Addiction? Who ME?

I worry often that I might have an addictive personality and have developed some grave addictions. I can never have too much coffee. I am unable to leave an open box of chocolates untouched and I am always making another quilt. In most situations, I over compensate because I fear there will not be enough, I constantly battle with myself to be in control and I’m undeniably compulsive.

An addiction is a physical or psychological dependence on a substance or behavior. It is the inability to stop an activity that is threatening your health, lifestyle, livelihood, or relationships.

Addictive personality traits include: compulsive behavior, lack of self-control, refusal to accept responsibility, tendency toward multiple vices, and a family history of addiction, unhappiness and insecurity.

Alan R. Lang, a psychology professor at Florida State University found several significant personality factors that can contribute to addiction:

  1. Impulsive behavior, difficulty in delaying gratification, an antisocial personality and a disposition toward sensation seeking.
  2. A high value on nonconformity combined with a weak commitment to the goals for achievement valued by the society.
  3. A sense of social alienation and a general tolerance for deviance.
  4. A sense of heightened stress.

The steps to overcome an addictive personality are to admit to the addiction, become informed about it, stage an intervention, find the underlying cause that drives the addiction, completely stop the behavior and seek professional help and/or join a support group.

Knowledge is power. Without understanding the reasons and finding a healthy way to manage them, addicts often kick a habit only to replace it with another one.

I filled out this questionnaire and watched these videos from an HBO special and I discovered that my personality is 43% addictive which means even if I feel like I have an addictive personality, I actually have my addictions mostly under check. Now that I am aware of my addictive tendencies, I can make changes that will help me be in control of my actions, make some healthier choices, and enjoy picking out the fabrics for my next quilt.