Is There Such a Thing as an Addictive Personality?

Addiction is a complex health issue that is characterised by a strong, uncontrollable craving for a substance or behaviour. Some people enjoy using drugs or drinking alcohol, but do not actively seek them on a regular basis. Others may try a substance out of curiosity and get hooked almost immediately. The question is, why do some people develop an addiction to certain substances or activities while others can take part in them without being addicted?

Anyone can be affected by addiction and there’s this long-standing belief that some individuals simply have addictive tendencies. This is known as an “addictive personality” which, according to some people, is a set of behavioural/emotional patterns that increases one’s risk of addiction.

But is there really such a thing as an addictive personality? Most health experts agree that addiction is a brain disorder and not a personality disorder. To clarify this, the leading rehab in Bali will be discussing what an addictive personality is to find out if it really does exist.

The supposed traits of an addictive personality

There’s no clear definition of what encompasses an addictive personality. Rather, the term is used to describe a set of inherent traits and behaviours that some people believe puts an individual at risk of addiction.

Some of the traits linked to an addictive personality are:

  • impulsiveness
  • risk-seeking behaviour
  • dishonesty
  • lack of responsibility
  • selfishness
  • low self-esteem
  • constant irritability
  • mood swings
  • social isolation

Why is the concept of an “addictive personality” harmful?

At first glance, the idea of an addictive personality might seem reasonable for preventing addiction. If we can identify those who are at risk of addiction, it would be much easier to help them. But narrowing down the complex nature of addiction to a simple personality can prove harmful in several ways:

  • It can make people believe they aren’t at risk of addiction because they don’t exhibit any of the traits related to an “addictive personality”
  • It may convince people who have an addiction that it’s in their nature and there’s nothing they can do about it
  • It suggests that people with addiction automatically exhibit negative traits like manipulating others, lying, etc.

Why is an addictive personality a myth?

Fundamentally, the idea concept of an addictive personality is a myth and this comes from scientific research. Until now, no real evidence suggests that a set of “addictive traits”  makes a person more vulnerable to developing an addiction. The whole spectrum of human character can be found on people with addiction, despite the stereotypes that are associated with it.

In fact, only 18% of addicts have a personality disorder characterised by manipulative behaviour, lying, stealing, and being anti-social. This means that 82% of individuals with addiction do not exhibit the supposed addiction personality.

Real factors that can affect a person’s risk for addiction

Now that we know that an addictive personality is inconclusive at best, what are the actual factors that can increase a person’s risk of addiction? Health professionals have outlined several factors that can lead to addiction and these are:

  • Childhood experiences A person’s upbringing can play a role in developing addiction. Growing up with neglectful parents can increase one’s risk of substance addiction. Experiencing trauma and abuse as a child can potentially lead to substance abuse earlier in life.
  • Biological factors – Genetics accounts for at least 40-60% of someone’s risk of developing addiction. Age can also play a part as teens are at a much higher risk of drug misuse due to peer pressure and curiosity.
  • Environmental factors Another factor in developing addiction is the person’s environment. If they regularly interact with colleagues, friends, or family members that are addicted to drugs, their risk for addicton increases. Another environmental factor is early exposure to illicit substances. Having access to drugs within the neighbourhood, school, or workplace can increase the risk of addiction development.
  • Mental health concerns – Mental health issues like depression or anxiety are linked to addiction and can increase one’s risk of developing the disease. Bipolar disorder or other personality disorders characterised by impulsivity can also contribute to addiction development.

What to do if you are dealing with addiction

While the burdens of addiction can lead to traits that are often associated with an addictive personality, there is not a single personality type that contributes to the disease. Understanding that addiction is a health issue and not a personality issue is very important to let people know that help is available. They don’t have to just accept it as part of their “DNA”.

If you or your loved one is suffering from addiction, do not lose hope. With a team of professional psychologists, medical staff, and counsellors, Calm Rehab provides the support and healing you need to recover from addiction. Our goal is to help you make lasting life changes and pursue a healthier future by taking your recovery one step at a time. For more information about our services, feel free to contact us today and we’ll be happy to hear from you.

