Personality Disorders & Addiction
11/29/18: Addiction \ Alcohol Addiction \ Drug Addiction
How does addiction happen? Many people would say curiosity or peer pressure, but there are many other factors that go into the triggering of substance abuse in people. Many people forget to include family or upbringing in the factors of how someone can become addicted to substances. Two of the biggest factors for why someone can become addicted to substances are mental health and personality disorders.
Too often, people will hide their mental health problems from those who can help them. When this happens, they may seek out substances to help them cope with their mental illness. This is how addiction can develop in those with poor mental health.
Good mental health is essential if someone wants to live a productive and stable life. When someone has poor mental health, they can develop personality disorders that may make them have contrary thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and interactions. This can have a severely negative impact on their life, and substance abuse can make it far worse. There are different types of personality disorders, but before we talk about them, we need to define what a personality disorder is.
What Is a Personality Disorder?
A person’s personality is influenced by their experiences, surroundings, and characteristics. Personality can be simply defined as “... the way of thinking, feeling and behaving that makes a person different from other people.” A personality disorder happens when the way of thinking, feeling and behaving deviates from the expectations of the culture, causes distress or problems functioning, and lasts over time. This kind of disorder can change the way a person perceives themselves and people around them and it can severely impair your ability to function normally in life.
Personality disorders can make it difficult to cope with emotions like stress and anger and may encourage someone to seek out drugs and alcohol to achieve relief. It hinders your ability to endure the routine pressure and makes you unable to handle the everyday tasks. Someone with this type of disorder may start to blame others for their problems and not realize their disorder may cause some of their issues in life.
Personality disorders can also make it difficult to maintain relationships because your mood can flip like a switch. Mood swings are a big issue with people that have personality disorders and it can make it can put a strain on their relationships. Friends, family, and loved ones may not be able to handle the constant mood swings, which may cause relationships to fall apart. When these relationships fall apart, the person with a personality disorder could fall back into substance abuse to cope.
Different Types of Personality Disorders
Now that we have defined what a personality disorder is, we can discuss different types of personality disorders. There are 10 different types of personality disorders that can all coexist with addiction, they are as follows:
- Antisocial personality disorder: Someone with this disorder disregards or violates the rights of others. Doesn’t conform to social norms, may repeatedly try and deceive others.
- Avoidant personality disorder: Someone with this disorder may have extreme shyness, feelings of inadequacy, and sensitivity to criticism.
- Borderline personality disorder: Someone with this disorder typically has unstable relationships, intense emotions, low confidence in themselves, and can be impulsive.
- Dependent personality disorder: Someone with this disorder will exhibit clinginess, extreme dependency, and submissiveness on others.
- Histrionic personality disorder: Someone with this disorder may exhibit a lot of emotions openly and want to be the center of attention.
- Narcissistic personality disorder: Someone with this disorder has a strong need for admiration from others but has a strong lack of empathy for them.
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: Someone with this disorder is typically preoccupied with perfection, control, and order.
- Paranoid personality disorder: Someone with this disorder is, simply put, suspicious and paranoid of other people they may or may not know.
- Schizoid personality disorder: Someone with this disorder shows very little emotion and can be extremely detached from others.
- Schizotypal personality disorder: Someone with this disorder is typically very uncomfortable with close relationships, has some distorted thinking, and abnormal behaviors.
Personality Disorder with Substance Abuse & Your Life
Personality disorders can warp a person’s view of life, wellbeing, and relationships. Combine this with substance abuse, and a person’s view of life can truly become warped.
It’s important to seek out professional help if you have some mental health issues. If you start to have an addiction while having a personality disorder, living a healthy life can become extremely difficult. Emotions may become out of control, relationships may crumble, and your well-being may become in danger. People that have a personality disorder have very little control over what they do and feel. This can cause addiction to happen quite easily. When addiction is combined with one of these personality disorders, it can be difficult for someone to maintain healthy relationships, hold down jobs, and cope with their emotions. This can be very troubling, especially when these things lead to addiction, depression, or even suicidal thoughts.
Personality disorders are not easy to treat, but it is best to seek professional help and not hide it in the shadows. The longer you hide something in the dark, the scarier it gets. When you wait to get help, you can develop an addiction. These two things are not easy to fight against, but they can be treated. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction and/or personality disorders, seek out a professional today and get the help you need.
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