Addictive Personalities

Discussion group for those recovering from substance abuse. This is the place to talk about your struggles and success in regards to addiction.
cinamin
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Post by cinamin »

I've heard of the term "addictive personality" and my x-husband had addictions he could never overcome. He'd get addicted to everything. Not just drugs either. He'd go overboard with everything. I recently left a man who was a recovered addict and x-drug abuser. But he literally replaced his drug addiction with others such as gambling and even admitted to being a sex addict. What is that about?

I cannot even relate to even being an addict. The closest i came to being addicted to a drug was Vicodin when I dislocated an elbow. That was a good buzz. But I stopped, even when I could use it. And I could then see how a person could like to be on a drug all the time, as it clouded my reality. And I felt fuzzy.

I guess what i am asking is why and how would a person want to stay addicted to things that control you and alter your quality of life? Is it that their lives are so bad anyway that the addiction is better? And so people hide their addictions from those closest to them? What is this addiction thing really about? Is it all so complicated? It seems like one should just be able to stop.
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guppy
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Post by guppy »

its a personality disorder ...plain and simple...its just a part of their makeup
cinamin
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Post by cinamin »

guppy;552476 wrote: its a personality disorder ...plain and simple...its just a part of their makeup


IS it due to their past? Or their brains, or their genes?
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Mystery
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Post by Mystery »

cinamin;552475 wrote: I've heard of the term "addictive personality" and my x-husband had addictions he could never overcome. He'd get addicted to everything. Not just drugs either. He'd go overboard with everything. I recently left a man who was a recovered addict and x-drug abuser. But he literally replaced his drug addiction with others such as gambling and even admitted to being a sex addict. What is that about?


The term addictive personality is sort of redundent, because addiction itself is, in a way, a personality. One who is addicted to one substance has the predisposition to be addicted to anything. What you're speaking of above is switching addictions. That's, just as you described, when an addict finds another "outlet", if you will.

I cannot even relate to even being an addict. The closest i came to being addicted to a drug was Vicodin when I dislocated an elbow. That was a good buzz. But I stopped, even when I could use it. And I could then see how a person could like to be on a drug all the time, as it clouded my reality. And I felt fuzzy.


Addicts can't just stop. That's why they're addicts. It's not a personal decision or a choice, as you would think of.

I guess what i am asking is why and how would a person want to stay addicted to things that control you and alter your quality of life? Is it that their lives are so bad anyway that the addiction is better? And so people hide their addictions from those closest to them? What is this addiction thing really about? Is it all so complicated? It seems like one should just be able to stop.


It's not that the person wants to stay addicted. In many cases, the knowledge that they are addicted doesn't exist. Denial is extremely powerful. Added to that, it's difficult (speaking as an addict here) to put two and two together. My life wasn't bad at all, until my addiction progressed to a point where it became that way. I had terrific parents, a great family, etc. It was me that was different. Addiction affects your thinking, your livign, your everything. It's not just use of a substance. In fact, the substance used is just a symptom of the actual problem. For me, personally, I hid my addiction because deep down on some other level, I felt shame. But, no matter what, I still couldn't overcome that impulsive and compulsive behavior, and the obsession with getting just one more hit. Addiction is a disease, just like diabetes, or heart disease. It's a chronic and progressive illness that leads to death if left untreated.
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Nomad
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Post by Nomad »

Addicts can't just stop. That's why they're addicts. It's not a personal decision or a choice, as you would think of.





Oh ?
I AM AWESOME MAN
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Mystery
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Post by Mystery »

No, it's a compulsion...an obsession. "as you would think of" being the operative phrase. Once the line of dependence is crossed, it becomes a using to live situation rather than a recreational activity. Now, once they're made aware of the problem, and then offered an alternative and a solution, some may make the choice to go back to it, but that's part of the obsession as well. It's a vicious cycle, as I'm sure you're aware.
cinamin
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Post by cinamin »

Thanks, that has given me some insight.
sharedfastlane
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Post by sharedfastlane »

Mystery that's interesting.

Since, I think around 16 my husband has been dependent on chemicals and I always thought it was something he needed healing from. His childhood was pretty ropey, given away as a baby because in that era an unwed mum was shunned, but taken back a week later. His adopting Father was closed off emotionally and later drank heavily and beat his Mum ...so cutting a long story....he despises counselling and said at around 17 a counsellor tried to touch him inappropriately so his Mother had to terminate the sessions.We have had some right royal rows and I have hated being lied to. In a way now he has to take so many drugs for a heart condition and rest up so the matter has rather petered out. I suppose there isn't one way that works for everyone is there? And as you say some folk are in denial. Should I watch out for anything with our children?Can you recommend anything I can read look up online please?
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Mystery
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Post by Mystery »

sharedfastlane;557840 wrote: Mystery that's interesting.

