Web And Game Addictions Might Become Official Disorders

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Web And Game Addictions Might Become Official Disorders

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If an Australian psychiatrist and his team have their way, your online addictions may be labeled "pathological internet misuse."

We've all heard talk of people being addicted to the internet and videogames, but usually this is a figure of speech. However, a psychiatrist out of Australia - and a team of other mental health professionals - is trying to get "pathological internet misuse" saddled as an official mental disorder.

"Pathological internet misuse" sounds like it's a label for illegal activities that include, I don't know, committing identity theft or something. Instead, according to News.com Australia, Psychiatrist Philip Tam is reportedly one of several psychiatrists who's being flooded with requests from parents to help their children who are addicted to spending time online:

"International mental health experts are considering including 'video game addiction and internet addiction' in the next edition of globally recognized Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 'to encourage further study'. The exact term they are using is 'pathological internet misuse.'"

Although there aren't any specific numbers given, it's implied that a majority of mental health professionals support this move.

The story includes a testimonial from a mom who claims her 13-year-old son is so addicted to World of Warcraft that he's skipped school and "violently resists" all attempts to get him to stop playing the game (including punching holes in the walls). Apparently nobody told this woman that she's the parent in this situation.

My favorite part of the story, though, is when Jocelyn Brewer (a part of Tam's "expert group") states that "girls also could 'become obsessed with Facebook'." I didn't realize that Facebook addictions were gender exclusive.

Source: News.com via GamePolitics

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While I support the idea of giving increased attention to people who have developed genuine addictions to gaming and the internet... for fuck's sake. This shouldn't really require a psychiatrist unless there's a deeper problem connected to the addiction in some way.

If your kid spends too much time online or playing a game, then cut off the internet and make them read a book or go outside or something. If they resist, then you cut down on more priveleges, take away more freedoms, and do not put up with the shit that they give you. You're supposed to know what's best for them and it's up to you to enforce it, as long as you keep yourself in check and never get carried away.

Is this a generation thing or something? every person around my age thinks the same thing about this sort of "issue". Are parents getting softer? Why is it parents now treat their children like tiny little fragile adults who should be able to make their own decisions about everything while the world bends to accomodate their needs?

Christ, I'm all for a loose, relaxed form of parenting. Whatever you want to do, do it. But for god's sake, the bottom line is that when you demand something for the sake of their safety, then your child should comply. If they don't, you punish them. They're your children, for god's sake.

Motherfucking parenting, how does it work?

The_root_of_all_evil:
*snip*

Holy shit, that was just 4 sentences.

Personally, I have no problem with the move. Addiction to the internet or computer games are a real thing, but this needs to be assessed with absolute caution. The problem with the psychitrist in question is they're likely to needlessly be harsh with the label (e.g. 1+ hour per day). The key part of it being a disorder is it needs to actually have a significant negative affect on the individual's life. So concluding that someone who plays games from 6pm until 2am every night is an addict may be inaccurate if he/she is able to keep a job, social relations and other things. It's really like alcoholism, but I get the distinct feeling that it has a poorer understanding.

So, there was a study conducted one time. There were 9 people of various backrounds (3 psychologist, 1 psychiatrist, 1 painter, 1 pediatrician, and the others escape me) who went and saw a mental health professional saying they heard voices. 8 of the were diagnosed with Schizophrenia and 1 with some form of Bi-polar disorder. This was a lie, they were testing a subject called Determination Bias. So, as part of their little experiment, when they were all committed to psychiatric wards for an indeterminate amount of time, they all stopped displaying the fake symptoms.

Here is where this is relevant here: No matter what they did, it was recorded as part of their mental illness, no matter how normal the activity was. One guy wrote in a journal, as he had done for years, and the nursing station recorded it as "engaging in writing activities", which is a symptom of his fake mental disorder. Another patient became angry when he was mistreated by a nurse and that was treated as part of his their mental disorder. Despite them not displaying any of the fake symptoms and resuming their normal activities, they were never uncovered as fakes by the doctors, though the real patients knew they weren't really supposed to be in there. None of the group were diagnosed as a danger to themselves or the public and stayed an average of 19 days before release.

Later, the doctors were approached about this and simply believed they were lied to about the fake patients, disregarding what they had been told as preposterous and a lie. You see, whenever someone has developed a bias (such as with the case of their fake mental illness), all activities then become a symptom of that bias.

