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Subject: Addictive Personality rss

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http://www.nytimes.com/1983/01/18/science/the-addictive-pers...
Quote:

Academy of Sciences concludes that there is no single set of psychological characteristics that embrace all addictions. But the study does see common elements from addiction to addiction.

The report finds that there are several ''significant personality factors'' that can contribute to addiction:

- Impulsive behavior, difficulty in delaying gratification, an antisocial personality and a disposition toward sensation seeking.

- A high value on nonconformity combined with a weak commitment to the goals for achievement valued by the society.

- A sense of social alienation and a general tolerance for deviance.

- A sense of heightened stress. This may help explain why adolescence and other stressful transition periods are often associated with the most severe drug and alcohol problems.

Quote:

Since most people do not become addicts, what is known about the ''non-addict'' profile? Dr. Robert B. Millman, director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Service at the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic at the New York Hospital describes the best candidates for this group as ''those people who have strong families, often with religious backgrounds and who have good social relations.'' Experts say that the youth who has positive relations with his peers and with adults is less likely to fall prey to drug addiction than the antiauthoritarian loner who is achieving below his potential.

Although no one can say with certainty which kind of family is most likely to produce an addict, many mental health experts have strong views on the subject. For instance, Leon Wurmser, a psychiatry professor and former director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, notes that the potentially addictive child may well have been physically abused by parents, who are often themselves dependent on drugs or alcohol. He notes that the child has often been lied to, shamed and humiliated by parents who act in a highly inconsistent manner.

''The mother may support something that the father strongly disapproves, or a parent may tell the child one thing today and the opposite tomorrow,'' he says.

This legacy of brutality ''leaves the child in a helpless rage,'' Dr. Wurmser says. He does not view authority, which has been represented by the parents, as something which should be respected, but as capriciously cruel. The child can feel completely out of control and is racked by feelings of violence toward those around him. For him, the use of narcotics can be a way of trying to suppress the highly aggressive feelings that have resulted from his early trauma.

I believe I have an addictive personality, in that I really like to do most anything that is exciting/thrilling as well as potentially damaging.

I really enjoy:
-alcohol
-nicotine
-gambling
-thrill seeking including fast/reckless driving and fighting
-overeating
-and more!

Fortunately, I have enough will power to force myself to minimize these activities in my life.

Based on what I've read, I probably have a moderately addictive personality and there are definitely people who either have stronger compulsions or less will power than I have.

I usually don't have to go completely without these things in order to keep from doing them to excess.

Alcohol is prohibited for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan so that takes care of itself while I'm here. I don't really miss it except about once a week I'll have a strong urge to drink and then it passes within a few minutes once I get distracted by something else. When I'm at home, I either drink or choose not to drink every day. I don't just go a day without alcohol by accident. This one is the hardest for me because most of my social group likes to drink just as much as I do.

If cigarettes wouldn't kill me and weren't stigmatized I'd smoke them. I really enjoy them. I'm able to limit my tobacco intake to a few cigars a month. Like with alcohol, I have to proactively not smoke. None of my friends smoke and none of them want to smoke.

I allow myself to go to the casino with $50 or $100 maybe a few times a year on average. Often, when I drive by a casino I want to gamble and when I gamble I want to up the stakes. If I lose my $50 I want to go get $500 out of the ATM, but I don't allow myself to do so. Most of my friends aren't this way. They are too risk averse to gamble much, and it makes them sick to lose.

Reckless driving and fighting are things I just don't allow myself to do anymore. I used to do them a lot when I was younger (early 20s) and I really enjoyed the adrenaline rush. Fortunately I never seriously injured myself or anyone else. These are obviously stupid activities but you can't convince a lot of younger testosterone-driven males of that.

I have never touched an illegal drug and I've never taken a prescription narcotic. I was prescribed a bottle of Vicodin (sp?) last year and I tossed it out without trying one. I try to avoid introducing anything new that I might have an urge to abuse.

Do any of you feel like you have an addictive personality? Are you able to control it? What are your primary vices?

What about OCD?

Are you addicted to board games? Can that be an unhealthy obsession?

I would assume that the primary addictions for "board game geeks" would be over-spending (on games) and obsessing about playing and playing games to the detriment of their social life and relationships outside of gaming.

What about addiction to the internet or specifically this site?

