Intervention: Anything But My Own Skin

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Addiction books: Is there an Addictive Personality?

One question I get asked a lot is this: "Do you think there's an addictive personality for substances that is transferred through genetics?"  This is my answer: No.

Why would there be a part of one's DNA who's purpose is to make the human being engage in behaviors that will harm the body.  The body wants to survive, so why would it pass along a gene that leads to the destruction of the body.  If there really was an addictive personality gene, then anyone possessing that gene would be extinct by now.

Still, people are convinced there is an addictive personality.  Rightfully so.  There are definitely patterns that point to a genetic addictive personality.  However, instead of thinking of it as an addictive personality, maybe we should look at it as a personality that needs a higher level of stimulation to satisfy the chemical make up in the brain of this type of personality.  This means a person that is seen to have an addictive personality needs to be engaging in behaviors that may be risky, but come with a bigger reward.  The reward is the high and unfortunately many people with this personality trait use a passive approach to getting a high.  A passive approach defined as drugs or alcohol.  But that's not what the body wants.  The body wants a high that will improve the mind, body, and soul.  For me, that high is public speaking, publishing a book, and intense exercise.

A person with a so called addictive personality needs to take risks, achieve what they are looking to achieve, but have the end goal be something that will improve the mind, body, and soul.  If this pattern is established, then nothing else will get in the way.

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