What this means is simply that if they were to be allowed to name an actual mental illness like this, when you were in their sights, you would never get away. These parents are stupid and obviously look forward to their children being diagnosed with a disorder that will follow them forever. Good job parenting, parents. You might as well just sign your kids to be wards of the state at birth, and stop all that pesky posturing that you care about your kids and their future.

Twats.

Sorry, I should qualify that statement. Apart from the fact that there isn't even a Trans-Atlantic definition of some forms of mental health, Schizophrenia still doesn't have a set definition - only a variety of potential symptoms - despite being known in all parts of the world, Games cannot addict (as they don't directly alter brain chemicals) - they can only be compulsions (Thanks @Extracreditz), apart from the fact that most Australians aren't allowed to choose their own forms of internet usage thanks to the Great Australian Firewall and their adamant demand that adults are incapable of choosing their own types of entertainment - although Violence, Sexuality and Drug taking are perfectly allowed in all other forms of media, apart from the fact that the internet is a connection between computers and has no relation to humans apart from whether they are online or not, apart from the fact that misuse is so open that it defies definition, apart from the basis of a law being on the second hand account of a single unqualified example (which even Freud steered clear of), apart from the fact that they are defining internet and video game addiction as different facets of the same addiction without defining the differences between them, apart from the fact that the "flood" has one example, apart from the fact that videogames have been proven repeatedly to calm + provide support for those people coming out of mental ill-health, apart from the fact that- of the billion game players in the world today - there are single figure cases of this "illness", and finally, apart from the fact that there are some serious conditions (like ADHD, Aspergers, Autism, Schizophrenia, S.A.D, Manic Depression) that still aren't getting the treatment that their sufferers deserve and that false-positive cases - which this ruling would certainly increase - have been proven to lead to actual mental health cases developing in perfectly normal people: there are health professionals that seek to add a definition that they can charge for, without any research into the causes, symptoms or cure of the same.

Stop trying to use your own ignorance as justification for taking choice away from perfectly healthy Australians. You twats.

The jokes in the newspost would be funnier if the reason these are being considered was because a bunch of people couldn't control their kids, as opposed to the fact that psychology as a field has been in a decades-long quest of identity and can't nail down what should and shouldn't be a mental illness.

Is it bad I both support and disagree with this sentiment at the same time?

I wonder how they would classify "pathologic misuse". Does it concern how many hours a day your on it or a more classic "need your fix" behaviour? If it's the former, I could have a mental illness. Yippee?

Isn't "pathological internet misuse" another name for a chronic masterbater?
Or MW3 multiplayer?

Lightslei:
Is it bad I both support and disagree with this sentiment at the same time?

Depends. Can you explain why?

DVS BSTrD:
Isn't "pathological internet misuse" another name for a chronic masterbater?
Or MW3 multiplayer?

Lightslei:
Is it bad I both support and disagree with this sentiment at the same time?

Depends. Can you explain why?

My sister used to have a drug addiction. As far as I'm concerned I used to have an addiction to gaming. My reaction when I stopped playing games, was similar to her when she went through drug withdrawal although I guess that sounds insane. In a way I believe people can become completely dependent on technology, and when we let it get to the point where we basically use it as our tool to survive, escape, feel good, etc, it becomes hazardous to our own health.

I disagree because half these people trying to prove the "OMG TECHNOLOGY IS EVIL PEOPLE" don't have half of a clue as to why people end up in those situations. On top of that, I haven't seen many studies that are done properly regarding technology addiction, and I feel that they are going to over-classify, especially if it's coming out of Australia.

Although I'm probably biased since I agree with programs like reSTART.

I think the validity of this study is automatically disproved when the title called it "Web and Game ADDICTIONS". Goddrunkendammnit, addiction means the physical alteration of the human brain to prevent the individual from functioning properly without the substance that altered it.

What they should call it is COMPULSION. Last I checked, the internet doesn't physically enter your body and forces you to live off it. No, it just fucks up your eyes if your near-sighted... like me.

Video games can't make someone addicted to it either. Its like saying that a movie buff is addicted to movies. IT. DOESN'T. WORK!!!!!

I can see where they come from, on the other hand parenting should fix those problems, and on the other other hand, parenting should also prevent drugs.