Individual Therapy & Group Therapy: What You Need to Know

When it comes to approaching a sustainable recovery, individual therapy and group therapy are two of the most important components that come to mind. While most people may think that these two therapies are at odds with each other, they actually complement one another in many ways than one. It helps to have a better understanding of how these modalities work in order to form an effective treatment plan. This article will discuss what individual therapy and group therapy is all about.

What is individual therapy?

As the name suggests, individual therapy is about a client working with a licensed mental health professional on a one-on-one basis. This private session allows the client to openly discuss their thoughts, emotions, and feelings to gain a better sense of identity and self-knowledge. The therapist creates the entire frame of the therapy from where the sessions will be conducted, how the client’s progress will be measured, and which approach best fit the client’s needs.

Usually, individual therapy is conducted in a therapist’s office, but this can be conducted in almost any outdoor setting provided that privacy can be reasonably maintained. A typical therapy session consists of both the client and the therapist working together and setting goals for the client to commit to. Such goals may include staying sober for the next three days or participating in a new recovery activity.

With modern therapeutic methods, the therapist focuses more on motivational interviewing instead of the traditional confrontational approach to encourage clients to make lasting life changes. Some recovery programs use contingency management to motivate clients and reward their commitment with either tokens or incentives.

There are plenty of benefits to individual therapy and it has enormous potential to positively affect a client’s life. Some of the major advantages of individual therapy are:

  • Learn to establish safe, trustworthy relationships
  • Identify bad habits and work on replacing them with healthy ones
  • Develop accountability for one’s own actions
  • Communicate feelings more openly
  • Improve one’s self-awareness

What is group therapy?

Compared to individual therapy, group therapy gives multiple people the opportunity to learn healthy coping methods, enhance their communication skills, and draw strength from their peers all in one session. For people who’ve succumbed to the grips of addiction, they’ve witnessed their interpersonal relationships become ravaged because of it. With group therapy, individuals can learn from each other’s experiences and use them to maintain strong, healthy relationships in the future.

A licensed mental health professional leads the group therapy session where everyone is encouraged to participate. Like with individual therapy, group therapy follows a detailed program constructed by the therapist with goals and progress in mind. Clients can open up and discuss things related to their struggles, successes, and setbacks. Of course, the therapeutic approach to group therapy is slightly different and the therapist must have specialised training to ensure the sessions are safe, dynamic, and collaborative in nature.

Group therapy sessions reinforce a very important message and that is regardless of the outcome of the treatment, the client is not alone when facing difficulties with recovery. Group therapy is entirely different from mutual or self-help support groups since the latter is often led by community members instead of trained professionals. The wealth of input can help group members better understand their life decisions and become more self-aware of their situations from a different perspective.

The benefits of group therapy come from our innate ability to relate to others. It’s the feelings of connection and understanding that empower each group member to make lasting life changes as they continue on with their recovery. Some of the benefits of group therapy are:

  • Develop better relationship skills
  • Build trust in other people
  • Improve communication skills
  • Be more open to other thoughts and perspectives
  • Learn to set healthy boundaries in relationships
  • How to listen and respond courteously

Which therapy is best for you?

No single treatment modality can cure the disease of addiction. Often times, it’s a combination of multiple therapies in order to improve one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state. This means that individual therapy and group therapy are not mutually exclusive. Instead, they form a yin-and-yang-type bond to give clients the best chance of recovery. If we’re talking about weighing the benefits of both modalities, it all comes down to these factors that are specific to you:

  • Your personal preference
  • Your needs and requirements
  • Which therapy you feel most comfortable with
  • The amount of support you receive
  • Desire for accountability

Individual therapy sets the stage for in-depth self-reflection while group therapy is more towards establishing a meaningful connection. In addition to both therapies, advanced treatment programs incorporate other modalities such as medication therapy, exercise therapy, expressive therapy, and nutritional therapy to help maximise their benefits.

