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How to Change an Addictive Personality

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While everyone is prone to developing an addiction, some are more prone than others because they have what is referred to as an addictive personality. People with this type of personality are more susceptible to developing an addiction to drugs and alcohol, as well as gambling, pornography, sex, food, exercise, and anything else to which someone can become addicted.

Achieving lasting recovery from an addiction involves more than just detox. A crucial part of healing is realizing how your way of thinking affects your life, and then working hard to change it. This process involves addressing specific addictions as well as the roots of your addictive personality and how they have shaped your life.

How to Change an Addictive Personality

An addictive personality can convince someone that following its lead offers a multitude of choices. But, according to Dr. Lee Jampolsky, these choices tend to be some form of what you want to achieve, acquire, accomplish, or seek approval for. Thus, an addictive personality only offers choices for how to further deceive yourself.

Here are some tips to change your addictive personality:

  • Understand your needs. Addictions are a way of ‘filling the void.’ They allow you to escape from reality and run from your problems, which unfortunately does nothing to solve them. Figure out what your true needs are and find other, positive ways to satisfy them.
  • Recognize and avoid your triggers. Knowing what makes you want to use a substance or engage in an activity will help you decide which places and situations are best avoided.
  • Change your expectations. Having realistic expectations is an important aspect of both long-term recovery from an addiction and changing the way you think. Healing takes time, and relapses are likely to happen along the way. Similarly, changing your personality isn’t going to happen over night, nor is it going to happen without any setbacks. Allowing yourself to make mistakes will help you acknowledge them so that you can successfully move past them.
  • Learn to forgive—both others and yourself. Forgiveness helps you and the people in your life accept whatever has happened in the past so that you are all able to move forward.
  • Be honest—again, with others and yourself. Honesty can help you come to terms with your thoughts and actions, as well as neglected emotions. Lying to others, lying to yourself, coming up with excuses, and ignoring the truth will likely keep you stuck within a cycle that is extremely difficult to get out of.

Source: DailyOM, Living Inside Hope