Thursday, September 20, 2012

On addiction

Are we going to reach a point when every behaviour that has bad consequences is described as " an addiction"? There's the obvious alcohol and drug addiction, then gambling addiction; then there was sex addiction, and I believe I've read about shoplifting addiction. There's the obvious offshoots from adrenalin addiction. Caffeine addiction. And more. Now food addiction has appeared.

The effect of describing bad-consequence behaviours as 'addictions' is two-fold; legitimisation and collectivisation.

The perpetrator of bad-consequence behaviours isn't in control because their brain is cross-wired by some malfunctioning chemical messages. This constitutes a medical condition that requires treatment, ergo, funding. Guess who from.

So he who cannot control his urges becomes the obligation of he who can. But the very legitimisation of his bad-consequence behaviour will provoke more of it because he was handed a convenient excuse.

I eat, drink and gamble. But they are under control. Part of the reason they are under control is that out-of-control they stop bringing pleasure. I worked that out for myself. My brain hasn't been "hijacked" as Doug Sellman describes people whose reason has abandoned them.


brian_smaller said...

I thought the object of getting rid of an addiction is to stop the behaviour. Good luck getting peoplel to stop eating.

Anonymous said...

We can't stop 'em eating but we can stop paying for 'em to eat

Richard said...


Professor Doug Sellman is addicted to government funding.