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Addictive Personality Disorder: How to know if you have Addictive Personality Disorder

Updated on June 13, 2015

Watching Television Can Be an Addiction

watching excessive television can be a sign of addiction
watching excessive television can be a sign of addiction | Source

Breaking Love Addiction

Love can be very addictive and might not be real love but infatuation. Image of a love capsule
Love can be very addictive and might not be real love but infatuation. Image of a love capsule | Source

Many people especially entertainment personalities are known to have addictive personality disorders that have negative impact on their health and wellbeing. This form of addiction could be dangerous especially when done in excess and is brazenly repetitive despite the unwholesome consequences of the act.

A common form of addictive personality disorder could be linked to sexual gratification, a false sense of being loved, different forms of dependency, inner turmoil and self loathing. These emotions can bring about hypertension a feeling of stress, sudden bouts of tiredness and sometimes anger.

The addiction which is usually psychological might revolve along emotional ties, substance abuse, an intense craving, and a feeling for something or someone. Addictive personalities have common behavioral habits like narcissism and having an impulsive character and a need for immediate sexual gratification.

So the addiction to a certain substance or behavior is addictive personality disorder, it’s a common ailment that affect millions of people worldwide despite their geographical location and lifestyle.

Gambling Can Cause Addictive Habits

some addictions can cause great financial loss ilke the addiction to gambling
some addictions can cause great financial loss ilke the addiction to gambling | Source

Types of addictive personality disorders

There are different types of addictive disorders some of which are an addiction to sweet things like chocolate, addiction to sex or sexual imagery and films. Other kinds of addiction are substance abuse, health and fitness practices, television watching, addiction to cigarettes, addiction to food and exercise.

All this addictions have different effect on the individual which could be health related, physical, physiological, or emotional. Some top celebrates suffer from addictive personality syndrome hence the constant change in partners without breathers in-between each failed marriage or relationships.

Addictive personality syndrome has a lot to do with the lifestyle, character and personality of the individual making the condition important to diagnose and treat.

Symptoms of Obsession

Types of obsession
Emotions displayed by an obsessive character
instant gratification
impulsive character
driven character
difficulty in stopping

A runner

A running stick man cartoon character, exercise can be addictive
A running stick man cartoon character, exercise can be addictive | Source

Types of addiction

1 Addiction to sex

2 Addiction to sleeping pills

3 Addiction to watching television

4 Addiction to hard drugs

5 Addiction to supplements

6 Addiction to false love

7 Addiction to sexual imagery, films

8 Addiction to exercise

9 Addiction to food

10 Addiction to sweet things like ice cream and chocolate.

Narcissistic personality disorder

How to know someone having an addictive personality

People that suffer from addictive personality are normal people like you and I but with an intense desire for something which might negatively affect their lives. The intense craving might cause physical damage, emotional turmoil, sadness and a solitary behavior.

The unifying behavior between all this forms of addiction is the urgent need for gratification despite the negative outcome. Mood swings are common place with sufferers of addictive personality disorder because the behavior causes the person to have low self esteem.

The total lack of control of the unwholesome behavior cause emotional and psychological problems to the individual. Impulsive habits like smoking cigarettes despite the many dangers associated to this habit are just one of the many difficulties sufferers of addictive personality disorder endure.

An interesting case study was a twenty five year old addicted to baby food, the individual eat only baby food for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past twenty years. Another woman was addiction to cheese and potatoes which were the only meal shed eaten for several years.

A person suffering form addictive personality might have serious relationship issues making commitment a difficult prospect. They usually mistake sex and relationship for love and can easily switch from one relationship to another without any remorse.

Because they constantly feed the addiction they suffer from chronic depression, desperation, self loathing, lack confidence, have anxiety issues and lots of suppressed anger.

What causes on to develop an addictive personality?

One of the recognized causes of addictive personality is the unusually high prevalence of dopamine. Other remote causes can be traced to genetic pointers, lack of self control, a person having an impulsive character and experimentation.

Brain function and psychological issues like sadness, depression and unbridled desire might contribute to developing the disorder. Substance dependence can be a derivative of developing addictive personality disorder.

Signs of addiction

Some signs of addiction include bloodshot eyes, bloating, swelling, dizziness ill health
Some signs of addiction include bloodshot eyes, bloating, swelling, dizziness ill health | Source

Signs of addiction

The signs of addiction include some of the following

1 unusual anger and Frustration

2 excessive spending that could lead to financial problems

3 obsessive character

4 severe psychological issues

5 abnormal time spent on feeding the addiction

6 addictive personality and character traits

7 difficulty in stopping an unwholesome habit

8 an increased need for sexual gratification

Signs of addiction

Some signs of addiction include excessive spending on the same substance or item or an abnormal amount of time spent on the behavior. It becomes an obsession despite negative effect on the addicted person both health wise, financially and psychologically.

The habit might lead to antisocial behavior, violence, theft, unbridled anger and remorse, a good example is an addiction to gambling. Sufferers of addictive personality disorder understand that the addiction is a great problem but without intervention they have little will to quite the dangerous habit.

Substance users like heroin addicts know the severity of their problems but find it difficult stopping the habit. Other addictive substances that could ruin an addicts life is addiction to tobacco and alcohol.

Borderline Personality Disorder

Common traits of individuals suffering from addictive personality disorder

Although the type of addiction differs with sufferers of this condition there are common traits such as immediate gratification, cannot maintain a stable relationship, and a strong impulse towards the behavior. They usually have a narcissistic character; associate both feelings of intensity with intimacy as one and the same.

An Impulsive character. An addictive person has an impulsive character that acts on the moment without thought of self; they are impatient and become a risk to themselves.

Unstable relationship. Some addictive personality sufferers have unstable relationships because they cannot differential between lost, affection and love.

Obsessive character. They have obsessive characters and are usually fixated on the habit

Instant gratification. They need instant gratification either from substance abuse or otherwise.

Treatment of the condition

Treatment might include a gradual change in focus like removing the substance or cause of the addiction, medical and psychological intervention. Professional help is important to help break the addiction and live a normal fruitful life.

Addictive personality disorder can be treated and depends on the inner strength and character of the individual involved in this habit.


Addictive personality disorder is a treatable ailment that if left could lead to depression, anger, health related problems and even death by substance abuse. Addicts are aware of their problems but might not have the will to overcome them themselves

Many people suffer from this disorder which could be because of genetic reasons, self inflicted or excessive dopamine in the system and it takes special intervention to beat the habit.


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    • tony55 profile image

      femi 3 years ago from Nigeria

      In my case I am addicted to the internet, movies and other stuff, but I am working on it.

      Thanks Kathleen for your comment

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image

      Kathleen Odenthal 3 years ago from Bridgewater

      Great article and one that will benefit many. I have a very addictive personality, and have spent most of my life in psychiatry offices, treatment centers, etc., but I have never heard of APD. Thanks for writing this great piece.