Originally Posted by Wannabeskinny
I think you would see a different angle to this if you read The End of Overeating. It's not about addiction in the sense of being a weak willed person or something like that, it's about physiological response to certain combinations of stimuli, one that is unavoidable in our society.
I have read The End of Overeating and I continue to question the concept of addiction, as does the U.K. professor who wrote the book The Myth of Addiction: http://www.amazon.ca/Myth-Addiction-.../dp/9057022370
I believe there are degrees of habituation, and that some habits are VERY entrenched and difficult to break. But I don't believe in a separate entity called "addiction" that robs us of all control. I believe we choose our behaviours on some level, even our unhealthiest ones, because they provide immediate and dependable comfort in a difficult world.
Let's say an all-powerful genie came up to you (generic you) and told you that if you didn't quit [insert health vice of choice], the person you love the most in the world would have a week left to live. I'll bet you would be able to stop the behaviour with relatively little difficulty. If that same genie commanded you to get rid of your Type 1 diabetes or else, you'd be hard pressed to comply. The way I see it, we DO have control over our so-called addictions. We just don't always use that control in the service of health, and that's OK.
From Wikipedia: <<The life-process model of addiction is the view that addiction is not a disease but rather a habitual response and a source of gratification and security that can be understood only in the context of social relationships and experiences. This model of addiction is in direct opposition to the disease model of addiction.>> Needless to say, I agree with the life-process model.
I also tend to be underwhelmed by all those PET-scan studies that show brains lighting up at this or that stimulus. The logic leading from "frontal gizmoid cortex lighting up" to "addiction" is rather shaky, IMO.