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Addictive Personality Disorder

Old 09-27-2010, 07:16 PM
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Addictive Personality Disorder

I was talking to a former addiction therapist today and he told me about APD.
I didn't even realize it was classified as a disorder, but it sure explains A LOT!


Addictive Personality Disorder

Addictive personality disorder is difficult to diagnose, as addicts live in secrecy. Here are a few addictive personality disorder symptoms to help you know the condition

An addictive personality is a trait, or set of traits, that develops in response to habit-forming drugs/alcohol or compulsive behavior (gambling, overeating/undereating, sex)." Sadly, there isn't much medical or scientific data to support the theories propounded on addictive personalities. Thus, the fundamentals of addictive personality disorder are ambiguous to a large extent. Usually, an addictive personality is diagnosed, after the addiction to an external factor, completely takes over the person. Fortunately, there are many ways in which persons with addictive personality disorder can be treated to get back to their normal state of living. However, before you go out looking for a treatment, let's see what are some of the addictive personality disorder symptoms.

Addictive Personality Disorder Symptoms

Antisocial Personality

A person, likely to be diagnosed with an addictive personality disorder, will be antisocial in nature. They will try to withdraw themselves completely from their social circles, families, relatives and friends. The reason why addictive personalities withdraw, is because they can be in their 'shells', where the questions of morality and ethics will not be raised. Persons who take to drugs, will stay in their rooms for hours or even days. Avoiding people is a great way of fostering addictions to drugs, alcohol, sex or other self destructive addictions.

Substitution of Vices
Addicts function like parasites. They will suck on to one thing, till it totally satisfies them (or kills them), and the moment it becomes unavailable, they desperately seek for other options to derive similar satisfaction. These negative hedonists, keep switching from one addiction to the other, under the garb of, 'I am trying to get over it'. For instance, a druggist may switch to alcohol consumption in unhealthy amounts, as he/she tries to get over the previous addiction.

Instant Gratification
A person suffering from addictive personality disorder, craves and lives for instant gratification. An addict believes in the mantra 'its now, or never'. This is why, a person suffering from addictive personality disorder, will never have long term goals. The mindset of instant gratification, comes from substance abuse. Since, drugs or any other psychotropic substance delivers instant gratification, they believe, everything else should also act in the same way.

Anxiety and Depression
A little delay in gratification, and the person with addictive personality disorder, will show severe bouts of mood swings, which may turn into violence too. The addict may become extremely defensive or irritable, with family members. They may go into long lasting pangs of anxiety and depression, making things worse not only for them, but also for those around them. An addict may show aggression towards therapies of anxiety cures or an effort to get him/her sober.

Secrecy
The need to hide addiction is evident. Clandestine behavior showed by addictive personalities, is out of fear and shame. Since, addicts are perpetually out of control, they massively fear being caught. Moreover, if they are caught doing something illegal, it definitely brings shame to the family. Understanding of these two factors, motivates them to keep their acts of addictions under complete secrecy.

There are many addictive personality disorder tests, with which a person showing such symptoms can be diagnosed of his/her flaw. Psychotherapy, admitting in rehabilitation centers, relapse prevention therapy and early treatment are some of the ways in such addictive personality disorder can be treated.

Addiction recovery has to start as early as possible. The deeper the addiction gets rooted, the more difficult it gets of the addict to recover. The first step of addictive personality disorder treatment, is not selective deletion, but to accept them as persons at dis-ease, and treat them with care and compassion.

Common Traits

Antisocial behavior is one of the visible traits of people suffering from addictive personality disorder. They often turn down the invitations from their close friends and relatives, to parties and other social events, in order to alienate themselves from anybody who knows them in the society. The main reason behind such behavior is that they are fearful of being caught.

The feeling of isolation often haunts people facing the problem of addiction. To substitute the lack of personal relationships, they turn towards drugs, smoking, alcohol consumption, or the like, thinking that such harmful substances are "quick-fix" solutions for their life's problems.

People suffering from APD find it difficult to manage their stress levels. In fact, lack of stress tolerance is a telltale sign of the disorder. They find it difficult to face stressful situations and fight hard to get out of such conditions.

Addictive personalities have difficulty in planning and achieving long-term goals, because their focus remains on the short term targets only.
Such personalities switch to other enjoyable activities, the moment they are deprived of enjoyment in their previous addiction.

Addictive individuals feel highly insecure, when it comes to relationships. They may often find it difficult to make commitments in relationships or trust their beloved. They constantly seek approval of others. As a result, misunderstandings might creep in, which in turn, would ruin their relationships.

