Being addicted to drama is not healthy, but I think you know that already. This drastic attention-seeking behavior comes from emotional desperation.

Here is something you might not know: being addicted to drama is not necessarily a character flaw. Instead, many times it comes from some form of childhood trauma, such as neglect. The brain tends to rewire itself according to what is or is not happening in your environment.

Hence, drama produces an increase in endorphins, acting as a drug. So, you can see how drama can be addicting.

Signs someone is addicted to drama

You can tell when someone is addicted to drama as well. In fact, there are several ways to pinpoint this response, reaction, and urge to pursue more attention, be it negative or positive. And I bet we all know someone who is a source of drama, right?

Let’s take a look at a few indicators that someone is addicted to drama or constantly seeks attention:

1. Exaggerated language

When drama addicts are telling you about something that happened, they will exaggerate. For instance, instead of saying that someone made them mad, they might say,

“I was driven to a furious frenzy by the time they finished attacking me!”

Also, they might use loads of hand gestures and gesticulation to prove an “over-blown” point. Facial expressions are usually exaggerated as well, with wide eyes and huge smiles. I’ll be honest, their storytelling can be a little intimidating.

2. Holds grudges

Someone who is addicted to drama will hold a grudge over something quite small. The extent of their pettiness is outrageous.

Instead of understanding that everyone makes mistakes or says the wrong things occasionally, they’d rather stay angry. Their egos are so fragile that even the smallest slight can drive them to ignore you for days, weeks, and even months on end. This is a huge sign of who you’re really dealing with.

3. Drags up the past frequently

I have a friend who complains about things that happened 15 years ago, and she acts like these events happened just yesterday. The most important aspect of these things, to her, is that I hurt her feelings. And trust me, I’ve apologized probably over a dozen times or more for the things I’ve done.

You see, drama “queens” thrive off rehashing past hurts. And I think it’s because they cannot find anything to be upset about right now. Or, they also may bring up the past when you confront them about something they’ve done to you. I guess you can say that those who are addicted to drama are also perpetual victims.

4. They instigate things

Do you have that one friend who always seems to just “accidentally” start a fight between two other people? Yeah, that would be the instigator. In truth, they know exactly what they’re doing when they start fights.

Arguments and discontent are drama, and these things entertain the instigator. They sit back, after causing chaos, and watch the world burn, so to speak. You can tell they’re addicted by the smile on their face when others aren’t happy.

5. Urgency is normal for them

Even when there is no reason to hurry, overly dramatic people create a deadline for themselves. In other words, if they aren’t working hard and fast, it all feels wrong. Sometimes, they are the ones who constantly procrastinate, pushing themselves into small spaces of time just to feel the thrill of impending doom.

It’s all so dramatic when they barely complete a project, meet a deadline, or arrive just in time for a social event. This also places the spotlight on them as well.

6. They must have control

when people get on your nerves

Losing any little bit of control is devastating for the drama addict. Things that generally wouldn’t be a big deal are monumental for them. If most people make a wrong turn on a road, it’s fine. All they have to do is turn around and go back.

But for the one who thrives off drama, missing a turn means the world is against them. They’ve lost the control to always get things right. Hey, you and I know that we’ll never get everything right, right? The obsession with always being in control is just a sign of someone who is addicted to drama.

7. Things go only one way

Have you ever known a friend or family member who acts as though they have an audience, even when they don’t actually perform? Well, there are those who love having a “one-way” conversation.

This means that as long as they like what you’re saying, it’s fine. But as soon as you disagree with them, you’re out! This is another sign of someone who is addicted to drama.

They love the drama of being loved sacrificially and the drama of booting you out of their lives when you don’t sacrifice your dignity to them.

Drama addiction is damaging

Yes, being addicted to drama is damaging, but unfortunately, some of the damage is already done, and this is why there are drama addicts.

Although a person cannot change what’s been done to them, they can learn to manage the symptoms of their rewired brain. It starts with acceptance of who you are and the acceptance that you do not need all the extra attention and drama to be loved and cared about.

In fact, instead of pushing for so much adoration, drama, chaos, and trouble, you may want to try to focus on others. And if you’re not the one addicted to drama, then maybe a friend of yours is suffering.

If so, you can help them by being honest and refusing to react to their instigations. And, as with other issues, you can remove yourself temporarily for a while to preserve your mental health.

While not everyone will listen and take heed to these things, there are some who have managed to cut quite a bit of drama from their lives. So, it’s possible. I wish you luck if someone in your life is addicted to drama. Take care.

Featured image by wayhomestudio on Freepik

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Dianne Lininger

    That was my mother to a T!

    1. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

      You’d be surprised by how many people are like this. Thank you for reading.

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