Just like there is a difference between stress and anxiety there is a difference between use, abuse and dependence (addiction) of a substance or behavior. Using a substance engaging in certain behavior(s) does not always mean that a person is addicted to it. The behavior may be a choice, not an addiction. There is diagnostic criteria for addiction. You don’t need to be able to diagnose addiction to understand it…
The simplest explanation of addiction/dependence is:
When a person knows that something (or someone) is bad/unhealthy for him or her, and has (or will have) negative consequences….but feels like it is something (or someone) that he or she can’t live without….so he or she does it anyway.
Addiction not only hurts and is unhealthy for the person who is struggling with it, it is also hurtful and unhealthy for all of those who love him or her.
If you or someone that you know or love is struggling with addiction, I can help.