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What's the difference? - August 21st 2012, 03:57 AM

I'm not sure if this is the right forum, so feel free to move my thread if you want.
My question is: technically speaking and/or in your opinion, what is the difference between an addiction and an obsession?


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Re: What's the difference? - August 21st 2012, 04:26 AM

An obssesion is something YOU pursue with tenacity. An addiction is a need born of a foreign influence and generally has negative affects on you. Where obssesion can be compared to passion, addiction is to desparation though not all obssesions aare generally good either. It's very subjective.


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Re: What's the difference? - August 24th 2012, 01:45 PM

For me an addiction has a physical component, in the sense that your body needs it. Be it because of some substance, like nicotine, or because certain activity or substance helps the brain secrete dopamine, serotonine or whatever and it's a pleasant situation.

An obsession is when you preoccupy excessively till a troubling extent about something. When that thought occupies most of your mind and it's impossible to get it out of your head
   
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Re: What's the difference? - August 24th 2012, 08:43 PM

To me, an addiction is something more physical. You almost need it to survive. For example, I have a caffeine addiction. When I don't have any in my system, I get extremely cranky and I get really bad headaches. Not having it has a substantial effect on you, physically or mentally.

An obsession is something that's in your mind. It's something that you spend the bulk of your time thinking about. For example, a lot of girls are obsessed with One Direction. They are constantly checking up on the band members' Twitter, the latest band news, and know the new single before anyone else.

I'm not sure if this made sense or not, but I'm hoping it did.


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Re: What's the difference? - August 24th 2012, 09:01 PM

I've never really sat down and thought about the difference. So I literally had this running through my head all day... trying to form an opinion. What a productive day. Anyway.

I honestly believe that an addiction, as Sammi said, is something physical. However, I believe a lot of it is psychological as well. I mean, let's use substance abuse as an example. Why do people do drugs or drink alcohol? In a lot of cases, it's to escape reality, forget problems, have fun, etc. Whatever the case may be, it takes one out of their mind/body even for a little while. And that's where the physical stuff comes in. When one gets used to the drug or whatever it may be, they literally can't live without it. I've seen withdrawal effects: fevers, sweats, headaches, pain, shakes, or even more severe, seizures or death. It's not pretty. So it's really easy to stick with an addiction because of the harsh realities of the aftermath of them. Therefore, it's harder to overcome.

Whereas an obsession, I think, is a phase. I mean. Kind of. Sometimes, it's passion. Sometimes, it's unhealthy. Sometimes, it's following a trend. It's tricky. Either way, I feel like obsessions are kind of more habitual than addictive and are easier to overcome.

That's just my opinion. I'm not sure if any of that made sense but I'm going to hope.
   
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Re: What's the difference? - August 24th 2012, 09:08 PM

For all those saying about how addiction is physical what about how some medications/drugs are said to be psychologically addictive but not physically (Marijuana being the main example that comes to mind)? Doesn't this go against the physical definition?

Addiction - The fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity
Obsession - The state of being obsessed with someone or something.
An idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person's mind.

From the 'official' dictionary definitions it doesn't look like there's that much difference.
   
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Re: What's the difference? - August 25th 2012, 03:30 AM

An addiction, whether physical or psychological involves actively ingesting a substance or performing a task that once complete, makes you feel compelled to get more or do it again. An obsession is different because the feelings of being compelled is based on intrusive thoughts and not on something you ingested or did. In other words, both involve feeling compelled but they differ on the source or cause of those feelings.


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