Since, I think around 16 my husband has been dependent on chemicals and I always thought it was something he needed healing from. His childhood was pretty ropey, given away as a baby because in that era an unwed mum was shunned, but taken back a week later. His adopting Father was closed off emotionally and later drank heavily and beat his Mum ...so cutting a long story....he despises counselling and said at around 17 a counsellor tried to touch him inappropriately so his Mother had to terminate the sessions.We have had some right royal rows and I have hated being lied to. In a way now he has to take so many drugs for a heart condition and rest up so the matter has rather petered out. I suppose there isn't one way that works for everyone is there? And as you say some folk are in denial. Should I watch out for anything with our children?Can you recommend anything I can read look up online please?


Well, I hate to hear that with his experience in a counseling setting. Unfortunately, not all counselors are ethical, and when a patient is exposed to that, it typically ruins their trust of the entire profession.

And, you're absolutely right. No one way will ever work for everyone, hence the reason we have tailored treatment (meaning we tailor each plan to each individual). I will say that AA/NA and other such programs do seem to have the most success, although those are not for everyone.

Anyway, as far as your children. It is said that children of alcoholics/addicts have a 1 in 4 chance of becoming alcoholic themselves. Basically, they're predisposed to the illness, but that doesn't mean they will fall prey to it at all. Education and prevention are key. You should check out the Hazeldon website at http://www.hazelden.org/ . They have loads of information that you can order. Other sites that just provide good information are following:

http://www.recovery.org/acoa/acoa.html

http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

http://www.allaboutcounseling.com/
sharedfastlane
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Post by sharedfastlane »

Thanks Mystery. Really appreciate the info. I'll get moving on that.
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DesignerGal
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Post by DesignerGal »

All recovery programs do, is replace one addiction with another. Why do you think everyone in AA smokes like a chimney or drinks twelve cups of coffee or both. Think about it.






HBIC
cinamin
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Post by cinamin »

DesignerGal;560776 wrote: All recovery programs do, is replace one addiction with another. Why do you think everyone in AA smokes like a chimney or drinks twelve cups of coffee or both. Think about it.


Yes I also heard this. So what do they do, just go and drink coffee and smoke? There must be more to those meetings than this.
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guppy
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Post by guppy »

DesignerGal;560776 wrote: All recovery programs do, is replace one addiction with another. Why do you think everyone in AA smokes like a chimney or drinks twelve cups of coffee or both. Think about it.


if that is true then i want to exchange my diet mountain dew addiction for..........................................................................................

sex.:p
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nvalleyvee
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Post by nvalleyvee »

Mystery;554739 wrote: No, it's a compulsion...an obsession. "as you would think of" being the operative phrase. Once the line of dependence is crossed, it becomes a using to live situation rather than a recreational activity. Now, once they're made aware of the problem, and then offered an alternative and a solution, some may make the choice to go back to it, but that's part of the obsession as well. It's a vicious cycle, as I'm sure you're aware.


GEEZ............I hate to agree with you........but I have have many addictions in my life.............most of them compulsive mental thoughts and not full blown chemical addictions.

When I drove a lot of miles I would play an alphabet game......finding any word on sign posts from A-Z. It took me months and months to stop playing that game in my head when I quit driving 800 miles a day. I find myself doing stupid stuff like that in my head all the time.............I accidentally see a pattern and then compulsively look for it. I have to stop myself!
The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement..........Karl R. Popper
cinamin
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Post by cinamin »

Some addicts find the Lord. And they say that cures them. But does it really? Or do they then find another addiction and just get rid of the addiction that is killing them? I mean, there are a lot of things one can become addicted to.....gambling, sex, can anyone think of any other addictions? Heck even the Internet.
sharedfastlane
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Post by sharedfastlane »

This is where I get so frustrated with what help is on offer at the moment. I feel progress is so slow in regard to mental health.

I have heard people say " oh the mother kicked the cat when he was a boy so this excuses anything that comes after" in a despising way, but it appears the childhood is crucial. I certainly don't want to be one of those bods who seem stuck in a time warp of some saddness from way back but it's hard to move forward when advice seems so dilute and there can be major disagreements within the profession. I liked Alice Miller for a while but even she turned her back on her therapist roots.

