Question of the Day – No. 263 Posted on January 10, 2019January 10, 2019 by Troy Headrick In your opinion, what’s the difference between an addiction and a habit? Share this:TwitterFacebookTumblrLinkedInRedditPinterestPocketTelegramWhatsAppSkypeEmailPrintLike this:Like Loading...
72 thoughts on “Question of the Day – No. 263”
An addiction is something you are compelled to do so much that it’s an obsession to the exclusion of all else.
A habit is a learned trait through practice or time passed.
I think an addiction is also something learned through practice. Maybe an addiction is the “final form” of a habit?
Like taking medication…it can head south very fast if it gets out of hand
I’ve never thought of this. I’ll have to get back to you on it. LOL
I’m looking forward for it!
I think addiction is a habit that is relentless. It’s a strong drive to consume or perform to satisfy on a chemical/biological/psychological level. Not just drugs, but certain disorders are addictions. Addictions can be treated with active and professional help.
A habit can be stopped with vigilance. Nail biting, thumb sucking
So an addiction can be a habit that cannot be stopped by yourself?
I wouldnt think. You need alot of love, support, and guidance.
This is such an interesting topic to debate. I would say that habit forms the basis of addiction, but habit only becomes an addiction once it is relied on so heavily that without it, the consumer would get withdrawal symptoms or not feel like themselves.
We can break both habits and addiction. However, habits can be broken more easily. Despite this, to break either of them we have to learn other ways to combat it. For example, with alcohol addiction we would perhaps learn through talking out our feelings, and equally with biting our nails we would learn to release that nervous energy by talking too.
There are ways they overlap but also differ. It depends on the situation and the extend of it, as well as the person themselves.
Very interesting! Would you say that an addiction is an out of control habit?
Yeah I think that’s a pretty accurate way of describing it
So an addiction is not as aware as a habit? Or the other way around?
In my opinion addiction is something that imprisons us subconsciously and it is very hard to change (possible, but hard). A habit on the other hand is something usually neutral and once the environment changes we are able to change our habits easily.
Examples are always best, so here are mine. Habit: I start work at 9, before it I eat my breakfast at home at 7.30. Imagine I change the jobs and start now at 10. I can easily change my habit of eating my breakfast from 7.30 to 8.30. Addiction: after a long week at work on Fridays I used to drink some alcohol. It was happening every Friday and I felt kind of strange if I did not get a bit tipsy each Friday. Looks like I subsonsciously thought it was somehow relaxing me. Only by realizing such a pattern is harmful to me I put a lot of effort into changing it. Now my Friday evenings I spend with a book or a good film 🙂
This is what I mean by awarness of what a habit and what an addiction is.
Great examples! Thank you! They sum up the ideas perfectly 🙂
You build your day around an addiction; whereas, a habit is something you do, maybe without awareness, for fun or because you always have (collecting stamps or biting nails). I agree with Anna above that it is about awareness not denial. I do have habits that I really want to do, but I am aware of my habits and I find that they help me cope. An addition is something one cannot stop even it they know it’s hurting them. I love cheese cake, but I know that if I made a “habit” of eating it every day, that I would be dead in about five years. I eat cheese cake maybe once or twice per year. If I was addicted to it, I’d it everyday regardless. Now if you have a habit of being here on WordPress everyday, I don’t think that really harms anyone, unless you are doing it 10 hours per day. Then it may be an addiction.
So an addiction is always harmful whilst an habit is not always harmful?
I would say almost always. If you are addicted to love, then love will hurt you. There are habitual drinkers and those addicted. Here is a video by Dr. Carl Hart that underscores that most using drugs don’t get addicted. It’s more occasional or habitual: https://youtu.be/C9HMifCoSko
This is great! Thank you for sharing! 😀
Reblogged this on Streams Of Destiny and commented:
But I have heard that “what were once vices are now habits.”
Interesting quote. Thank you for sharing! 😀
Interesting. Can you be more specific?
belief they are different;
imo, both are constructs leading to generally accepted proscriptions leading to prescriptions. it’s more lucrative to convince a man he is sick than to invest in what it would take to remind, reveal or reaffirm that he is the antidote of his own personal dis’ease(s). not always, just more pharmacologically plausible.
