There are many types of additions, and all of them have their issues.
Sometimes people use the words addiction and compulsion interchangeably. However, they are not actually the same thing. What is the difference between the two?
Defining Addiction and Compulsion
Addiction is a broad term, which is used to describe an entire process by which people become dependent on a particular substance or behavior in order to cope with life. This dependence becomes so important to the individual that they will persist in using the substance or engaging in the behavior, even when it is harmful to themselves, their family and other important areas of their life.
In contrast, compulsion is a quite narrow term, which is used to describe the intense urge to do something, which can sometimes lead to a behavior, but does not always. Compulsions are a small but important part of the addictive process and are also a major part of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
How are addiction and compulsion related? As an addiction develops, it begins to involve the desire or compulsion to take an addictive substance, such as alcohol or heroin, or to carry out an addictive behavior, such as gambling or sex, but it also involves other processes.
The Key Differences
There are two main differences between addiction and compulsion. They include:
A compulsion, at least as it is experienced in obsessive-compulsive disorder, does not include the experience of pleasure, whereas an addiction does. While people who have addictions suffer all manner of discomforts, the desire to use the substance or engage in the behavior is based on the expectation that it will be pleasurable.
In contrast, someone who experiences a compulsion as part of "Obsessive compulsive disorder" may not get any pleasure from the behavior he carries out. Often, it is a way of dealing with the obsessive part of the disorder, resulting in a feeling of relief.
This can get a little confusing because there often comes a point for people with addictions where they don’t really enjoy the addictive behavior, and they are just seeking relief from the urge to use or engage in the behavior. This is compounded by the experience of withdrawal symptoms that often happens when they stop taking the substance or engaging in the behavior. Although this can look like obsessive-compulsive behavior because the pleasure is gone, the original motivation to engage in the behavior was to feel good.
Another major distinction between an addiction and a compulsion has to do with the individual’s awareness of reality. When people have obsessive-compulsive disorder, they are usually aware that their obsession is not real. They are often disturbed by feeling the need to carry out a behavior that defies logic, yet they do it anyway to relieve their anxiety.
In contrast, people with addictions are often quite detached from the senselessness of their actions, feeling that they are just having a good time and that other concerns aren’t that important. This is often known as denial because the addicted person denies that his use or behavior is a problem. Often it is not until a major consequence occurs such as a spouse leaving, a drunk-driving accident, or a job loss, that they are faced with the reality of their addiction.
Why All the Confusion?
Addiction and compulsion are both terms that have entered our everyday language. Like many words that are in common use, they may be misused and misunderstood. This causes confusion for everyone, especially those suffering from addictions and compulsions, but also for professionals trying to help. Often, people use these terms interchangeably without thinking about the distinctions between them.
There are several reasons that the word “compulsion” started to be used in relation to addictive behaviors. Originally, the term compulsion stemmed from the idea of addicts accessing the erotic pleasure centers of the brain. Later, the term “compulsion” was used in place of “addiction” in the hope that it would add legitimacy to the treatment of addiction and make it more likely that treatment would be covered by insurers.
Message from Claudia:
"As a professional Holistic Behavioral Therapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Life Coach, I am called to help people with all sorts of addictions. One that has become a major and significant problem is pornography addiction. Now you may think this is a joke or that I’m going to sit on a soap box and lecture you, not so at all. This is a serious subject in the world and many therapists feel that it is contributing to the increase in divorces, insensitivity to their partners, depression, sexual crimes, violence etc. I just want to bring some facts to your attention, so people will watch for it in their teens, college age children, friends and partners in life. The image shown is a single photon emission computerized tomography brain scan. Even the untrained eye can see the pornography addict’s brain is visibly depleted and damaged.
It’s important to know that the region of the brain most depleted by this addiction is in the prefrontal cortex, the part that makes us human, according to Dr. Lawrence Tucker. This part of the brain is you C.E.O. and controls every other aspect of your brain. If someone is hooked on porn, then their C.E.O. drops off and their decision making capabilities takes a nose dive.
HOW DOES THIS ADDICTION AND MANY OTHERS DESTROY A RELATIONSHIP?
- The addict starts to lie and cover up their addiction.
- There is a decrease in intimacy and connection with their partner.
- They become insensitive towards their partner and even possibly their children, friends and co-workers.
- They start to purposely miss opportunities to spend quality time with their partner and friends, so they can stay home and indulge in their addiction.
- They become overly defensive, angry, and irritable when questioned about their activities, or asked to please stop this watching it.
- They are unable to stop and the lying gets worst.
- They start cheating on their partners and having affairs. Usually that relationship ends in disaster too.
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE ADDICT?
According to research
- They feel powerless to stop, and take every opportunity to indulge in their addiction.
- They start spending more and more time viewing it.
- They need more and more to satisfy their addiction.
- They need to increase the violence and diversity of what they are watching to be satisfied.
- They find themselves more and more angry and dissatisfied with their partner.
- They feel anxious, irritable and stressed out.
- They are neglecting their partner, family and friends.
- They are cheating on their partners and lying about it.
These symptoms echo substance abuse disorders, and will inevitably lead to depression, anxiety, divorces, broken homes and even possibly the loss of their jobs.
I help clients by using Behavioral Therapy, Hypnotherapy and Life Coaching, BUT it’s my recommendation that porn addicts start with a structured program first, then get support afterwards with me, making it a positive recovery and experience."
Start here: 1-877-751-2850 to get into a program
call Claudia Weber for follow up help & Life Coaching (to get happy again)
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