So I guess, in terms of addictions. We should be trying to achieve balance; which isn't easy in an unbalanced world.

Regarding ; playing games in the head with looking for patterns etc. I think it's because our minds are hungry and lively. Personally if I don't have a few library books knocking around I panic. I need to entertain my head.
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Mystery
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Post by Mystery »

DesignerGal;560776 wrote: All recovery programs do, is replace one addiction with another. Why do you think everyone in AA smokes like a chimney or drinks twelve cups of coffee or both. Think about it.


cinamin;561756 wrote: Yes I also heard this. So what do they do, just go and drink coffee and smoke? There must be more to those meetings than this.


Actually, those meetings are full of recovering alcoholics and addicts sharing their experiences, strengths, and hopes. Not all people smoke in them, and not everyone drinks coffee ( I haven't had a cup in months, although I don't know how I could get by without it!). In fact, come to think of it, at the meeting I went to last night there was one pot of coffee made, and half of it was left after the meeting. :thinking:

To each his own. Not every program works for every person. But these programs have helped millions.
cinamin
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Post by cinamin »

Mystery;562265 wrote: Actually, those meetings are full of recovering alcoholics and addicts sharing their experiences, strengths, and hopes. Not all people smoke in them, and not everyone drinks coffee ( I haven't had a cup in months, although I don't know how I could get by without it!). In fact, come to think of it, at the meeting I went to last night there was one pot of coffee made, and half of it was left after the meeting. :thinking:

To each his own. Not every program works for every person. But these programs have helped millions.


Yes it would seem that the support there would be a good thing. But many of the people who go to those meetings are ordered by the courts.

I have known people who go to the NA or AA meetings and then stopped going saying that they "found the Lord". But do they really, or do they just find a new addiction? One that isn't as crippling to their bodies such as gambling or sex. I know that this happens. REplacing one addiction with another or newer or even older addiction. I guess maybe an addict can be addicting to lots of things. It's like they think this way.
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Mystery
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Post by Mystery »

cinamin;562824 wrote: Yes it would seem that the support there would be a good thing. But many of the people who go to those meetings are ordered by the courts.

I have known people who go to the NA or AA meetings and then stopped going saying that they "found the Lord". But do they really, or do they just find a new addiction? One that isn't as crippling to their bodies such as gambling or sex. I know that this happens. REplacing one addiction with another or newer or even older addiction. I guess maybe an addict can be addicting to lots of things. It's like they think this way.


Yes, there are many that are ordered by the courts to go, but sometimes the way you get there doesn't matter, if you embrace the idea of recovery, you can still get better.

As for finding the Lord, I suppose that's for each individual. The program of AA (or NA) is a spiritual program and nothing to do with religion. They term it finding a "higher power", which can be anything from God to a rock. It's based on each individuals' understanding of their own powers. Switching addictions is certainly something that happens. However, if you take those programs and work them the way they're meant to be worked, addiction of any kind is what you recover from.
sharedfastlane
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Post by sharedfastlane »

Mystery;553625 wrote: The term addictive personality is sort of redundent, because addiction itself is, in a way, a personality. One who is addicted to one substance has the predisposition to be addicted to anything. What you're speaking of above is switching addictions. That's, just as you described, when an addict finds another "outlet", if you will.



Addicts can't just stop. That's why they're addicts. It's not a personal decision or a choice, as you would think of.



It's not that the person wants to stay addicted. In many cases, the knowledge that they are addicted doesn't exist. Denial is extremely powerful. Added to that, it's difficult (speaking as an addict here) to put two and two together. My life wasn't bad at all, until my addiction progressed to a point where it became that way. I had terrific parents, a great family, etc. It was me that was different. Addiction affects your thinking, your livign, your everything. It's not just use of a substance. In fact, the substance used is just a symptom of the actual problem. For me, personally, I hid my addiction because deep down on some other level, I felt shame. But, no matter what, I still couldn't overcome that impulsive and compulsive behavior, and the obsession with getting just one more hit. Addiction is a disease, just like diabetes, or heart disease. It's a chronic and progressive illness that leads to death if left untreated.


