Calling BS on the Excuse: “I Have an Addictive Personality”

But, I have an addictive personality…


Sorry, if that seems harsh.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this line as an excuse as to why someone is addicted to something. When discussing addiction with a friend recently, he told me “I have an addictive personality, I can’t quit because it’s just how I am”. The BS flag goes up every time I hear that line – because in short, saying you have an addictive personality is nothing more than an easy way of tricking yourself into thinking you’re helpless.

The object of the addiction matters not – saying “I have an addictive personality” seems to be a one-size-fits-all excuse. Heck, I used to use this line myself – I used it so much that I really began to believe it. It was alot easier to think there was something wrong with me that I couldn’t control, than to admit that I let something overpower me. In actuality, if I tried hard enough and wanted it bad enough, I could quit. But, I didn’t want to; and any excuse that would keep people from arguing the facts with me was a good excuse.

If you’re looking for some scientific proof, you won’t find it. Research from the University of Texas Addiction Science Research and Education Center states that scientists have not been able to locate this elusive personality.

An addictive personality is presumably something that can be seen in young people that helps predict whether they will become “addicted” later in life.  Scientists have not been able to find such a personality.  Another definition of “addictive personality” is that people who are “addicted” tend to be “addicted” to everything.  This is also not true, based upon the presumed neurochemical causes of dependence.

The truth is, we ALL have “addictive personalities” — every last one of us. If you’re human, you can become addicted to things if you allow yourself to. Video games, porn, meth, exercise, eating, etc., etc., etc…Whether the addiction is bad or “good”, anything in excess can become a bad habit, which can become “an addiction”.

We’ve all got freedom of choice and the ability to decide whether or not we will take another hit. It’s not your personality that dictates which road you will take; it’s your will. And more, it’s your willpower that will help you break free of the excuses that keep you chained in the endless downward spiral that is addiction.

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