Do you consider addiction to be a sign of a person's weakness?

Definitely not. I am a firm

Definitely not. I am a firm believer that addiction causes a change in the brain and thus is termed as a disease. Nothing to do with weakness at.

I believe we're basically all

I believe we're basically all addicted in more than one way to more than one kind of behaviour at any given time - we constantly seek a balance where the level of anxiety in our brains is tolerable. I say "behaviour" because that is all you can develop a habit of doing, whether it involves a substance or something as ephemeral as an obsessive thought. Addiction is human, and for that matter pre-human. Rational thought is a relative newcomer, and as much an invention of societies as bigger brains - things that have evolved together.

Some strategies for living are sustainable and some are just too long-term costly for the short-term benefit. The difficulty in life is that the future is hard to see, so the costs and sustainability are always hard to judge in advance of actually living it. You could apply this to economies or ecologies as much as to the balance of your own small life, and they're all the same kind of complex system. We tend to take credit for parts of life that are more representative of our good fortune than anything we did, and blame other people's bad luck on some sort of moral failing, but the truth is we're all the same sort of medium-sized mammals and we have limited ways to predict and affect our futures. One of the main ways addictive behaviour quells anxiety is by providing a momentary illusion of control.

Addiction does represent changes in your brain, but so does every other kind of experience. What we call addiction is probably just a particular pattern of self-reinforcing recurrence, and we generally only call it that when the long-term outcome is negative. Some people are hooked on charity work - they're unlikely to be called addicts, but the way their brain is responding to the behaviour is probably pretty similar to a gambler making a bet.

So no, it's not "weakness" -it's just one of the risks of being human. The only real cure is helping each other out with information, which is what a site like this is for. ;)

No. I don't think addiction

No. I don't think addiction is a sign of weakness. I think addiction is a result of a number of factors, including biochemical and structural brain changes, genetics, and environmental stressors. I definitely think that some people are more prone to addiction than others, and it's easy to interpret this as some being weaker and others stronger.

It's kind of a tricky question, though, because I do think it takes strength to fight addiction. So does that mean that people who lose the fight are weak? I don't think so--I think someone who can't kick an addiction can be just as strong as someone who does, it's just that their addiction is even stronger.

-V-

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