In a physiological or a psychological perspective, is addiction a disease?I can have multiple answers, for example, yes it is....., or no it is not........Psychological is "thinking" you are...

In a physiological or a psychological perspective, is addiction a disease?

I can have multiple answers, for example, yes it is....., or no it is not........
Psychological is "thinking" you are addicted.
Physiological is physically addicted. There are withdrawl symptoms if not taking substance.

Asked on by fairy68

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lorrainecaplan's profile pic

Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

From either perspective, addiction is a disease, in my opinion. From a physiological perspective, we now know that addiction causes changes in the brain.  We are also discovering that people's brain chemistry and/or their genetic makeup might predispose them to addiction.  Is this any different than depression being a disease, with the same components, brain changes and often, physiological predisposition. There are those who think that from a psychological perspective, addiction is not a disease, but a matter of making poor choices.  But again, using depression as a comparison, is the person who is depressed simply making poor choices?  We have no difficulty calling depression a psychological disease, and it is difficult for me to see the difference.  Interestingly, there is also evidence to suggest that many people who suffer from addiction have an underlying mental disease for which they are trying to self-medicate.  So perhaps there is an argument to made that addiction is not a disease at all, but a symptom of an underlying condition.

irishemerald's profile pic

irishemerald | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

From a nursing prospective, addiction is an illness and any illness affects the physiological, psychological, psychosocial, and spiritual body. 

It has also been noted that it takes seven days to acquire an addiction or habit and twenty-eight days to break one.  The biggest question is what lured them to the addiction or habit to begin with.  If it is a crutch or coping mechanism for stress, distress from loss, anger, etc...then the cause is more psychological.  If it due to illness, pain, or physical suffering such as cancer, injury, etc...then the cause is more physiological; however, if it is due to peer pressure, such as teenagers trying to fit into a crowd, it would be most likely psychosocial.

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