if this has been dealt with, then please link me to it.
i always hear people talking about addictive personalities. Do you posters believe that addiction is a disease, or weak mind.

i used to be afraid that if i started drinking i would become an alcoholic because it runs in my family. but now i drink when i want, and have no trouble turning it down. but then sometimes i have nightmares that i’m addicted to smoking (i have never smoked).

Addictive personalities do exist. I’m a case in point. My wife is another.

We were paying over $600 a month for a long distance connection to PC-Link (paleo-AOL) in 1989.

Sit my wife down in front of a TV and she zones. I don’t care if it’s an infomercial; she focuses on it and it takes serious effort to get her attention.

We both have alcoholics in our ancestry – though thank God neither of us has had to deal with that curse. (We’re both very moderate drinkers - wine with dinner about once every ten days.)

I do believe that certain personalities are prone to addiction. I’m a great example. When I like something, I tend to really get into it and go full force. Hobbies, drugs, women, you name it.

As for addiction being a disease, that gets a little fuzzy. I believe that certain addictions can turn into something so powerful, so all encompassing, that you really can’t just stop doing it, no matter how strong minded you are. I was addicted to methamphetamine for over a year. It got to where I couldn’t function without being high all the time (I smoked it, which is almost as bad as shooting it). The drug ran my life, period. I kept my job and my family together, but just barely. Then my best friend (yeah, my speed buddy, go figure) took my bankcard and emptied my bank account (over $1,000). After that I just stopped doing it, cold turkey. I stopped associating with people who had the drug or easy access to the drug, and I just quit. God, let me tell you, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Really. I wasn’t sure that I could do it. But I did. It took six months before I felt somewhat back to normal. I haven’t touched the shit now in almost three years.

So is addiction a disease? I don’t know. There are a lot of regular diseases that your body can cure on its own, it’s just usually a lot better to go see a doctor and get some medical help. Same for addictions. You may be able to stop yourself if you really try, but sometimes it’s a lot easier and safer if you have the proper psychological help.

I would be very interested to see what comes of this topic. I think I have an addictive personality to some things. I can zone while watching TV and get annoyed with people talking while the show is on and when the phone rings. I got into beer so much that I not only had to drink a lot of it, I had to try all kinds, brew it, collect bottles, collect pint glasses, buy cool beer gadgets to make beer (every hear of a wort chiller?), and tour the country stopping at every microbrewery I could find. Luckly the beer tour was four years ago before there was a microbrewery on every corner like a 7-11. I find the urge to head committees and organizations that I join.

I have tapered off my obsessive behavior in most of these areas and wonder why this obsession doesn’t apply to good things like working out (so I can loose the gut I got from my beer obsession).

As long as my bottle opener is Y2K compliant, I’ll be okay.

For those of you interested in addictive personalities John Bradshaw has some interesting theories about them. Addictions come from your family dynamic, where you fit into your family(lost child, overachiever, daddy’s little girl, etc.), how you were treated by your parents… Addictions are an escape from reality, like if I keep drinking, watching TV, then I don’t have to deal with my life.

You would be amazed at some of the patterns that develop. For instance, my grandfather has extreme rage tantrums, my dad has them also. The funny thing is my brother has them, and even with me seeing and knowing what they are I still have to fight them off.
The name of the book is “Bradshaw: On the Family”

I think arguments arise over addiction because we can be so sloppy with our language. Addiction, in and of itself, is a valid medical condition. Take the addicting substance away from an addict, and there are verifiable physical symptoms of withdrawal. There are specific alterations in brain chemistry when someone becomes addicted to a substance like cocaine or heroin.

However, that’s not the same as saying “oh, I’m really addicted to Pokemon”. My WAG concerning people who go madly from one obsession to another without showing physical symptoms of withdrawal is that they compensating for something else, but that is just a WAG, and I’m not talking about people who have a burning passion for one particular thing.

I thought we were talking about addictive personalties, not physical addictions…

I was paging through the Merke Manual (sp?) the other day. (Yes, I’m aware that’s a little wierd.) According to the book, shrinks have not come up with a definitive “additive personality” profile.

I’m taking that to mean that you cannot observe a non-addicted person and presume that they have a tendency towards addiction, rather than as a denial that there are, in fact, individuals who repeatedly exhibit addicted-type behaviors in various settings and mediums.

If in truth alcoholism and other addictions are a disease, then why the punishment of habitual offenders? It’s the disease man! If I had a stomach flu would ya arrest me for puking on yer maserati? hee hee just kidding. But on the note of punishing Drunk Drivers ( I’ve been waiting for a forum to share this so bear with me.)

Finland: Drunk gets 5 months i jail with any alcohol in system. Hard labor is added if injury or death involved.

Bulgaria: 10 year minimm jail for any fatality

Norway & Sweden: automatic jail sentence

Austrailia: name is printer in papers under heading " He’s drunk and in jail"

San Salvador: executed by firing squad

Turkey: driver is taken 20 miles away from car and forced to walk back under guard. (If you have ever tried to walk 20 miles while drunk you know that you are probably better off being caught in San Salvador.

*Prolly should have posted under MPSIMS but the “addiction” caught my attention. as always ;)"

One must learn by doing things; for though you think you know it you have no certainty until you try.

Ursula, I don’t think anybody’s punishing drunk drivers for being drunk, they’re punishing them for driving while in that condition. If they want to stay home on the couch in front of the t.v. and get wasted, fine and dandy, but as soon as they get into a car they become a danger to other people. THAT becomes a legitimate reason to discourage the driving behavior.


I am definitely a believer in the addictive personality theory.

Certainly there are physical addictions to substances which are undeniable. But there are other forms of addiction that can be just as compelling, even though they are psychological. The one everyone knows about is compulsive gambling. (Compulsion and addiction are not identical, but they are certainly related. It is said that if you feel a compulsion to do something repeatedly, you are addicted to it.) A related addiction that I am struggling with in my own life, not in myself but in someone whom I love dearly, is computer addiction. Specifically, computer game addiction. It is just about to destroy our relationship.

Then, of course, there is compulsive overeating. Which, I am beginning to believe now that I have read and am trying the Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet, can be a physical as well as psychological problem, and I think I’ve experienced both aspects of it.

I don’t know about “disease” vs. “weak mind”, I think that is too simplistic. But even if you could say that people who suffer from addictions have “weak minds” that doesn’t make them bad, it makes them weak, and what they need is tools to build up their strength.


This is a non-smoking area. If we see you smoking, we will assume you are on fire and act accordingly.