Habit is a pattern of behaviour. You put your glasses by the bed. The sleepers are waiting for your feet by the edge of the rug. You slip into them, because you know they are there. That’s all. It’s a line you follow, predictably until something unexpected happens. Like that unplanned party after work. You never normally like hanging out with people from work but lately things haven’t been great, thoughts have hit a bit of a low, so you tell yourself ‘screw it – you need a distraction. You have a beer or two, loosen up, your jokes start landing with people around you, their laugh inviting the inner showman out to play and to entertain. However, there the needed intermission. Those two beers need to come out. You go into the bathroom and push the unlocked door open. There is your co worker, crouching before the white, porcelain toilet bowl. He’s not throwing up. He turns his head, his pupils like black buttons, his smile a bit cartoonishly stretched across his face. You see the white lines on a silver cigarette holder resting on the lid of the toilet bowl.
“You want some?”
You tell yourself ‘screw it – you need a distraction’.
That was the first line. Then the showman came out. Minutes later the showman also needed a line.
Now I know what you are thinking… Cliche. Don’t do drugs because your brain will smell of burned eggs.
But you enjoyed the distraction. Everyone else enjoyed it too. So you invite the showman to come out more often. So often, that you needed to get an order of grass once a week just to take the edge off and you invested in a mouth guard for occasional solo parties.
You wake up. You look around the bed for your glasses. Must have left them somewhere before passing out in your clothes from last night. Your feet touch the floor. You can’t see your slippers anywhere, but the left brown boot is resting on the night stand. You get up. Check pockets in the jacket. Glasses are there. Oh and a joint. It’s your day off anyway. Might just as well smoke it now. Who knows what’s going to happen tonight. Maybe go out for a drink with your co-workers. You feel a bit groggy. You check your wallet. There is a little bit of white dust in a small plastic pouch in between bland banknotes. It’s your day off. Your head is groggy. Might just as well. You’ll get some more later on anyway. It’s become your friend. You can’t remember what it was like before. Before the showman was born. And it needs coke. Its a way of finding your path of life to death. That’s what your body needs. Wants. Desires. It’s like the strongest habit imposed by someone else. Something that completes you.
Awesome comment! So an addiction is a overwhelming desire which takes control over your body whilst a habit is like a neural highway which we follow.
I think so too.
A hair thin line in a lot of cases is the difference. Sometimes a habit might be more deadly than an addiction. Sometimes you don’t know that habit was an addition till you try to stop for good. I’ve had a lot of habits and additions, but as I’ve aged I’ve been able to replace the unhealthy ones with ones less destructive thankfully.
I’m happy you managed to change the unhealthy ones. Do you think it’s easier to replace a habit with another compared to just stopping that unhealthy habit?
A habit is breakable – you may miss it at times, but you can change it. An addiction is a physical craving; and I include OCD behaviors in this, that results in an action. You don’t get the same kind of withdrawals from breaking a habit (such as nail biting) as you do from an addiction (like smoking.)
That’s true. Do you think an addiction is always a habit first?
Btw: I missed your comments 😀
Addiction: Very damaging to your overall health
Habit: Not as damaging to your overall health
In your opinion, an addiction is always damaging the overall health? Can an addiction be helpful?
Hm. I can’t think of examples where addiction wouldn’t be damaging to health. I suppose it could be helpful if you’re addicted to say, work, making you advance in your career or something.
Addiction is something you cannot live without.Associated generally with physical things, something that takes you away from who you really are. When you are addicted, you cannot control yourself. The addiction is developed by conscious efforts from our side.
While habit is something which you do on regular intervals. It can be good or bad. It is generally embedded in one’s behavior . Habits are more likely to be developed unconsciously over a time.
e.g. A kleptomaniac does not have addiction of stealing things but has habit of doing so.
I find this conscious/unconscious idea very interesting. Maybe the development is conscious or unconscious, but the behavior itself can be acknowledged either if it’s a habit or an addiction. What do we do or what we can do with this piece of information, it’s a totally different thing.
I feel like a habit is something beneficial done that helps you in someone (be it emotionally, physically, mentally, etc…). Addictions are harmful and hard to stop. Addictions can also arise from habits-gone-wrong.