People suffering from addictive personality disorder usually undergo depression and anxiety. They manage emotions by developing addiction to drugs, alcohol or other pleasurable activities.

Treating Addictive Personality Disorder

Counseling is the best remedy for Addictive Personality Disorder. Send the person suffering from APD to a rehabilitation center. Through meetings at the center, the addictive personality would be able to recover from the disorder easily and effectively.
Psychotherapy is another way to treat addictive personality disorder. The therapy is aimed at addressing the emotional underpinning of the individual, because majority of the addictions stem from the personís inability to handle stressful situations, anger and other strong emotions.
Early treatment is essential for curing APD. In case you recognize any of the aforementioned symptoms in an individual, get him/her treated as soon as possible.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:16 PM
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Lots of good info here, Ms. Peach.
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:28 AM
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I think my AW may have some of this, though she is not antisocial. (Some would say that I'm the antisocial one.) However, she does exhibit some of the other behaviors. Maybe these "isms" overlap somewhat?

AW has been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which probably explains most of her behavior. She shows some tendency toward hoarding, and the instant gratification thing describes her to a T.

Anyway, thanks for posting this; I'm always looking for information to help me make sense of this frustrating situation.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:14 AM
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My ex was not antisocial either, but I suspected he has some ocd, since I'm pretty sure he was playing on line poker and speaking with other women obsessively. It was his night time stress reliever instead of drinking. Like it says, he just switched his vice.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:38 AM
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It kinda depends on the "social" doesn't it? My ex A loved going to the pub with other drinkers, but around family and friends and not in those "drinking" situations he would feel uncomfortable and would rather stay home alone.

I remember many Christmas at my parents being ruined because I was so caught up in how he was feeling, how he was going to drink, how he was going to hide it, what time he wanted to go home. I could never just relax and enjoy myself.

Once I detached I started spending Christmas at my parents with my daughter and asked
A to go home to his parents so that I could actually enjoy the day.

It's also one of the reasons I became a little anti-social. Whenever my friends would visit he would be on edge, anxious, hiding his drinking. It was embarrassing so I stopped asking my friends over or answering the door if they called.

I can relate to most points, especially the instant gratification and the transference of addictions. When he stopped drinking alcohol, he suddenly became obsessed with tea (so much so we would go through 16 pints of milk a week), obsessed also with computer games, then photography and then "shopping". Or rather he would have his mother shop for him. Once he got something into his head that he "needed" he would need to have it "right now". So he would work on his mother or me, plant the seed, hint...basically manipulate the arse of his Mum until he got what he wanted. Then within a week he would need something else NOW. Never satisfied...always wanting. Drove me nuts.

God, makes me tense just thinking about it!!!
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:05 PM
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Peach, my daughter was diagnosed with this earlier this year, only they called it "Dependant Personality Disorder". I don't know where she got this.... :p
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:43 AM
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AW's obsessions are mostly about health issues. She obsesses about getting cancer, but has no fear of the damage alcohol is doing to her liver. She also tends to hoard, or, more precisely, "stock up" on certain things. She used to be really bad about buying toiletries that we didn't need. As a result, we now have several hundred bottles of shampoo, body wash, etc. stashed in various places in the house.

I finally got her to stop that expensive habit, but since then her drinking has gotten worse. Maybe the compulsive shopping was a coping mechanism? Who knows?
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:11 AM
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TeM: I "hoard" In that way, but for me it's about saving money. I will buy a lot of some things if it's on sale.
Shopping does fill a void. My shopping was a little over board, but in the last month, I have not shopped ONCE. Nothing but food shopping 3 times.
I'm now focused on healing and not running away (thank God).
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by TeM View Post
AW's obsessions are mostly about health issues. She obsesses about getting cancer, but has no fear of the damage alcohol is doing to her liver. She also tends to hoard, or, more precisely, "stock up" on certain things. She used to be really bad about buying toiletries that we didn't need. As a result, we now have several hundred bottles of shampoo, body wash, etc. stashed in various places in the house.

I finally got her to stop that expensive habit, but since then her drinking has gotten worse. Maybe the compulsive shopping was a coping mechanism? Who knows?
My mom was married to a raging drunk when I was 12 to 18 or so years old.

I remember their bathroom linen closet filled with neatly ordered bottles of shampoo, conditioner, mouth wash, tooth paste, bar soap, rubbing alcohol, shave cream, after shave, toilet paper, etc.. A dozen or so of each, it literally looked like an in store display of toiletries. Weird.

In retrospect he was one sick puppy.

Thanks and God bless us all,
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