What do you do if you or someone you love undergoes a big personality change? A sudden personality change in an adult may be a warning sign of a number of problems.
If a loved one has been acting strangely or is suddenly concerning you with unusual behavior, it may be time to seek help.
When Does a Personality Change Become Concerning?
A personality change occurs when a person has a dramatic change in appearance, actions, opinions or feelings. Gradual personality change is normal, and it is even normal for a person to experience some level of significant personality change over the course of adult life, especially as the result of trauma or success.
However, personality changes that are uncontrollable, uncomfortable, detrimental, or anxiety-provoking may be a sign of a deeper problem.
What Causes a Personality Change in Adults?
- Mental illness can cause personality changes in adults. Issues like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and PTSD can certainly cause personality changes. Mental illness can be a result of a number of factors including experience, genetics or even physical injury or illness.
- Substance abuse can also change an adult personality. Drugs or alcohol can literally rewire the brain and create personality traits in yourself or a loved one that were never previously present.Drugs and alcohol can cause brain damage—either permanent or temporary. If substance abuse interacts with a mental illness or physical illness, it can make all problems become worse.
- Finally, physical illness can cause personality changes. Stroke, brain infection, infection or injury can be serious problems. It is always important to see a doctor to rule out any of these highly dangerous physical illnesses. Dementia, Alzheimer’s and even body issues like digestive disease or heart disease can all cause personality changes and require immediate attention.
Personality Changes Caused by Alcohol or Drug Use
There is no doubt that drug use can cause personality changes. Stimulants like Ritalin and cocaine can make a person manic. Depressants like alcohol, marijuana or benzodiazepines can lead to depression, apathy, and even some dementia. Opiates like heroin, morphine, codeine and opium can lead to dementia, delirium, psychosis and unusual or dangerous behavior.
Get Help for Adult Personality Changes Now
If you or someone you care about have experienced a noticeable personality change, you need to investigate what is really going on. A licensed physician or mental health counselor can help you determine the causes behind these changes.
Foundations Recovery Network offers a 24-hour, toll-free, completely confidential helpline at 844-496-9429. Call now so you and your family can learn more about personality change and helping resources that work.
David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.