So a habit is helpful whilst an addiction is harmful? And once a habit is not helpful anymore, than it’s an addiction?
In simplistic terms, I believe so.
Addiction is implicit or explicit obsession in (mostly) negative things. Habit is a pattern of behavior and is more neutral.
Can these two influence each other?
Possible. I think when a habit becomes less natural and becomes something because you have to for no apparent reason, then it might be switching to an addiction. A habit, in my opinion, should be something that benefits you.
Compulsion. Habits are ingrained patterns or ways of doing things that can be altered without a lot of psychological/physical stress.
Breaking an addiction leads to emotional and or physical distress in most cases.
Can a habit become an addiction?
For sure. I think so. I think if something is done repeatedly enough that triggers the reward center in the brain, absolutely.
I wrote once: I make addictions this is why I choose my habits very wisely…(even though it was written romantically speaking) but I believe that addictions are habits that just started to live inside our mind and take a big part that our brain suffers when it’s absent…
People always consider addictions as a negative thing (addicted to drug, alcohol…) and habit as something we do daily without even thinking sometimes and it makes us feel comfortable and stable. For me addictions can be also healthy (writing, exercise…) but the unhealthy part about an addiction is the mental harm we have when we decide to quit, we feel emotionally drained, suffering and also the time we take to quit! It’s easier when it’s just a habit I guess.
So in the end, it’s severity of it…
Yes and how hard it is to stop without being harmful to our health
And also habits can be harmful when we become just like robots…doing things without even thinking!
It’s amazing how two things could both be so similar yet be polar opposites at the same time.
Both take time to develop yet habit has a more positive connotation than addiction.
But basically it boils down to the same thing. In my opinion.
Thank you for this mind boggling question. Made me really think about this one 😊
Thank you for replying. Yes, they are very similar, but the effects they have are quite different.
A habit is a daily activity developed due to reenforcement of a situation or behaviour. It can be unlearned and has no major effect on the body.
An Addiction is an urge engrained in your nervous system. It’s absence makes you restless and can damage you at both physical and mental levels, not easily forgettable. It has long term effects on the body.
In your opinion, how does that addiction get engrained in our nervous system?
When you get something into your life and it produces a large impact on you, your body tends to remember it and as you keep reinforcing it, your systems adapt to it. Simple things from music to grave drug addictions
Addiction is something I don’t want to have.
A habit is something I want to have: good habits.
A habit is also something I want to change: bad habits.
That’s why I want to start my bullet journal! I want to develop good habits and quit the bad ones.
Actually, you can also quit if you’re addicted to something. However, it might need professional help. I’d like to think that addiction is a bad habit; just reaaaaally serious.
Would you say that an addiction is a bad habit more difficult to break?
I would say Addiction is of the body, and habit is of the mind, though they can feed each other, and feed on each other.
Very interesting! So an addiction starts from the body and it “forces” the mind to fulfill it whilst a habit starts from the mind that forces the body to act?
Force, or maybe seduce.😉
It’s really thoughful topic…. 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔Addiction is something we can not change…As a result, we do many worog thing…the results which much worse, but we can change our habit…which help us to make our lives better…but in the case of addition it can not be done…🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄😑😑😑😑😶😶😶😶😶😶😶🤨🤨🤨🤨🤨🤨🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔
Interesting. So a habit is easier to change than an addiction.
Yeah…I think that…🙄🙄😃😃😃😁😁😄😄🤩🤩🤩😉😉😉☺️☺️☺️😆😆😆😀😀😀😎😎😎😌😌😌🙃🙃🙃🙃😬😬😬🤪🤪🤪🤪🤓🤓🤓😇😇😇😇
In most scenarios addiction indeed is unhealthy. But habit is like something we do a particular way or always have.
Would you say that a habit is a “mindless” way we do things?
In depends on how you look at it and I think that corelate to what type of person you are considering. Habits are “mindless” but we also develop new ones.
The line between the two is marginal. An addiction is a compulive need; a habit is behavior that’s nearly involuntary. Both can be broken — both can be added too.
How different is the way they form and break?
Habit is something one can’t break addiction can be cured
So an addiction is easier to be overcome compared to a habit?
Yes surely in my eyes