Are These Fifteen Behaviors Addictions or Compulsions?

Are These Fifteen Behaviors Addictions or Compulsions?

By Chris Bisogni 04/08/14

The word "addiction" gets thrown around a lot these days—anything from sex to eating dirt—but what's the difference between an actual addiction and a compulsive behavior?

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Sex

I drink a glass of water every day. I sleep every day. But I am not addicted to water or sleep. The same can be said for those who claim they are addicted to sex. Sex is a natural activity that activates the same brain stimulants as truly addictive substances, but if it was to be truly and medically classified as an addiction, then it could protect many from certain criminal prosecution, among other things. Verdict: Compulsive behavior

Funerals

This is one from left field and doesn’t have a name. So let’s call it “funeral addiction” for now. There can be little reward for attending funerals, seeing other people’s misery, or celebrating the life of someone you don’t know. However while the ASAM definition of an addiction does mention “spiritual manifestation”, this is a long bow. Verdict: Compulsive behavior