Essay by yvj01College, Undergraduate December 2004

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This essay will tackle a serious issue dealing with the psychological disorder known as addiction. Having an addiction is an amazing phenomenon, in many cases it cuts people off into their own world separating them from reality. Addiction can even lead to a person completely changing their personality (also physically in some cases) in a matter of months, alienating loved ones they've known for years. An Addiction is defined to be an uncontrollable compulsion to repeat a behavior regardless of its negative consequences. A person who is addicted is sometimes called an addict. But they are varying forms of addictions which the medical community now carefully distinguishes between physical dependence and psychological addiction. Psychological addictions are a dependency of the mind, and lead to psychological withdrawal symptoms. Psychological addictions are a person's need to use a drug out of desire for the effects it produces, rather than to relieve symptoms.

Heroin, produces a physical dependence; the drug eventually takes the place of natural chemicals in the body, so that addicts may use heroin simply to reduce pain. Other drugs, like marijuana, do not create a physical dependency. Although, a person may become psychologically addicted if he/she comes to depend upon the drug's effect as part of normal life. It seems the medical community now recognizes that some behaviors can be addicting, such as eating, sex and gambling.

Addictions can form for any rewarding behavior, but typically only do so in individuals with emotional, social, or psychological dysfunctions. While eating disorders, like other behavioral addictions, are usually considered primarily psychological disorders, they are sometimes treated as addictions, especially if they include elements of addictive behavior. Sufferers may experience withdrawal or withdrawal-like symptoms if they alter their diet suddenly. This suggests that some common food products, especially chocolate, caffeine, and sugar, may...