Addiction is simply a repetitive bad habit. Bad habits tend to be repetitive because they release dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that makes us want to engage in certain activities more and more. It achieves that by giving us pleasure when we indulge in a bad habit.
Dopamine is critical for survival and reproduction. When our ancestors engaged in a survival-enhancing activity, their brains needed a mechanism that told them:
“Ah! This is good! Remember it and be highly motivated to repeat it.”
This reward mechanism gets hijacked when a person becomes addicted to something.
Rewards can come in numerous forms, from drugs to winning money in gambling.
The main feature of addictive behavior is its repetitiveness. Addicts soon develop tolerance, i.e., they need to indulge in their addiction more and more to get the same reward.
The psychological mechanism called habituation is also at play here. When you engage in a pleasurable activity for the first time, it makes you feel good. However, the marginal pleasure of every subsequent indulgence lowers.
Getting addicted is a feature of the human mind. Anyone can get addicted, but some people are prone to getting addicted due to environmental and genetic reasons.
For instance, impulsive people tend to struggle more with managing their addictions.
Addiction = Genetic predisposition + stress + access to addictive substances/activities
Addiction can be thought of as a coping mechanism for stress. Addictive personalities are likely to engage in their addictions to cope with stress. It’s a way of balancing out negative emotions with positive ones.
Taking the addictive personality test
This test consists of 10 items on a 5-point scale ranging from Strongly agree to Strongly disagree. It’s not meant to be a formal diagnosis of Addictive Personality Disorder. There’s no such thing (yet).
Your results are only displayed to you; we don’t store them in our database.