When Obsession Becomes Addiction

When Obsession Becomes Addiction

Posted 2014-10-19 by Colleen P Moynefollow
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles Freedigitalphotos.net

When does liking something become an obsession and when does an obsession become an addiction? Sometimes we only see the distinction in hindsight. We look back and see quite clearly the point at which we crossed the line.

It's not always easy to monitor our own behaviours as they happen and we can be very good at denial. We kid ourselves that we are in control and while something is still fun, we continue to do it.

If, for example, I were to collect clown figurines, I might begin by buying a couple at a market stall. I find that I really like them and they give me pleasure to look at. The following weekend I attend a garage sale and spot a couple more. It’s already beginning to look like a collection.

Image courtesy of Cohdra Morguefile.com

Over time, four clowns become a dozen or twenty or thirty – still a collection, but now it’s beginning to take over the sideboard and china cabinet. If my collection of clowns continues to grow and begins to take up too much space; if all I want for birthdays are clowns of any kind; if I begin to wear clown ear-rings and clown slippers and sleep in clown-patterned sheets – then I’m becoming obsessed. I keep telling myself that one more clown won't hurt.

Image courtesy of Cohdra Morguefile.com

But if my clown collecting continues to a point where I’m spending way too much money on them, or spending too much time buying, counting or talking about them; if I can’t stop and it’s affecting other aspects of my life or causing problems for those I care about – I’m addicted.

This same scenario can apply to almost anything; drugs, alcohol, dieting, over-eating, shopping, sex, gambling, social media – anything. If it becomes an unbreakable habit that negatively impacts your life and the lives of others, it's an addiction that needs to be treated.

Image courtesy of Stockimages Freedigitalphotos.net

So if you have a liking for something and you find yourself becoming more and more immersed in it, chances are you’re developing an obsession. Now might be the time to pull back before you cross that line into addiction.


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