Sept. 11, 2023 – Traits of So-Called Addictive Personality Even though addictive personality isn’t a formal diagnosis—and there are no set symptoms or signs—several traits are typically associated with it. These include:

Impulsivity: Studies have found that people with behavioral addictions and substance use disorders score high in impulsivity. This is a tendency to act without thinking ahead and an inability to limit or suppress your thoughts or behaviors.  

Lower conscientiousness: Like the flip side to impulsivity, conscientiousness is the ability to control your behavior and be cautious. This trait is diminished in those with substance use disorder or behavioral addictions.

Lower agreeableness: This trait is a person’s ability to put the needs of others before their own. Though the evidence can vary based on the type of addiction, researchers have found connections between lower agreeableness and substance abuse and alcohol use disorders.

Lower extraversion: Extraversion is excitability, sociability, assertiveness, and the ability to talk to others and express emotions. Some researchers have found connections between lower ratings of this trait and those who have substance use disorders.

Neuroticism: Clinically, neuroticism is a tendency to experience negative mood states (affects), such as anger, anxiety, self-consciousness, crankiness, emotional volatility, and depression.6

Openness to experience: Another trait that’s been associated with certain addictions is openness to experience, which is characterized as a willingness to try new things, explore, and seek out new experiences and sensations.    


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