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View Poll Results: Do addicts share personality traits?
Yes
8
38.10%
No
10
47.62%
Don't Know
3
14.29%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

Do Addicts Share Personality Traits?

Old 02-25-2009, 06:10 PM
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Do Addicts Share Personality Traits?

A lot of people say that people who become addicted to drugs are suffering from the same character defects that other addicts suffer from. They seem to be bad traits like selfishness, impulsivisity, etc



Do you agree? I posted a poll and welcome your answers, whether you're adopting a secular approach or not!

IMO, They don't. Anyone who does drugs long enough will become addicted to them. I think sites like the one above are a product of AA thinking that emphasize the spiritual defect concept. To think that addicts were born with spiritual maladies doesn't make me question my moral nature at all (because I've already made a moral assessment of myself lol), but I know it deeply affects other people, in either a positive or negative way.

I'm not referring to people who have been diagnosed with another condition such as severe depression and anxiety, which may spur drug use more in some than others.

Last edited by shockozulu; 02-26-2009 at 04:11 PM. Reason: Removed link - it is advertising
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:58 PM
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Just based upon what I've read on SR, there are many different reasons why people become addicted...and not everyone behaves the same.

This reminds me...I never understood why "selfishness" is considered a bad thing. I guess the reason I'm confused on that one is because no one ever defines the term. "Selfishness" means something different to everyone. I'm too tired to get into it now...but one thing I do know is that I cannot help anyone unless I take care of myself first.
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:11 PM
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I have known a lot of people with alcohol and drug problems and they all have different personalities as do the people that I know that do not have alcohol or drug problems.
This is probably why different paths of recovery work for different people.
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:36 PM
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I have found that i share certain charactoristics in common with all human beings...sorta the "human condition".

sorta like what i've read about genes that we have more in common than different and even the same with us and animals.

I was taught once to look at each charactor "defect" as being the flip side of a charactor "asset"....so persistance is stubornous, and i can't think of the other examples at the moment lol

Or missapplied instincts..I like that one...it seems to make sense to me.

I just know i share more in comon with my fellow man/woman than the ways in which i differ from them. And that each of you have some things that are similar enough to me that i can learn from you things to help me in my sober life.
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Old 02-25-2009, 08:16 PM
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I vote "no". I read about a study once which suggested that addicts vary in personality traits as much as people within the general population. Addicts are not made with a cookie cutter...

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Old 02-25-2009, 10:23 PM
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I certainly don't agree with demonising addicts and alkies. I don't believe I'm any more or less selfish or immature or whatever than many of my friends or family, most of whom are normies.

I think absolutely we're all individuals....but I do think we face a common problem which lends itself to common experiences and, sometimes, some shared attitudes.

So...I don't believe with monolithic one size fits all type solutions, but...we're not totally unique either.



LOL
D
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:18 AM
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I'm with Dee on this one!
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:51 PM
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I say yes. As an alcoholic, we share many of the same behaviors and characteristics while drinking. Take away the drink, we become unique. Add the drink, we no longer remain unique, but remain much the same trapped in our addiction and the behavior it brings.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:53 PM
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Beautifully put LMM!
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:10 PM
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Personality can be defined as a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her cognitions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations.

-Wiki
I voted 'don't know' because I'm sure there are some people in addiction recovery that have similar personalities types as there are people that have little in common, personality wise, with others. Personally I think its futile to try to lump the personality's of all addicts together under one classification. I do agree that there are common 'issues' that face a great many people in addiction recovery. Like damaging ones health or having trouble with family and friends because of addiction. Those problems and many more like them can have nothing to do with a persons personality.
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:40 PM
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While drinking alcoholics lie, are selfish, self centered, are irresponsible, unreliable, obnoxious and argumentative. We say and do stupid things that we wouldn't do if sober. We can't remember what we did or said. My main objective in life was to drink, get drunk and repeat. That was my one and only goal. We slip further and further into the pit if we continue to drink and our consumption and behavior gets worse as time goes by. We try to hide our drinking and think we can fool anyone in believing everything is just fine. Have you been drinking? I would do my best to form the words "no" while barely being able to hold my head up. How many can relate to this? From what I have read, this is pretty much the same story for many of us. How is this not sharing the same personality traits? That is how I view it. We all slip into the role of alcoholic behavior and thinking while we are active in our addiction.

