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Addiction is Not Exactly a Disease

by Marcus Antebi

Addiction is Not Exactly a Disease

Article at a Glance:

Disease is a physical affliction. Western science categorizes mental illness as an affliction. 

I think that it’s a big mistake for people in recovery from addictions and dependencies (including alcoholism and drug addiction) to believe that their conditions are diseases. For one thing, the disease concept keeps an addict locked in a judgemental title that might give him or her the impression that overcoming their addiction is beyond their control.

Disease is a physical affliction. Western science categorizes mental illness as an affliction. It would probably be accurate to label many or even most addicts as afflicted. But addictive and compulsive behavior is always caused by something. The thing that caused something was caused by something else. And the thing that caused that something else was caused by something previous to that. So please understand that the state of being addicted and dependent on something destructive is caused by earlier events, likely childhood events. For most of us in the modern world, our pain and suffering originated in childhood.

The good news is that we can overcome the faulty thinking patterns that are rooted in our childhood traumas. When we do so, we can overcome our addictions. But it will take work. We can work on ourselves by searching for the root causes of our disrupted thinking and behavior patterns and then put focused effort into fixing them. When we do that, we’ll be well along on the path to enlightenment.

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