When most people think of addiction, they immediately think of serious addictions to substances like drugs and alcohol. Historically, in fact, addiction has been defined as a physical dependence on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, tobacco, opiates and other drugs.
However, the definition of addiction has been expanded to include psychological dependency on things such as pornography, sex, comfort foods, gambling, Internet surfing, gaming, social media, watching TV, shopping, work, exercise, etc.
Simply put, when we can’t stop a behavior that is damaging to ourselves and others, it is addictive.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine has described addiction as “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.”
Or simply, addiction occurs when there is a compulsive or habitual need to repeat an experience in order to try and feel good. The addiction may be mild or severe, socially acceptable or unacceptable. Are You Addicted?
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