Well anything can be addictive and considering games and the internet in general are specifically designed to keep you feeding on them, I don't think it surprising videogame addiction can be a big thing. The extra-credits dude not only agrees that it exists but was a sufferer himself. So why not help them?

And when a kid is smashing holes in the wall it's cool to blame it on the parent, but at the end of the day thats abnormal behaviour that most parents don't have to deal with, people have to take responsibility for their actions at some point and most importantly, whatever the reason, that kid (and his parents) need help and should be given it

Lightslei:

DVS BSTrD:
Isn't "pathological internet misuse" another name for a chronic ?
Or MW3 multiplayer?

Lightslei:
Is it bad I both support and disagree with this sentiment at the same time?

Depends. Can you explain why?

My sister used to have a drug addiction. As far as I'm concerned I used to have an addiction to gaming. My reaction when I stopped playing games, was similar to her when she went through drug withdrawal although I guess that sounds insane. In a way I believe people can become completely dependent on technology, and when we let it get to the point where we basically use it as our tool to survive, escape, feel good, etc, it becomes hazardous to our own health.

I disagree because half these people trying to prove the "OMG TECHNOLOGY IS EVIL PEOPLE" don't have half of a clue as to why people end up in those situations. On top of that, I haven't seen many studies that are done properly regarding technology addiction, and I feel that they are going to over-classify, especially if it's coming out of Australia.

Although I'm probably biased since I agree with programs like reSTART.

Well if you look at root's post, gaming "addiction" is not the same as drug addiction. Sure playing the game may become compulsory, but the game itself doesn't alter your brain chemistry the way drugs do. Yes you can become obsessed with it (and go through a sort of withdrawal when it is removed), but you can become obsessed on just about anything. The only difference between an obsession over the internet and obsession with something like sports is the object itself. That's why singling out games and the internet is bullshit.

So, the new addiction is internet huh?

Yes this has happened way too many times before.
Most recently was television and, less famously, radio.
Knowing this, I can guarantee that, at some point, many parents started growing concerned that their kids are spending way too much time reading, or that maybe their son goes to art galleries too much, or that their child is listening to those street performers much more than he/she should.

Weird. I just heard a lecture today in gen psych about psychological disorders and how their classifications become "official"

You know what I find wrong with this? Their label is atrocious. Anyone who is uninformed will assume you're doing something illegal or inherently wrong, not what they're trying to express (which isn't even necessarily correct, as others have already pointed out)

seriously? If this must be classified come up with a better name, otherwise you're actually going to ruin the lives of the people who are "diagnosed" with this.

This study sounds a little shady, all the jobs of the participants start with the letter P..... (jking)

Baresark:

"So, there was a study conducted one time. There were 9 people of various backrounds (3 psychologist, 1 psychiatrist, 1 painter, 1 pediatrician, and the others escape me) who went and saw a mental health professional saying they heard voices. 8 of the were diagnosed with Schizophrenia and 1 with some form of Bi-polar disorder. This was a lie, they were testing a subject called Determination Bias. So, as part of their little experiment, when they were all committed to psychiatric wards for an indeterminate amount of time, they all stopped displaying the fake symptoms.

Here is where this is relevant here: No matter what they did, it was recorded as part of their mental illness, no matter how normal the activity was. One guy wrote in a journal, as he had done for years, and the nursing station recorded it as "engaging in writing activities", which is a symptom of his fake mental disorder. Another patient became angry when he was mistreated by a nurse and that was treated as part of his their mental disorder. Despite them not displaying any of the fake symptoms and resuming their normal activities, they were never uncovered as fakes by the doctors, though the real patients knew they weren't really supposed to be in there. None of the group were diagnosed as a danger to themselves or the public and stayed an average of 19 days before release.

Later, the doctors were approached about this and simply believed they were lied to about the fake patients, disregarding what they had been told as preposterous and a lie. You see, whenever someone has developed a bias (such as with the case of their fake mental illness), all activities then become a symptom of that bias.

What this means is simply that if they were to be allowed to name an actual mental illness like this, when you were in their sights, you would never get away. These parents are stupid and obviously look forward to their children being diagnosed with a disorder that will follow them forever. Good job parenting, parents. You might as well just sign your kids to be wards of the state at birth, and stop all that pesky posturing that you care about your kids and their future."

This study sounds a little shady, all the jobs of the participants start with the letter P..... (jking)

Oh Australia... you and your goverment's hatred for Videogames...

