Establishing link between type of personality and drinking habit

Establishing link between type of personality and drinking habit

Many people believe that there is no commonality between drinking behavior and the type of personality. There is a common misconception that a “degenerated” personality is generally associated with alcoholism and other vices. However, a number of studies have shown that it is other way round, proving that lack of morale, or a predisposition to laziness, promiscuity and antisocial behaviors, is a consequence of the drinking habit. Precisely, prior researches had shown that long and persistent abuse of alcohol dulls certain receptors of the brain associated with memory and intelligence.

Personality is of supreme importance in psychology. It is considered as the sum total of inherited and acquired traits that set a person apart from others. Sigmund Freud, in his famous psychoanalytic theory, defined personality as a product of three distinct and overlapping structures of the human mind – the id, ego and superego. The id is infantile and pleasure seeking, while the ego functions on the more mature level. Unlike the id, where all gratifications have to be met immediately, ego is responsible for delayed gratification. The superego, which is the last to develop, is responsible for conscience development.

Role of ‘nature and nurture’ in the development of maladaptive drinking patterns

Each individual has a unique personality, owing to his or her genetic build up and the type of environment that he or she is exposed to, since childhood. Thus, both nature and nurture play a vital role in the development of personality. A child brought up in an abusive environment will display negative personality traits as opposed to the child who has been brought up by sympathetic parents.  Similarly, children of alcohol abusing parents are more likely to engage in illegal substances in later years.

An old study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol, observed the behavior of alcoholic and non-alcoholic patients in a psychiatric facility and found that an overwhelming percentage of alcoholic patients were tested higher for personality traits like boldness, uninhibited behavior and self-confidence. They were also more likely to dislike authorities and had an antiestablishment stance. This study established that certain personality types are more predisposed to alcoholism. Though the initial study was conducted on male patients, later studies on female patients showed similar results.

Apparently, higher risk of alcoholism is found in those who display anxiety-prone behavior or in people who feel that there is no hope left for them. An inclination toward alcohol is also profound in people who show impulsive behavior or in individuals who always look for excitement and thrills.

Help is just a call away

Alcohol, regardless of the amount consumed, can be dangerous for both physical and mental health. While it was initially thought that moderate amounts of alcohol are good, recent studies have proved otherwise. Apart from withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors, headache, sweating, etc., many people get emotionally attached to drinking. As a result, people continue drinking whenever they feel mentally stressed.

Therefore, it is essential to realize when one’s drinking is going awry and seek appropriate treatment before falling into the abyss of chronic alcoholism. A strong support system comprising of empathetic community and family members, well-informed social contacts and availability of effective treatment options will eliminate the risk of alcoholism.

If you or any of your loved one is addicted to alcohol, contact the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California to know more about the alcohol addiction treatment centers in California. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online for any information about alcohol addiction treatment facilities in your vicinity. One should not delay treatment or things can get out of hand

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