The belief that there was one addictive personality is a myth, as researchers have found that a variety of factors can influence the causes of addiction. Author Maia Szalavitz states that there are no “universal qualities” of all individuals with addiction. There are, however, ways to determine if a child may be an elevated risk for addiction later down the road. Szalavitz mentions that children who stand out in a variety of ways, such as being antisocial and callous or overly moralistic and sensitive, may be of concern. Impulsivity, boldness, sad, anxious, inhibited, and fearful are all extreme personality traits that may indicate a child is susceptible to addiction. Furthermore, Business Insider claims that genes and personality traits such as high neuroticism and low conscientiousness may trigger warning signs for addiction in the future.

Temma Ehrenfeld, writer and editor with work published for The New York Times, Scientific American MIND, Fortune, and more, argues that the belief that all people with an addiction are selfish, neurotic, and dishonest is a lie. She went on to explain for Psychology Today that addiction changes people, and that may be where the confusion lies. Individuals who are typically generous and thoughtful may engage in selfish behaviors because of their addiction, not because that’s who they are.

ABC News claims that genes play a key role in the prediction of addiction; Dr. Mohamed stated in an interview with them that genes account for 50% of a person’s risk for addiction. In addition, children seeing close friends, and family influencers such as parents with an addiction may be heavily influenced to pick up addiction later in life. Scientific American notes that besides genetics, the environment does impact our behavior. Not only do our actual experiences factor in but our reactions to those experiences as well as others’ reactions to our experiences play a crucial role as well. Undeniably, an issue with self-regulation is where most of addiction stems from.

If you have an addiction and are ready to take back control over your life, call us today at 888-316-3665. New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several California mental health and addiction recovery treatment centers. We are state-licensed and provide home-like centers for you to focus solely on your recovery. We believe in holistic, integrative treatment, meaning that we will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for a consultation.


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