*Takes deep breath*

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Okay! While I admit that video game and internet addiction could easily be considered a mental disorder, I can see the media making a big deal out of this. Think about it: Smoking, drinking and so on are considered addictions and some people frown upon those (Myself included). Now, video games aren't that bad, if you ask me (Well, I guess it depends on the person). But just wait until this becomes an official disorder. People will see video games as dangerous as drugs. Stupid parents will rally against video game retailers and then shit's gonna hit the fan. We think we got it bad right now? Well, I don't wanna see what would happen if this becomes a reality.

I just hopes people dismiss this as they did with TV.

There's so many psychological disorders out there already, and for some of the most mundane things, so it's really no big deal.

Oh no! Kids are acting in ways we can't possibly comprehend! They must be mentally ill! Quick, drug them! Kids like drugs, it makes them all happy inside, and a model citizen.

Fucking hell, whatever next.

How many "parents" realize there is a difference from an addiction, and just being irresponsible. If they were parents, they would put their foot down and do something about their child's desire to nothing but what they want. People need to stop blaming kids and start bringing it up to their parents to do something about it.

Hey if gambling addiction can be a disorder than so can gaming addiction.

The only think we need to worry about is how this is diagnosed and treated. If we aren't careful then people that are perfectly capable of gaming in moderation could be accused of having an addiction.

Also if we're pointing a finger at games and the internet we might as well be a little mean towards TV as well; people become addicted to that too, it just seems a bit too mundane for the media to make a fuss about it.

As an Australian I feel I am obliged to inform you:

This is news.com.au. Please disregard any articles from this source and they cannot possibly be credible or even remotely unbiased. They are basically the Australian News(paper) equivalent of Fox News.

Lightslei:
Is it bad I both support and disagree with this sentiment at the same time?

I agree with the idea of adding these disorders to it.

Oddly enough, this is a blatant example of yellow-journalism by the escapist.

We have disorders for people who diet too much, work out too much, clean too much, etc. These are things that are traditionally looked at as positive activities by society. but gaming is traditionally looked at negatively, so ANYTHING that APPEARS to belittle gaming HAS to be vehemently attacked.

Now, maybe there's something that I'm missing here. Maybe these people are part of a broader crusade to get rid of games or overregulate the industry. But based on the info in this article? I can't agree with the escapist.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Games cannot addict (as they don't directly alter brain chemicals) - they can only be compulsions (Thanks @Extracreditz

Sorry, going to only be able to respond to this line, because yes, they can. Gaming addiction is the same as gambling addiction or an addiction to certain kinds of food. It is termed a "psychological addiction" as opposed to a chemical addiction. Given a certain personality type, and enough time spent on an activity, the brain can physically be altered into requiring that activity in order to function at normal levels, thus becoming classified as an addiction. Now, yes, most of the cases in which people say "my son is addicted to games" is just a compulsion at worst, or more likely a parent refusing to blame themselves for awful parenting. But there are valid cases of internet and gaming addiction, and refusing to acknowledge them is not only offensive to them, but is directly hurtful due to impeding any attempts at treatment.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. What?! That's like saying homosexuality is a sick-Oh, right. Give them time, they'll figure out that it's not a sickness.

I'm a bit disappointed with people taking the ludicrous opinion of Extra Credits.
By their logic we should throw out drinking addiction, gambling addiction, and a host of other "addictions" just because they don't alter brain chemistry. Like Xitel said it is a "psychological addiction".
And this trivializing demeanor taken by Extra Credits and people who have taken their opinion as their own is somewhat disheartening. People are actually struggling with this kind of thing and when people start adopting this kind of dismissive attitude it is disheartening and just forces the person with the problem deeper into whatever they're addicted to. Seriously imagine you have a problem and when you reach out for help people just blow you off and tell you to just get over it.
Maybe a small percent of people can just quit cold turkey, but unfortunately most people can't and that kind of attitude won't help them. The members of Extra Credits are deeply involved in the game industry, it is their bread and butter, maybe they're just against the terming of addiction because they see it as another form of demonizing their industry and maybe it will be something that will take cash out of their pockets.
I honestly don't know why they're afraid of it, despite there being gambling addiction, alcohol addiction, people are still gambling and drinking, it really hasn't impacted those businesses in any substantial means.