Please feel free to share your own experiences.
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David desJardins
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jarredscott78 wrote:
Do any of you feel like you have an addictive personality?


I think every human being has a tendency to addiction.

Certainly every RSP poster has an addiction. How else would you explain these hours wasted?
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DaviddesJ wrote:
jarredscott78 wrote:
Do any of you feel like you have an addictive personality?


I think every human being has a tendency to addiction.

Certainly every RSP poster has an addiction. How else would you explain these hours wasted?

For David and the like:

Do you feel like you are more prone to addictive behavior than is the average person?
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Wray Cason
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I think I have an addictive personality. I remember my dad mentioning his addictive personality when I was quite young. I recognized what he was talking about when I was captivated with flipping coins in the back of the school bus. The compulsion I felt to try just one more time to get my money back scared me. As a young adult, I relearned the same thing when I was stationed in Japan where slot machines are more common than video game machines on base. I was sickened by the feeling of lack of self control. I never got in much trouble but I sensed that I easily could if I didn't stop immediately. I had a similar experience with pornography. The greatest addiction of my life has been video games. From the age of 12 to my early 30's, I lived to play. It seriously retarded my progress in many ways. I didn't appreciate that until much after the fact however. While I fought the gambling and porn, the video games were easily justifiable. It was my nascent interest in computers that led to a lucrative career after all. In the last 5 years or so, it gradually became clear to me how destructive my compulsive gaming was. Hours could easily slip away without me noticing. My wife and kids wanted my attention and routinely wouldn't get it. When I realized that last bit, it made me cry. I couldn't believe that I could be so insensitive. I also saw others in similar situations lose their families. That was a huge change motivator.

My general policy that has served me very well is "if I don't try it, I won't miss it". I regret that I didn't see all my problems coming so that I could employ my excellent policy better. On the other hand, it was my experience with gambling, porn and video games that hardened my resolve to avoid other problems long before they were even potential problems.
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Brother!!!!

Well, except maybe for the fact that I do smoke and have partook of the occasional bowl of flavored herbs.

Too old to fight.

Too smart to get drunk any more.

Raced bikes for 7 years and was cured in a wheel chair.

Gambled as a pro for 12 months and won, then got bored.

Eat like a horse just to keep my weight at 155.

Hair loss apparently increases testosterone output so I figure when you're my age you'll discover a new addiction... barely legal hotties!

MTG was addictive and so are RPG's. I view those addictions as weak and unmanly, but that's just my opinion. Board games? Not so much. Collecting them perhaps, but then if you want to call collecting an addiction then I think you're stretching it too far.

I'm mildly addicted to RSP but I think mainly because David desJardin has replaced my desire to punch someone in the nose with a desire to watch someone defend the indefensible.

I enjoy the company of people who, like me, tend to focus in on specific activities and then wring every ounce of goodness from them. That's how I view the addictions you list... except for the Pussy-Boy addictions to MTG and RPG's. The people who "go for it", whether it's gambling, racing or slamming many tequilas down are much more interesting and fun than the person who never seems to get jacked up and throw caution to the wind.

My view on what the article calls 'addictive personality' is that the writer, and those like him, are the single-bandwidth humans who feel anything not modulated down to a low hum, personality-wise, needs a diagnosis and cure. Fuck 'em. They're exactly the people who are so bored with themselves they must try and address and perhaps "cure" humans who know how to kick ass, have a great time and do things that cause hearts to race and adrenaline to squirt from your ears.

I wouldn't trade it for anything... not money, not "security", not a respectable job... nada. This supposed "non-addictive" state is the equivalent of walking through life dead and waiting till your end days so you can see how far your 401K stretches.

I intend to die broke, with a smile, and the after-life memory of some mighty good times!


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David desJardins
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jarredscott78 wrote:
Do you feel like you are more prone to addictive behavior than is the average person?


I doubt it.

I observe addictive behavior in everyone.

It's hard to measure how much is "average", but I have no particular reason to believe I have more or less tendency to addiction, so I assume I'm about typical until proven otherwise.
 
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DWTripp wrote:
I'm mildly addicted to RSP but I think mainly because David desJardin has replaced my desire to punch someone in the nose with a desire to watch someone defend the indefensible.