You don’t have to choose a single therapy for your recovery. You’ll find that as you go through various modalities, you’ll gain a better understanding of yourself, the people around you, and your own addiction. This, in turn, will boost your chances of success and get you one step closer to achieving sobriety for the long haul. Individual and group therapy are equally effective and when combined together, can amplify their effects and help people make lasting life changes.

Helping a Friend Who’s Struggling With Drug Addiction

If you know a friend or family member who’s struggling with drug addiction, you may be wondering how you can reach out. The decision to help someone you care for isn’t as easy as it seems, but it is definitely possible. With a bit of support and dedication, your friend will have a greater chance of overcoming their addiction than if they were to face their battles alone. While each situation is unique, there are a few guidelines that will help you approach this task with more confidence. As always, if you need any additional information or advice, then get in touch with us at Calm Rehab the leading drug and alcohol rehab center in Bali.

Here is how you can help a friend with an addiction problem and encourage them to seek professional help.

Signs that a friend is addicted to drugs

There are many clues that point towards addiction, whether it be behavioural or physical. Here are some of the most common signs an individual is addicted to drugs:

  • Sudden mood swings or changes in behaviour
  • Isolating one’s self from friends and family
  • Lack of personal hygiene and grooming
  • Loss of interest in favourite activities or hobbies
  • Neglecting responsibilities (i.e. work, family, children, etc.)
  • Bloodshot eyes or small pupils
  • Tremors, shaking, and slurred speech
  • Unstable coordination when walking
  • Shocking weight loss or weight gain

Aside from these changes, the following items could also indicate an addiction:

  • Syringes and empty bottles
  • Small, resealable packets that could be used for drug storage
  • Pipes and burnt foil
  • Accumulation of medical prescription

Ways you can help your friend

While it can feel intimidating to confront a friend about their drug use, do not be afraid to help them out. As their friend, it’s good that you have their best interests at heart. Even though they may have hurt you with their past actions, it probably wasn’t their intention to do so. Remember that addiction can make even the best people make poor decisions. That said, here are a couple of ways you can help your friend start their journey to recovery.

  1. Understand that your friend may not see their drug use as a problem

While your friend may not see their addiction as an issue, that doesn’t mean you should leave it as is. Be honest with your friend and talk to them about how their drug use is affecting their life. Addiction is a serious problem and oftentimes individuals will try to justify their bad habits. When this happens, do not get frustrated and move on to the next step.

  1. Voice your concerns in a respectful manner

When you raise your concerns to your friend, they are more likely to hear you out. They may not be worried about their health or occupation, but they may care enough when they discover that a close friend or loved one is suffering because of their actions. It’s always wise to approach your friend respectfully so they can feel your concerns are genuine and true to the heart.

  1. Let them know you’re there for them

Addicted individuals will want to steer clear from friends and family members to conceal their drug use. But despite them pushing themselves away, let your friend know that you’re there for them. It may take some time before they turn things around, but once they start rallying behind your support, it can make a huge difference on their journey towards recovery.

  1. Do not resort to emotional appeals

No matter what happens, do not try to guilt-trip them into realizing their addiction problem. Criticizing, threatening, or using emotional appeals won’t do your friend any good and they’ll only push themselves even further. A more focused approach is required and this requires patience and understanding on your part.

  1. Encourage addiction treatment

As your friend exhibits signs of trust, you can start opening up about addiction treatment. Talk about the benefits of being sober and how undergoing a treatment program can help turn their life around. Provide them with assurance and show your commitment to helping them get over their addiction. This will help boost their confidence in entering addiction treatment and hopefully, make lasting life changes afterwards.

What if your friend isn’t responding to your help

Unfortunately, even the best of efforts sometimes aren’t rewarded. If you gave it your all and your friend still isn’t responding, then you may want to go with intervention. Intervention is a carefully planned process wherein a licensed drug counsellor confronts your friend about their drug use. Friends and family members take part in planning the intervention to create a detailed structure with goals, guidelines, and proposed treatment methods in mind.

