Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Process Addictions

Previously, I blogged about a presentation I attended on people in crisis, especially the suicidal.

One of the topics discussed there was process addiction, which was a new concept for me.

Based on some quick research, examples of process addictions are gambling addictions, Internet addictions (e.g. obsessive Second Life or video games), hoarding, eating disorders. Here's a link to the Encyclopedia of Medicine definition.

I also found this item which discusses the life process model of addiction versus the disease model of addiction.

The proponents of the life-process model of learning addictive behavior argue that the biological mechanisms that might account for addictive behavior have not been accurately identified, and thus do not warrant using the term "disease." The process-learning model prefers to emphasize the individual's ability to overcome "addiction" by skills-based cognitive and behavioral rehearsal - learning coping skills - relearning or "unlearning" behaviors that do not work for us. The process learning distinction does not refer to chemically induced physical withdrawal symptoms. This may require medical hospitalization and monitoring to maintain medical safety.

The successful resolution of addictive-behavior may involve practicing a greater degree of personal autonomy, repairing damaged relationships, developing coping skills, or refining personal strengths that embellish vital living. Critics of the life-process learning model emphasize that the lack of ability to identify specific (biological) disease mechanisms does not negate the characteristic disease course, morbidity, or mortality observed with addiction. Thereby the disease concept assumes that problems of addictions meet all the requirements to warrant using the term disease. |The Process Addiction Model: Non Chemical Behavioral Dependencies - The Hart|

I wonder if people with strong obsessive-compulsive tendencies might be more prone to process addictions.

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