Wow. You owe me something for that favor.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
I'm mildly addicted to RSP but I think mainly because David desJardin has replaced my desire to punch someone in the nose with a desire to watch someone defend the indefensible.


Wow. You owe me something for that favor.


There... a thumb for you.
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Overall I'd say no, though I do have some mild addictions:
-doing futile things on a computer, like pressing F5 on RSP every couple minutes or so and a host various useless stuff. But, that's mostly when I have nothing else to do, so I'd say it doesn't impact the rest of my life very much. Ok, I could certainly do something more useful out of that time but eh...
-I tend to overeat too from time to time but that's very mild compared to people who really overeat.

I can control overeating pretty easily, I just say to myself "stop that" and that's it. Getting rid of my (mostly) computer geekiness is something else whistle

Other than that, I don't smoke, I drink once every 6 months or so, if I make the effort I could probably count how many times I smoked pot in my life, same for fights, and my car can't go above 150km/h anyway.

Gambling must be a nasty thing that can go downhill fast, you're lucky you can control it
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I forgot about video games. That's probably one of the bigger problems with the "geek" crowd. I don't play them much.

I dabbled in MtG in the 10th grade but it only lasted a few months. I was too averse to being part of "that crowd" and so I quit and sold my cards for a profit.

I have never played a RPG and I have always looked down my nose at D&Ders despite my love for board games.

I absolutely LOVE drinking. I can't think of a single activity that isn't more fun when I'm buzzed. However, I never drink alone or drink for depression. In a social situation I always want to drink. I'm completely unwilling to be a designated driver. I'd rather pay for the taxi for everyone.

That's going to be the one I continue to wrestle with more than the rest.
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Shit! Video games... I forgot about them. Mainly because they don't feature largely in my life. My X-Box is now just a DVD player for the small TV in the bedroom.

Video game addiction is worse than RPG's and easily as bad as alcohol for sheer life ruinage.

And porn. I've often wondered about that... how people get so wrapped up in it. I mean really... how many times can a guy jerk off in a day before, you know, he damages his dick?
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chiddler wrote:

Quote:


The report finds that there are several ''significant personality factors'' that can contribute to addiction:

- Impulsive behavior, difficulty in delaying gratification, an antisocial personality and a disposition toward sensation seeking.

- A high value on nonconformity combined with a weak commitment to the goals for achievement valued by the society.

- A sense of social alienation and a general tolerance for deviance.

- A sense of heightened stress.


Apart from a slightly elevated stress level, I don't fit this profile at all, but i've got an addictive personality. Sounds like bullcrap to me

Those didn't fit for me either. They could be true if they're referring to extreme cases and you and I aren't extreme cases.
 
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Lessee here... I'd put myself in the "moderate" category, but trending less:

- video games. I've got a few I play religiously until about midnight, but then I actually have a job I like going to in the morning, so an hour or two of extremely pathetic WWII tanks, rangers-n-snipers action has been progressively more and more limited over the years. Like some, I recognize the potential for abuse and steer clear of some things. Definitely not as full-blown pathetic as those who have 3 consoles in the house and have friend codes, extended networks, and all sorts of controllers (I've got a buddy who has a PS3 with Fallout 3 and Wip3outHD drool drool drooooooooooool), but I can't be considered to be a fully-functioning member of society either.

- booze. Like Jarred, beer, wine and booze are just essential lubricants for many activities. At times I've used it as a coping mechanism -- many times, we've been through extremely rough patches with our son, and I've been known to knock back a couple G&Ts after he's in bed because... damn. I haven't gotten drunk in years and years, although DW's challenge of slamming back tequilas sounds appealing for some reason. Ah, demon booze. Drinking, especially amongst the collection of bitter assholes that are RSP's bread and butter, should be... interesting. Too bad BGG.CON is only a distant dream until the day I'm independently wealthy enough to afford the money, time, and more importantly marital points it would take to go.

- collecting board games. Collection's slowly inching toward the bicentennial mark, but at least it's slowed down considerably. Of course I say that -- that's the addict's justification of "I can stop anytime I want to".

Aside from MJ brownies once every five or six years on a New Year's Eve -- I do recommend the sexytime while under the influence, and consider this your "news you can use" segment from yours truly -- I don't touch anything stronger as I have no real desire to, although alcohol is plenty dangerous drug enough.

