Did You Inherit an Addictive Personality?

An addictive personality brings with it numerous risks and troubles. A person suffering from addictive impulses might find him/herself engaging all sorts of destructive behavior. Most assume addictive personalities go hand-in-hand with drug and alcohol abuse or compulsive gambling, but excessive shopping and overindulgence in hobbies also reflect issues with addictive behavior.

Addressing an addictive personality can prove difficult. Often, environmental factors play a role in developing an addiction. Someone who grew up in an environment where people used drugs or gambled heavily might develop the same addictive behaviors. While environment does factor in addictive behaviors, so does genetic predisposition.

Humans can inherit addictive impulses through their genes. Genetic factors contributing to addictive behaviors adds complexities to addressing the problem. With the right approach, a person may be able to overcome his/her struggles with addiction. The following five steps could prove helpful to those seeking the path of recovery.

1.) Recognize the Problem is a Full-Blown Addiction

Self-denial remains a trait among many suffering from addictions. A person suffering from substance abuse or another addiction doesn’t accept the reality of his/her condition. An unfortunate consequence emerges here. The individual’s self-denial leads him/her to avoid seeking help. Whether addiction’s roots are environmental or genetic, overcoming the problem usually requires seeking professional assistance. Accepting the existence of a severe condition serves as a vital step towards seeking out help.

2.) Seek Out a Therapist Who Understands Genetic Predispositions

Working with a professional addiction counselor could greatly help someone towards a life free of addictions. Choosing the right therapist — one who specializes in the patient’s specific addiction — makes sense. Anyone with concerns over genetic roots of addiction probably would benefit from contacting a professional with experience in dealing with inherited traits.

3.) Procure DNA Ancestry and Heritage Information

Any information a patient can provide to a counselor might prove valuable during the sessions. Speaking candidly and openly with the counselor benefits the process. The therapist might find additional information equally helpful. Providing the results of a DNA heritage test could further enhance the sessions. Since genetics may factor into addictive behavior, an in-depth exploration of ancestry might prove enlightening.

4.) Explore the Option of Group Therapy

Group therapy serves as a way many people suffering from addictions try to deal with their problems. A therapist could assist a patient in finding an appropriate therapy group. Perhaps the option existed to meet with a group in which members may share experiences about family and genetic-related addictions. Reading about the relationship between genetics and addiction probably won’t be enough. Talking to others of similar backgrounds could be a better next step.

5.) Avoid Overlooking Contributing Environmental Factors

A therapist may conclude addictive behaviors and impulses were inherited. Regardless of this conclusion, patients won’t experience much improvement in a condition if they don’t deal with environmental factors. Remaining in contact with people who share the same addictive behaviors commonly undermines sobriety. People aren’t the only risk factors. A compulsive spender might wish to avoid shopping malls. Ultimately, avoiding people and situations facilitating addictions supports a path to recovery.