Remove alcohol from my life, I am none of the above. I don't have anything to lie about. I'm not selfish and become reliable and responsible. I can recall what I did and said yesterday. I walk away from an argument because I really don't care to argue and have no desire to be right or convince others to believe as I believe. That is a far cry from the person I become while drinking.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:10 PM
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It's weird....I knw alot of active alchoholics who are pretty nice people, giving caring and loving. fairly honest and hard working. Sure they can be tedeous when they are drunk....but man..hearts of gold.

Then there are the ones who are only concerned about getting what they want and are really twisted...but even they have some really good neat stuff inside that i get to see occationally.

most alchoholics don't seem any worse than other non-alchoholic human beings. Just seem like the normal mix but with an alchohol problem.

Seems like there is no real definitive personality traits for alchoholics drunk or sober that I can see...course i haven't met them all and i can't see into thier heads, lol but the ones i meet seem to have a variety of charctors an behaviors, some "good" some "bad".

I guess i pretty much like alot of the things about me even when i was drinking....and some of the things aobut me sober I don't like...in fact i have been struck lately by the fact that for me the worst things i ever did i did sober!

I guess i just feel comfortable with who i was and who i am mostly...not all though There are active alchoholics who changed my life for the better

Wow...
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:43 PM
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I just a remembered another trait that plagued me while I was drinking. I wonder why people didn't run when they saw me coming. I would whine and complain and bitch and moan about my poor life and all of the bad things that were happening. She did this, he did that, they said what? I think while drinking heavily we tend to complain and cry foul. I never one stopped to think that maybe all of the chaos was caused by my own drinking. That black cloud that plagued me and hung over my head was of my own creation. Today, I find it very difficult to listen to poor, poor, pitiful me type of behavior. Not that I don't have compassion. Heck, I did it for many, many, years, but I just want to say, you are a victim of yourself and your drinking. However, calling an alcoholic out on their behavior never goes well. That is a sure fire way of starting a huge fray. Something I try to avoid these days.
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by LosingmyMisery View Post
While drinking alcoholics lie, are selfish, self centered, are irresponsible, unreliable, obnoxious and argumentative. We say and do stupid things that we wouldn't do if sober. We can't remember what we did or said. My main objective in life was to drink, get drunk and repeat. That was my one and only goal. We slip further and further into the pit if we continue to drink and our consumption and behavior gets worse as time goes by. We try to hide our drinking and think we can fool anyone in believing everything is just fine. Have you been drinking? I would do my best to form the words "no" while barely being able to hold my head up. How many can relate to this? From what I have read, this is pretty much the same story for many of us.

How is this not sharing the same personality traits?
Although I'm not a spokesperson any one group, except for myself, I'd say what your describing are symptoms of addiction and not personality traits. I say this because it looks to me to be substance induced behavioral change. I'm an mental health patient and I've interacted with psychopaths. These are people that have been given a personality disorder diagnosis. They act like the symptoms of addiction you described when they are sober and worse when drunk. I too have become psychopathic when in active addiction. Like you said, once I've detoxed and stabilized I was restored to my ole (personality disordered) self: a door mat...in other words very passive. Unlike the friends I have in mental health, once they detox, its back to their ole obnoxious self...LOL
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:47 AM
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The addicts in my life are so much alike I can hardly tell them apart...
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ananda View Post
Seems like there is no real definitive personality traits for alchoholics drunk or sober that I can see...course i haven't met them all and i can't see into thier heads, lol but the ones i meet seem to have a variety of charctors an behaviors, some "good" some "bad".
That too has been my experience and it seems especially true about the people I have meet in the mental health clinic addiction groups.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:35 AM
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I voted no.

I did a half-arsed google search to see what the mental health community considered common addict traits:

Personality Traits of Alcoholics and Addicts

(I just grabbed the first site so I can't vouch for it being the best example).

The only things from that list that fit me are sensitive and anxiety. However, I feel that most of the lists I have found can apply to addicts or non-addicts. As humans we really are not that different from each other. We like to think we are all individuals but the truth is we are all pretty similar at the end of the day.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:43 AM
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Sara, that site doesn't represent the mental health community. That's a basic 12-Step treatment center site.
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
Sara, that site doesn't represent the mental health community. That's a basic 12-Step treatment center site.
LOL, this cold/flu is doing wonders for me.
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:08 PM
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I think addicts are more likely to share certain behaviours whilst active and in early sobriety, not personality traits.

I think we all realise that how you behave when high or when wanting to get that way, does not define who you are (although if you keep it up long enough, what is the difference).

All people share some traits with others and a desire to belong to a group can sometimes lead me to identify with others mistakenly.

So I guess my answer is yes and no, sometimes, maybe!

Unfortunately this is my answer to just about everything and it really doesn't help, lol.
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