It can be easy to get caught up in helping your friend and neglect yourself in the process. While it’s great that you have great intentions for others, don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. You can only do so much before you get burned out. Make sure you’re getting enough rest and avoid skipping meals.

Handling Depression After Rehab

Mental illnesses like depression are often diagnosed alongside addictions, and for many people, it can be difficult to manage, especially after undergoing rehabilitation. Asking which one came first may not seem relevant because both depression and addiction are diseases that require long-term treatment.

Patients without co-occurring depression can develop depressed feelings in the weeks following their completion of addiction treatment. It can increase their risk of relapse which is why it’s important to have a plan in place so that people who find themselves in this situation know what to do. Handling depression after rehab may feel daunting, but it is definitely not impossible. Here’s how to do so from one of the leading rehabs in Bali.

What happens to your brain when you stop self-medication

When you undergo detox, you are specifically removing the maladaptive self-medication on which you came to depend on. It can feel overwhelming at times and you may find it difficult at first after your rehab. Furthermore, the longer you self-medicated with alcohol or other drugs, the harder it is for your brain’s reward system to start functioning normally again.

It is no surprise that the time immediately following completion of rehab that patients develop depressing moods. In some cases, those feelings can develop into full-blown clinical depression. The good news is that there are safer and more effective treatments for depression today than we’ve previously known.

How depression affects addiction recovery

Having depression whilst recovering can impact a patient’s life in many ways. The person might feel too tired or unmotivated to provide proper self-care or they may find it difficult going to 12-step meetings or fulfilling their daily responsibilities in general.

In these instances, the person is at a greater risk of relapse, so it is important to recognise what is going on and to take responsibility for putting their recovery back on track. There are many practical steps to circumvent this and those steps involve:

1. Using your support network early on in your recovery

Your support network, including your 12-step sponsor (if you have one), is there to help you get past this vulnerable stage in your life so so reach out to them as much as you can. As hard it may be to pick yourself up and go to a meeting, it should be in your best interest to do so. At the very least, attending an online meeting can do wonders for your recovery if you can’t physically attend one.

If you have been prescribed medication, take it exactly as prescribed. Try not to isolate yourself as much as possible and also avoid known triggers. Finally, practice self-care to the best of your abilities starting with your diet. Eat healthy foods on a regular basis and get enough rest, preferably 8 hours a day. Take care of basic hygiene and remind yourself that you’re fighting the good fight. Sticking to healthy routines every day can make a massive difference in your recovery and will allow you to minimise your risk of relapse.

2. Be open to medical treatment for depression

If you are a couple of weeks out from your rehab the depressive symptoms aren’t getting any better, it’s best to have a talk with your specialist regarding treatment options for depression. Treatment for clinical depression is far better than it was before, and you can rest assured by the fact that many of the medications used for depression are safe, effective, and non-addictive.

Do note that medications for depression may take a couple of weeks before it takes effect, so don’t feel like you have “failed” if your meds don’t seem to work after only a few days. However, if they do not seem to be effective after more than a month, then it’s definitely worth bringing to your physician’s attention. 

Depression treatment can be quite complex in that a medication that works great for one patient may not work at all for another, and vice versa. Sometimes it takes a while to get the right medication at the right dosage so do not lose hope and have patience in your recovery.

It is no surprise that depression in addiction recovery is common. In many cases, it goes away on its own as the brain regains its ability to function normally. However, there are a few instances where depression does not resolve on its own. If this happens, it’s worth discussing things with your addiction specialist regarding depression treatment. Remember that depression is not a character flaw or lack of willpower, but is a distinct medical condition that can be successfully addressed.

If you have made it through treatment to long-term addiction recovery, you are strong and have done something not everyone can do. Do not allow depression to undo all your hard work because depression can be treated successfully. If you have questions about addiction recovery, we encourage you to contact us today.