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Personality of the alcoholic: Factors to identify

Psychology specialists distinguish different theories that share the main characteristics of the personality of an alcohol-dependent person.

Theory of Personality Structure

From the theory of personality structure, it is difficult to establish an Alcoholic Personality pattern, although it is true that the habits of the Alcoholism produce the establishment of customs that take root as traits, given that The alcoholic builds his life around the substance.

This theory refers to the habits of the alcoholic and how alcohol intake influences their behavior, more specifically behavioral disinhibition.

The Alcoholic Personality appears when the disease has established itself. About half of alcoholic people do not have previous personality problems.

However, there are certain Personality disorders extremely vulnerable to substance use, led by Borderline Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder, which together with the presence of alcohol addiction they make up what is called dual pathology.

Since the essential characteristic of Borderline Personality Disorder is instability, increases vulnerability to the consumption of psychoactive substances, in general.

A marked impulsiveness typical of this personality significantly hinders tolerance to Frustration, favors the appearance of short-circuit reactions, and limits a complete and adjusted vision of reality, which causes the consumption of substances to find a pathological sensation of control.

Psychodynamic Theories

Psychodynamic Theories postulate hypotheses related to the immediate satisfaction of impulses, the intolerance to aversive internal states, the rapid search for pleasure and the radical escape from painwhich ensure that the person finds immediate gratification in drinking alcohol.

Socio-environmental Theory

The Socioenvironmental perspective understands the use of alcohol as a facilitator of interpersonal relationships from behavioral disinhibition, that is, favors the perception of warmth in the bonding sensation.

Family Theory

Family Theory postulates that Alcoholic parents “project” their Alcoholism onto their children through identification or imitation. Dysfunctional or unstructured families, in which an extremely rigid, inflexible, normative climate predominates, can cause a type of “suffocation situation” in which alcohol acts as a disinhibitor of that tension and rigidity.

Systemic Theory

Finally, from the Systemic Theory, the pathological intake of alcohol is understood not as a Disorder related to the substance, but rather understood as its action in a complex system such as the person’s psyche, that is, that alcohol solves, even if in a pathological way, some problem that generates distress that exceeds the person’s adaptive coping resources.