Are You Addicted to Drama?

When I first began my recovery, I met a lot of people who had simply switched from one addiction to another. Giving up drugs and alcohol often led them to begin smoking cigarettes or eating excessively. Since I was aware of this early on, I thought I didn’t have anything to worry about. I was wrong.
For many recovering addicts, an addiction to drama happens instead. I couldn’t understand why all of these stressful events were going on in my life. All I wanted to do was recover in peace, and it seemed that nothing or nobody would allow that to happen. It wasn’t until someone in AA pointed it out to me did I realize that all of these life or death situations really weren’t that serious after all. It was my inability to cope with everyday stress that triggered the drama.
I learned that while I was drinking, the pleasure centers of my brain were heavily influenced. This is how my addiction began, chasing that high. As I became more dependent on alcohol, a pattern of habit was created in my brain. Seeking drama stimulates the production of dopamine, which generates the rush I felt. Without realizing it, I was still seeking that rush and became addicted to drama.
Attention-Seeking Behavior
Are you addicted to drama? Take a look at the list below, and see if any of the examples ring any bells:

  • Bragging
  • Bullying
  • Abuse of authority
  • Excessively rescuing others from their problems
  • Making yourself the center of everything
  • Manipulating others to create problems
  • Pretending to have illnesses or diseases (Munchausen Syndrome)
  • Hurting others to get attention, usually your child (Munchausen by Proxy)
  • Going online to chat rooms and pretending to have devastating health problems (Munchausen by Internet)
  • Making false confessions
  • Becoming a martyr
  • Lying to people about others
  • Falsely claiming to be a victim of abuse
  • Manipulating others to attack you
  • Dominating conversations
  • Wearing bright, sexy, or weird clothing to attract attention

Why Does this Happen?
There are a number of reasons why people in recovery exhibit these attention-seeking behaviors:
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  • Low self-esteem
  • Loneliness
  • A need to feel valuable
  • Didn’t develop healthy coping systems in childhood
  • Jealousy
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder ( an inflated sense of superiority and self-importance)

Seeking Attention with an Addictive Personality
While not every addict will exhibit or develop everything on this list, someone addicted to drama will have some of them. I did.

  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling alienated from others
  • Approval of deviant behavior
  • Impulsiveness
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Insecurity
  • Need for instant gratification
  • Rebellious and non-conforming
  • Belief that you are dealing with a high amount of stress

How to Overcome It
Addiction to drama is an ineffective coping mechanism, at best, and, at worst, it can lead to serious consequences. Here are some strategies you can use to change it:

  • Do not let others determine your self-esteem.
  • Every small success deserves recognition. It will help you bolster your self-esteem that may be fragile at the moment.
  • Develop emotional sobriety. This means to accept yourself for the wonderful person you are so you can stop seeking attention.
  • Step outside yourself and do something for others.
  • Address the problem in therapy.

Remember, even after you embrace sobriety, you can still be affected by an addictive personality. This is why it is so important to overcome these types of character flaws. The first step is to simply recognize what behaviors trigger your addiction to drama. Since the changes won’t happen overnight, but over time, be patient with yourself. You will be glad you did.
Oceanfront Recovery is located in Southern California in beautiful and sunny Laguna Beach. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please contact one of our professional and compassionate team at 877-279-1777 to begin the journey of recovery today.