- unhealthy food, particularly desserts, and even more particularly if I make them myself. I'm a BBQ "addict", and am currently maybe 7 or 8 lbs overweight. Time to enter another long-distance race so the cycle can begin anew...


Edit: MtG and RPGs, despite playing D&D for a couple years in 8th-9th grade, I steered well clear of mainly because of the crowd that played them.

At least I recognize, though, that I've built my glass house very painstakingly, over a great many years, of Alea and Avalon Hill titles.
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I would probably have somewhat of an addictive personality, with a hint of OCD in terms of liking to have "complete collections".

Video Games: I am usually lagging behind the newest technology, whether that is video game systems, phones, i-whatevers, etc. It is hard for me to justify the price for something that I have been able to get by without up until that point. I have had an XBox 360 for about a year and half and play it maybe once a week for 30 minutes to an hour (probably better estimate is probably once every two weeks).

Magic the Gathering: Played since unlimited/revised. I have 4 power nine cards and may pursue getting the rest so i can have the aforementioned complete collection. I started playing Type I (now called vintage) and that is about all I still play -- and only with a couple of friends at that. Every year or two, I go through the recently released sets and see what cards I think would be good in that environment and maybe pick them up, maybe not. I haven't bought Magic cards in about 3 years.

Board Games: Perhaps I am addicted. Hard to argue you aren't if you are part of this site. I like to play them and play about once a week with a regular group. I am careful about purchasing them and only buy games that are well researched. Then, I am usually in whole hog, and will buy every expansion made for the game, unless it is a terrible game (read: TOMB. I doubt I will get that expansion).

Booze: I really enjoy the taste of beer, wine, and liquor. I have an exceedingly high tolerance (most of it genetic) and rarely do I get hangovers, so there isn't much of a downside to drinking. My senior year of college, I flirted pretty seriously with alcohol dependence -- drinking a case if I drank beer or a fifth if I drank liquor without much problem. It didn't have an effect on my grades or my performance, so there wasn't much reason to not do it; however, when I went to grad school, I just quit -- I figured the stakes were too high to tempt the fates and be washed-up at 22. If I don't drink, then no big deal. I don't crave it and I don't really think about it.

Work: I can say that I can be fairly addicted to work. I don't like to quit working on a problem until it is solved. Whether that be writing a journal article, working on the house, etc. I like to be in the "getting shit done" business and I usually try to give my best performance in the process.

All in all, I probably could stand to work a little less, take some more vacations, and drink some more booze (but not too much).
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jarredscott78 wrote:
chiddler wrote:

Quote:


The report finds that there are several ''significant personality factors'' that can contribute to addiction:

- Impulsive behavior, difficulty in delaying gratification, an antisocial personality and a disposition toward sensation seeking.

- A high value on nonconformity combined with a weak commitment to the goals for achievement valued by the society.

- A sense of social alienation and a general tolerance for deviance.

- A sense of heightened stress.


Apart from a slightly elevated stress level, I don't fit this profile at all, but i've got an addictive personality. Sounds like bullcrap to me

Those didn't fit for me either. They could be true if they're referring to extreme cases and you and I aren't extreme cases.


Jarred is not actually an addict yet from his self description. I assume you are in the same boat Mark.

Thus perhaps lack of these other characteristics is part of why you both are not addicts even though you have addictive personality tendencies. Or perhaps these listed traits manifest once a person succumbs to addiction so they are part of the consequences rather than the cause.
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David desJardins
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SpaceGhost wrote:
I flirted pretty seriously with alcohol dependence -- drinking a case if I drank beer or a fifth if I drank liquor without much problem. It didn't have an effect on my grades or my performance, so there wasn't much reason to not do it


Unless you want to have a liver that lasts past your 50th birthday?

My uncle just died this year from prolonged alcohol abuse.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
SpaceGhost wrote:
I flirted pretty seriously with alcohol dependence -- drinking a case if I drank beer or a fifth if I drank liquor without much problem. It didn't have an effect on my grades or my performance, so there wasn't much reason to not do it


Unless you want to have a liver that lasts past your 50th birthday?

My uncle just died this year from prolonged alcohol abuse.


True -- and to be fair, I only did this for about 9 months or so, with the majority of it being in the last 4. Long-term, it is a bad idea.