Seriously, what is the point of arguing the actual term of compulsion vs addiction? Both address that there is a problem, the whole a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.
Ironically enough the guy in the Extra Credits portion, despite them trying to force the term compulsion, he slips and does say addiction a couple of times and is pretty much talking like a former addict.

Just as a footnote, we're talking common usage of the term addiction to help people understand, if we're talking proper DSM categorization of course it will be categorized differently and accordingly. Addiction just helps common people quickly and easily understand the problem. If you start throwing out the word "compulsion" people are going to give you a blank stare.

xitel:

Sorry, going to only be able to respond to this line, because yes, they can. Gaming addiction is the same as gambling addiction or an addiction to certain kinds of food. It is termed a "psychological addiction" as opposed to a chemical addiction. Given a certain personality type, and enough time spent on an activity, the brain can physically be altered into requiring that activity in order to function at normal levels, thus becoming classified as an addiction. Now, yes, most of the cases in which people say "my son is addicted to games" is just a compulsion at worst, or more likely a parent refusing to blame themselves for awful parenting. But there are valid cases of internet and gaming addiction, and refusing to acknowledge them is not only offensive to them, but is directly hurtful due to impeding any attempts at treatment.

OK.

Games cannot addict. Fact.

They CAN peform Behavioural Addiction(a sub-category of compulsion that's been added to the defitinion of addiction - but does not, in itself, cause brain chemical alteration. It can cause the effects of addiction because of the Dopamine receptor in the brain misfiring over a particularly pleasurable substance - but that can include shopping, evangelicial worship, selh-cutting and work)

This category has not been accepted into the DSM-IV yet. It's only been proposed. Which is why adding a subcategory at this time would be paramount to defining a biochemical problem as a mental health issue - which would create a lot of those false positives I talked about earlier.

There are addicts that focus on games. That does NOT make games addictive or such things as game addicts exist. You take away the games from the addicts and they'll just re-focus on cutting, shopping or food - Because they have to.

Compulsion, NOT addiction. That's a mis-use of words that treats one set of symptoms as the other - which is not just offensive, but crippling to the understanding of the Dopamine receptor or other forms of compulsion.

Example: Hyperactivity/Aspergers - The hundreds of false-positives that have provided simply by chemicals like Tartrazine or Sunset Yellow.

Rednog:

Just as a footnote, we're talking common usage of the term addiction to help people understand, if we're talking proper DSM categorization of course it will be categorized differently and accordingly. Addiction just helps common people quickly and easily understand the problem. If you start throwing out the word "consumption" people are going to give you a blank stare.

Compulsion, not consumption. Boy, that helped.

Oh, btw as well,

wiki:
Behavioral addiction is a form of addiction which does not rely on drugs or alcohol. Increasingly referred to as process addiction[1] or non-substance-related addiction [2][3]) behavioral addiction includes a compulsion to repeatedly engage in an action until said action causes serious negative consequences to the person's physical, mental, social, and/or financial well-being

So Addiction doesn't mean addicts anymore. Just people classed as causing serious negative consequences to health. That means smoking is an addiction even if you remove Tar, Nicotine and all the addicting factors. That also makes women eating chocolate an addiction.

And that (internet addiction) IS the proposed DSM categorization. Internet addiction and sex addiction. They're added in with "soft addictions" like shoe shopping and drinking coffee.

Because none of these are addictions, they're "compulsions" from Extracreditz view, or Impulse Control Disorders from the APA.

These are already covered in the DSM and have been for decades.IED (Road rage), Pathological Gambling and Kleptomania are next to it.

That's where it belongs. Unless you have some overwhelming case why it's a brain chemical alteration and not a misfiring of brain synapses related to certain conditions.

I was gonna dive into the topic because this is an area I have studied, and I've got a piece of paper that says I'm allowed to stick my head in in discussions like this ;).

Baresark:
Snip

This guy? Spot on. There were several other studies of this vein too. Even more concerningly, in this particular study the lead Psychologist claimed he would send fake patients to the medical hospitals over the next few weeks, and challenged them to choose the right ones. They identified over 40 fake patients. How many did he send? Zero.

Psychiatry is far too inconsistent for the amount of power they have. Lobotomies, electric shock therapy? On people who by -their- usual definitions would be perfectly healthy?

