Can Addiction Change Your Personality? Several sources will suggest that the answer is yes. An individual may have personality traits that make them more or less likely to suffer from drug or alcohol addiction issues. Any pre-existing mental health issues may be exacerbated, and any new mental health issues can grow quickly and soon become out of control.
Oftentimes, many other factors intervene with addiction which can make it difficult to pinpoint one way that it may affect someone’s personality. However, we know that it can. That is why people who are addicted may often be more emotionally unstable or snap easily. The focus of their entire existence may become fixated on finding their next dose of the addictive substance. It may feel as if they have become distant and therefore, relationship problems may occur.
Why Does Addiction Affect Your Personality?
There are multiple complexities to consider with alcohol and drug addiction. Many of which are relating to the fact that addiction changes the way in which our brain chemistry works. It interferes with numerous receptors and the anatomy, including cell-to-cell signalling. Addiction is also known to affect the brain which can create issues with learning, thinking and even our daily interests.
Instability can also be a way that addiction changes your personality. Emotional instability is the tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily which can be a symptom of addiction. People who are addicted to cocaine seem to have particular difficulty controlling emotions and impulses.
This instability can cause a shift in their personality and these behaviours can have a serious knock-on effect on every element of life.
5 Ways Addiction Changes Your Personality
There are a number of ways in which addiction may affect you. Each case should be dealt with as an individual, however, there are some telltale signs to look out for. Anyone facing addiction needs gentle and supportive measures.
A soft approach is vital, and that is why admitting to the problem, and speaking openly about it will offer you the best outcomes. These characteristics below may have a slow onset and may begin with a lack of enthusiasm. With the passage of time, there may be more instabilities that occur.
1. They justify their actions by lying
When addiction begins, you may find that you are trying to constantly hide your addiction or find ways to fund it. This will easily lead to lying to your loved ones. Furthermore, you may lie to hide from any consequences of your actions. You may lie about having a problem with the substance, and you may even try to justify it. People who are addicted to prescription medications may not fully appreciate the severity of the situation. This can be the same for all addictions, but it may be that you lie simply to get what you want and when you want it.
2. Struggles at work/home with authority figures
Authority may quickly become an issue if you realise that you have people in higher positions at work who have noticed a change in you, or if you are struggling with parental issues at home (if you are under 18). As an individual, you may consider rules or regulations imposed to be an obstacle. You may want to challenge this, and this could lead to issues at work or home. You may not be happy that someone is questioning you, which may stem from paranoia in the mind.
3. Boredom, depression and lack of motivation
Feeling apathy and not having patience is a common characteristic of addicted people. You may feel frequently bored in between using drugs or alcohol, and you may feel as if you have no motivation to do much unless you have your fix. You may constantly crave satisfying your addiction as if nothing else exists, and this can cause desperation and stress if it is not achieved. You may not tolerate activities well, and there may be less attention to accuracy.
4. Difficult or dangerous situations may arise
It may be that your addiction has caused you to hang around with the wrong crowd. If this isn’t the case, it may be that you are sourcing your substance from dangerous places. Addiction may mean an altered sense of danger. You may not fully be aware of your surroundings and you may feel that your timetable is also changing. Are you rejecting a normal way of life? Do you feel disdain for those around you that are doing well? Or do you simply not care? These addictive personality traits can be dangerous.
5. Anger, outbursts or anxiety
There may be different themes in your day-to-day life. There may be bursts of anger, emotions, or anxiety. It may make you feel impulsive, on a short fuse, or you may be constantly irritable. You may become withdrawn and feel angry at the world. You may also find that you are expressing violent tendencies that may have previously laid dormant. Violence or self-harm can be incredibly dangerous and must be dealt with.
Help if You or a Loved One is Showing Personality Changes
You can help a loved one, or yourself suffering from addiction by going to drug and alcohol rehab. Substance addiction is a disease and must be treated as such. If mental health has been severely compromised, and you are concerned about their current state, the best method of assistance is rehabilitation. It has proven treatment plans and high success rates. Helping someone overcome addiction not only helps them recover physically but mentally too. You can help their old personality return, with the assistance of a professional team.
Private rehab serves to rehabilitate anyone with addiction with detox and therapies which are undertaken in a safe and secure place. It will address underlying mental and physical issues, focusing on how to overcome them and how to divert from possible addiction relapse.