts.

Why You Should Stop Using This Term

Using imprecise terms such as addictive personality Pathologicalization of True Addiction, increased stigma, and a sense of inevitability. In her essay on why the term should be retired from the therapeutic field, Amodeo They argue that the addictive personality description creates a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy that you can’t change your ways, and thus undermines your ability to fight back against your addiction.

The term also allows for the idea that everyone who develops an addiction is the same, leading to the alienation of suffering addictions. helps promote the idea that no one is doomed to substance abuse, and that their addictions are worth fighting for.


No single personality type can accurately predict how someone will fall into and cope with addiction. Yet when something is as painful as addiction, there is a natural urge to understand it. Unfortunately, addiction is a complicated beast. Categorizing a certain set of traits as “addictive personalities” does more harm than good.

If you or a friend or relative is experiencing some form of drug addiction, Here’s how to choose the right treatment program.

No, you don’t have an “addictive personality”

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