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xacrox's avatar

is there a technical deference between addiction, desire, and habit?

Asked by xacrox (243points) February 28th, 2008 from iPhone

what deferenciates them from one another?

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5 Answers

xacrox's avatar

sorry this should read, “is there a technical difference between addiction, desire, and habit?”

artemisdivine's avatar

yes they are totally different. follow the buddists. they have all the answers.

It is generally known that the repeated consumption of habit-forming drugs such as alcohol, minor tranquilizers, stimulantia, opiates, hallucinogens, nicotine in many instances leads to different degrees of addiction. Typically, such addiction is characterized by a need or desire to continue the use of the drug and to obtain it, not seldom by all means, and further by a tendency to increase its dosage. This usually results in a psychological and usually a physiological dependence on the effects of such drugs and eventually has a detrimental effect on the addicted individual and on society.

When you realize that giving up bad habits is a necessary and inevitable part of creating the life you desire, addiction begins to lose it’s power over you. Temporary pleasure and escape doesn’t have them same appeal.The more progress you make towards your ideal future, the weaker the desire to escape from reality. Just like the cycle of escapism, the pattern is self-reinforcing. Over time, you are able to delight in habits that are congruent with your vision — that strengthen a positive reality instead of numbing pain. Eventually there is no need or desire to rely on addictions for relief and pleasure can be enjoyed for its own sake.Image

Addiction, Attachment and Desire (July 10, 2004)
This item is part of the collection: Tse Chen Ling Buddhist Lectures

Author: Ven. Rita Riniker
Date: 2004–07-10 00:00:00
Source: Lectures and Events
Recorded by: Tse Chen Ling Center
Keywords: Buddhism; Tse Chen Ling Center; Tibetan Buddhism

In the case of addiction, it is clear from a Buddhist viewpoint that it can be seen as an overactive desire sense, that has gone way beyond normal limits, and which is harmful to self. It is also important to acknowledge that we are all in some ways addicted to something, be it only money, shopping, success, promotion, food or sex.

As ambiguous as the song Breaking the Habit may be regarding the specifics of the addiction, the message is clear for many who have suffered with addiction to drugs and alcohol, that breaking the habit is not only a desire, but an action plan. The song starts out with the words, “Memories consume, like opening a wound” which would suggest some trauma the protagonist is experiencing and using some substance helping him to escape.

A habit does not involve physiological changes/dependence and the resulting physiological withdrawal symptoms when the person stops.

A habit would be if “Fred” had a cigarette every day after lunch. On days when he is at a customer’s facility he can’t go out and have his usual smoke and misses it.

An addiction is when a smoker, for example, needs to keep smoking because when he stops he gets a “Pandora“s Box” of sad thoughts running through his head, feel anxious, feel irritable and can’t feel ok until he smokes.

Then, too, people like cigarettes smokers have both a habit and an addiction. They may really enjoy having that smoke with “Fred” after lunch or enjoy a last smoke before bed time. Smokers often like their lighters and like having their package of cigarettes to keep in their pocket. These are all habit related. Then they have that horrible physiological addiction that gets unbearable if they don’t smoke.

Morality, addiction and desire for the good life

Within that context, being addicted means that you’ve been “infected” with a
habit of great destructive power that gets you high while also progressively
destroying you. Nasty eh? The only “cure” known to mankind once you’ve
been infected by a severe addiction is to apply liberal doses of twelve step
meetings for the rest of your life


o I can eliminate any bad habit.
o I expand my will power through practice.
o With my expanded will power, I escape from bad habits.
o One by one, I eliminate all bad habits.
o Nothing can stand in my way.
o Nothing can touch my will.
o Nothing can shake my resolve.
o My will power grows stronger each day.
o My mind is set.
o Nothing can stop me.
o I will succeed.

Physical addiction:

This is a dependency that develops through repeated use of a drug, which changes body chemistry, e.g.: alcohol, heroin and tranquillisers. It means your body develops a hunger for the drug, which you have to keep feeding.

Psychological addiction:
This is a dependency that develops through repeatedly behaving in a certain way until you feel you can’t manage without it. Your mind can get hooked on almost any activity that changes your mood. Mental cravings can also play a part in physically addictive drug habits. Drugs associated with psychological addiction include amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy.

Schenectandy's avatar

To paraphrase George Costanza: I don’t think I’ve ever yearned. I’ve craved, but not yearned.

squirbel's avatar

Habits are attributed to activities generally acknowledged as positive or neutral in nature. Habits are associated with “routine”.

Once the habit involves what is generally perceived as a negative activity, it is labeled an addiction. Addictions are associated with an uncontrollable need to do something.

Desire is the third wheel, mostly unrelated to the other two. Imo

cake7's avatar

before I read everyone elses anwsers I was thinking about a relationship. In the beginning you are addictited then you desire them, soon after it just turns into habit.

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