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ninjacolin's avatar

Are all addicts really addicts?

Asked by ninjacolin (13826 points ) October 8th, 2013

Ever met someone who professed to have an addiction issue or perhaps who was recovering from an addiction issue.. but you just couldn’t believe that they were in fact addicted to anything?

I mean, I’ve certainly met people who were very obviously addicted to things and who fortunately found help. But have you ever come across someone who strongly believed they found help for an “addiction” that you don’t think they ever really had in the first place?

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8 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

No, when people say negative thing’s about themselves I tend to believe them. People are good at hiding thing’s.

ninjacolin's avatar

When you consider things like BDD or hypochondria.. I wonder how likely it is that someone is wrong about being addicted to a substance.

downtide's avatar

When someone says they are addicted to something that has no chemical component (such as the internet) I doubt the use of the word addiction. Unhealthy obsession, perhaps, but not addiction.

mattbrowne's avatar

So-called caffeine addicts aren’t addicts. They are still in full control and can decide not to drink coffee and endure the head-ache.

Addictions means loss of control. In Germany 93% of all the people who drink alcohol are not addicts, for example (according to a study I heard of).

antimatter's avatar

I am addicted to fluther! Just can’t get enough of fluther!

linguaphile's avatar

There seems to be a continuum starting with statements where people say “I’m so addicted to chocolate”- meaning that they really love chocolate, not a true addiction at all, but a statement of intense like or admiration, all the way to true addicts who have lost control of themselves and need help (many who are in denial). There’s no one symptom, but a collection of symptoms.

My continuum… I’m “addicted” to chocolate (love it), am mildly addicted to caffeine (get physical withdrawal reactions, which IS one sign of true addictions), used to be really addicted to work (it interfered with my quality of life, another sign of a true addiction) but learned with help how to control my schedule, and had a parent who was a true addict (absent emotionally).

downtide's avatar

Chocolate contains caffeine and it stimulates the brain to produce endorphins, both of which can be chemically addictive.

mattbrowne's avatar

@downtide – I prefer the term compulsive overeating.

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