I hope I'm not being intrusive? Thank you for what you have shared.Would you say then that " the love of a good woman" couldn't do much? Also if an addictive personality is known about, why aren't we warned about this to look out for as parents? We are told how to spot possible dyslexia, shyness,drug taking, but what would an actual addictive personality look like as a child I wonder?
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Mystery
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Post by Mystery »

sharedfastlane;563260 wrote: I hope I'm not being intrusive? Thank you for what you have shared.Would you say then that " the love of a good woman" couldn't do much? Also if an addictive personality is known about, why aren't we warned about this to look out for as parents? We are told how to spot possible dyslexia, shyness,drug taking, but what would an actual addictive personality look like as a child I wonder?


You're not being intrusive at all. I'm open with my experiences, because perhaps that will help another going through something similar :)

Anyway, to address your questions...

"the love of a good woman" will go a long way in terms of support for someone recovering but it is not a cure. In fact, it could be detrimental in that the one recovering could use that as a crutch, becoming dependent. That's not healthy for either person in the relationship.

Your other question about looking out for an addictive personality in children is interesting, and one I've never actually considered :) So, I don't have an answer for you, as it's typically something you see at onset of drug use, but give me some time and I will do some research and check up on that.
wneelz42
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Post by wneelz42 »

Mystery;565849 wrote:

Your other question about looking out for an addictive personality in children is interesting, and one I've never actually considered :) So, I don't have an answer for you, as it's typically something you see at onset of drug use, but give me some time and I will do some research and check up on that.
Using My daughters Login Sorry! Sltpuppy39

Not butting in, but I have been in recovery for over 14 yrs now, this last 9 have been clean. I have been married to a man in recovery who is the father of 1 of my 3 children. The other 2 have a father who should be! My point is, Children of Addicts are just as likely if not more so to be addicts. It follows the same rule as children of abusers are more likely to be one. There is a pattern in their lives that the see and learn from. Kind of " Monkey see Monkey do". We learn by example as children and if like some of us the example is twisted then ..... You get the Idea. Again this is personal experince and what I have learned over the years doing my own research. Thanks for listening.
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SuzyB
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Post by SuzyB »

wneelz42;565967 wrote: Using My daughters Login Sorry! Sltpuppy39

Not butting in, but I have been in recovery for over 14 yrs now, this last 9 have been clean. I have been married to a man in recovery who is the father of 1 of my 3 children. The other 2 have a father who should be! My point is, Children of Addicts are just as likely if not more so to be addicts. It follows the same rule as children of abusers are more likely to be one. There is a pattern in their lives that the see and learn from. Kind of " Monkey see Monkey do". We learn by example as children and if like some of us the example is twisted then ..... You get the Idea. Again this is personal experince and what I have learned over the years doing my own research. Thanks for listening.


Honey, I thought you was only 19, sending :-4 to you
I am nobody..nobody is perfect...therefore I must be Perfect!





SLTPUPPY39
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Post by SLTPUPPY39 »

SuzyB;565971 wrote: Honey, I thought you was only 19, sending :-4 to you
Sorry didn't know she was still signed on this puter
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SuzyB
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Post by SuzyB »

Whopps just seen it's your mum, sorry mum, you've got a great kid there, but you already know that ;)
I am nobody..nobody is perfect...therefore I must be Perfect!





SLTPUPPY39
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Post by SLTPUPPY39 »

yes I do and Thank you, We had just returned from a meeting and I just jumped on puter got to get it while I can!!!!
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SuzyB
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Post by SuzyB »

SLTPUPPY39;565976 wrote: yes I do and Thank you, We had just returned from a meeting and I just jumped on puter got to get it while I can!!!!


You'll have to work out a timetable :)
I am nobody..nobody is perfect...therefore I must be Perfect!





SLTPUPPY39
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Post by SLTPUPPY39 »

OH we have one!! The kids have it all day while I work and then of course husband usually has it in afternoon, I can have it after 7:30 8:00 Pm But by then its baths and ready for work and school for mom and the youngest! Does that count as a sec>>>>????
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SuzyB
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Post by SuzyB »

SLTPUPPY39;565988 wrote: OH we have one!! The kids have it all day while I work and then of course husband usually has it in afternoon, I can have it after 7:30 8:00 Pm But by then its baths and ready for work and school for mom and the youngest! Does that count as a sec>>>>????


:wah: Maybe you could slope off to a library and borrow the puter there :sneaky:
I am nobody..nobody is perfect...therefore I must be Perfect!





ProjectCarTV
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Post by ProjectCarTV »

What person isnt a sex addict?
hoppy
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Post by hoppy »

ProjectCarTV;1304716 wrote: What person isnt a sex addict?


Dunno, but I've been called a pervert.:(

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