The_root_of_all_evil:
and finally, apart from the fact that there are some serious conditions (like ADHD, Aspergers, Autism, Schizophrenia, S.A.D, Manic Depression) that still aren't getting the treatment that their sufferers deserve a

I agreed mostly with what this guy said (Especially with the use of the word twats, that was spot on.) Had to pick up on this bit though, if only because you mentioned ADHD which is a massive pet peeve of mine, the position of Schizophrenia, S.A.D, Manic Depression and others as 'mental illnesses' is heavily debatable and I'm not going to argue my own position on these ones.
ADHD though? Not any way near close enough to be classified as an illness. I'm sorry but behavioural choice is not an illness, nor should it be treated, nor should its 'victims' be stigmatized as a result of it. Ritalin is dangerous and serves no necessary purpose.

I'm not going to harp on here about the dangers of 'diagnosis' of mental illnesses and that it primarily exists as a form of social control or as a way to fill the pockets of those so called medical professionals we call 'Psychiatrists' because so many other people have already said it far better.

For anyone interested I recommend researching Sazh and the Anti-Psychiatry Association.

It's called discipline, and some people don't have it.

And as far as that stretches, it also applies to any other addiction there is.
No disclipine = addicted. Knowing how to deal with things and tell yourself to use things in balance with the other aspects of life is the key to surviving life.

I game alot, sure 6hours a day if I can. But do I ditch my friends for it, forsake my chores, do not go to work / school or whatnot? Nope. Because I have the discipline to put the game (and internet) down and do something more important.

I wouldn't say it's a game addiction (or alcohol addiction or drug addiction. Take your pick), rather then a 'lack of discipline addiction'. But I'm no psychologist so people will prove me wrong soon enough.

Ruwrak:

No disclipine = addicted.
(or alcohol addiction or drug addiction. Take your pick)

You're not being proven wrong as such, but these two bits are wrong, Alcohol and drugs directly affect your body and brain and are actually 'addictions' that can't easily be overcome (Though one could argue that it was lack of discipline that led to the addictions in the first place it runs a bit deeper than that in most cases.). Other than that you're more or less on track.

Once it becomes a compulsion it becomes less about discipline, but in getting to that point it is primarily a lack of discipline and self-control, for whatever reason.

Targie:

I agreed mostly with what this guy said (Especially with the use of the word twats, that was spot on.)

Heh. It was my immediate thought.

Had to pick up on this bit though, if only because you mentioned ADHD which is a massive pet peeve of mine, the position of Schizophrenia, S.A.D, Manic Depression and others as 'mental illnesses' is heavily debatable and I'm not going to argue my own position on these ones.
ADHD though? Not any way near close enough to be classified as an illness.

That's why I caught it earlier. Due to the problems in the DSM, child psychiatry seems to be:

Are you having trouble socially? Aspergers. Are you running around? ADHD. Neither? Parental Abuse.

We've limited the strict definitions to be wooly ones. That's why being a young boy is often seen as "ADHD" and not wanting to join in is seen as "Aspergers". That hurts the people who could be actually damaged.

The Dopamine receptor misfiring could quite easily appear as a "soft addiction" to adrenaline sports - which would be classified as ADHD.

Targie:

You're not being proven wrong as such, but these two bits are wrong, Alcohol and drugs directly affect your body and brain and are actually 'addictions' that can't easily be overcome (Though one could argue that it was lack of discipline that led to the addictions in the first place it runs a bit deeper than that in most cases.). Other than that you're more or less on track.

Once it becomes a compulsion it becomes less about discipline, but in getting to that point it is primarily a lack of discipline and self-control, for whatever reason.

You already mentioned it. Drugs, alcohol and smoking do affect the body in a way that it makes it depend on regular input of said things. True. But with discipline you can do those things and not be addicted. I'd like to advocate that the addictions are more a symptome of a faulty disciplinair attitude, rather then a disease themselves.

Reasoning behind this is that the core of the issue is the disease and the visible the symptomes (I.e. excessive drinking which has other symptomes connected to it.)

To me, it sounds plausible. Discipline and self-control are skills that you can train. To get rid of an addiction requires mountains of discipline to -not- fall back into a set pattern, right? It's indeed hard to get rid of it, but it's not merely physical dependancy, it's also the mental image of 'I need' that needs to be dealth with. Maybe medics focus to much on the physical aspect then the mental aspect?

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