Addictive personality traits and belief systems

One risk factor in addiction is having addictive personality traits.

Oh! That’s me!! Everyone wants to be with me because I have personality traits like being bubbly and popular. People are addicted to me.

Well, that’s not quite what we mean by an addictive personality traits Though we are sure people love to be around you, Taylor. Rather, addictive personality traits describes personality factors that can make someone more prone to develop addictions, whether to drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling, sex, technology, shopping or food.

What are those factors? The most common characteristics among people who end up with addiction are:

  1. Lack of impulse control or difficulty in delaying gratification  (I will eat that cookie later versus I need to devour it now!)
  2. Pleasure seeking behavior (I’m not satisfied going out one night a week, I need to go out every night otherwise I’m crazed!)
  3. Risk-taking behavior (Riding a bike is normally boring but riding it on a cliff edge is awesome!)

The problem with these three characteristics is that nearly every single teen is experiencing them! But that’s why becoming aware of who you are is so important. If you know you might be prone to something that puts you at a higher risk of addiction, then you can take measures to manage it. For example, if you know you are prone to getting cold, you wear warmer clothing than the average person. If you know you tend to more impulsive than the average person, then that is a skill you can focus on developing.

Of note, certain belief systems are also associated with people who eventually struggle with addiction. In particular these beliefs (or mindsets) have been associated with addiction:

  • Not wanting to conform to society’s values (School is for stuffed shirts and staying away from drugs is the government’s way of controlling what you do.)
  • A sense of alienation (feeling like you don’t “fit in” or have anyone to whom you can turn for help)

Many young teens feel these things, it’s sort of really normal for teens! But if the feelings  are overwhelming, they can also drive choices that aren’t healthy: I’m going to do drugs because I don’t want to conform to anything the government says! Or, I’m going to drink to make myself feel more relaxed and comfortable since I  don’t feel like I fit in.


None of the above traits or beliefs systems means you will definitely develop an addiction. They are just factors that can drive behaviors that can lead a person closer to a life of addiction. Please continue to the next sub-post to read about other risk factors.

Post Question:

Do you feel you have some of the addictive personality traits listed above? If so, which ones?

Answer the post question here

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