My grandfather died from alcohol abuse and my dad died, when I was 2, from an alcohol related vehicle accident (he was under the influence). So for the most part, I tend to avoid it -- there was just a year in college where it was the perfect storm of circumstances that caused me to drink more than I would consider wise or healthy.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
jarredscott78 wrote:
Do any of you feel like you have an addictive personality?


I think every human being has a tendency to addiction.


I disagree, I know many people with almost no tendencies for addictions of any kind.

There are things they enjoy but nothing they are seriously deeply vested in other than specific people that they cannot give up for long periods of time when life gets busy with almost no effort or regrets.
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Meerkat wrote:
I disagree, I know many people with almost no tendencies for addictions of any kind. There are things they enjoy but nothing they are seriously deeply vested in other than specific people that they cannot give up for long periods of time when life gets busy with almost no effort or regrets.


You understand people much better than I do, so you might be right.

But I also think the inability to give something up isn't really a key element of addiction. I know the medical establishment thinks differently; it's hardly the only aspect of human psychology that I disagree with them about.
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I don't have an addictive personality, but I've been known to enjoy hookers and blow on occasion.
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MWChapel wrote:
I don't have an addictive personality, but I've been known to enjoy hookers and blow on occasion.


OK, what do knitting and glassmaking have to do with this?
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Meerkat wrote:
I disagree, I know many people with almost no tendencies for addictions of any kind. There are things they enjoy but nothing they are seriously deeply vested in other than specific people that they cannot give up for long periods of time when life gets busy with almost no effort or regrets.


You understand people much better than I do, so you might be right.

But I also think the inability to give something up isn't really a key element of addiction. I know the medical establishment thinks differently; it's hardly the only aspect of human psychology that I disagree with them about.


Ok now you have me totally intrigued. What do you consider to be key elements of addiction? You may have some ideas/insights I haven't considered yet.

FYI I also disagree with many aspects/assertions of the general medical establishment at times as well. But I do presume their ideas and assertions to be valid generally until I have data that inspires reasonable doubts.
 
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Meerkat wrote:
Ok now you have me totally intrigued. What do you consider to be key elements of addiction? You may have some ideas/insights I haven't considered yet.


I would say obsessive or compulsive behavior based on psychological dependence. I don't think it has to be harmful nor that it matters whether "I could stop if I wanted to". I think the medical establishment introduces those criteria into the concept of addiction because they want to pathologize the condition (as they do so many aspects of normal human behavior) rather than view addiction as simply an aspect of the human condition that can sometimes be harmful but is not inherently so.
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DaviddesJ wrote:

But I also think the inability to give something up isn't really a key element of addiction. I know the medical establishment thinks differently; it's hardly the only aspect of human psychology that I disagree with them about.


Instead of inability to give something up, I'd instead talk about suffering some withdrawal symptoms, which is close, but not quite. For example, my father was addicted to cigarettes, and managed to quit cold turkey. That doesn't mean I'd not consider him addicted, just that his willpower was superior to his addiction.

I would put myself very far down in the addictive personalities scale.

I don't have any compulsion to feel better through chemistry.

I get no enjoyment from gambling, even when the odds are clearly in my favor.

One more turn and 'one more level' don't have any power over me. Just increasing a set of stats, or a chance of getting an Ultra Unique Item(TM) doesn't motivate me. I do play a lot of videogames by most people's standards, but I do so by constantly switching games, trying to find something interesting: You might as well call someone that likes visiting museums and sightseeing an addict.I've gone months at a time without a game in sight, and didn't really care, as long as there was some other form of entertainment.

I played Magic for a few years, but I never felt an urge to buy or open one more pack: Most of my playing was in sealed deck and highly regulated constructed formats. I never paid over $10 for a card.

Most of my boardgames are bought by the wife. I tell her to buy less games, not the other way around. I am not a completionist. I won't lose any sleep for not owning the latest and greatest.

I like food alright, but I don't binge on it. I went down to my breeding weight without any actual dieting.

I've been told that I am a spirited safe driver. I know the limits of my little roadster, but that doesn't mean I have to drive at the limit. But when I need it, the extra power and handling is there. It's saved me from an accident a few times.

I guess I don't have enough attachment to anything to feel withdrawal. Maybe I should become Buddhist.
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hibikir wrote:
You might as well call someone that likes visiting museums and sightseeing an addict.


Yes. I would.
 
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