Hooked on a Feeling – Greg Albrecht

Once upon a time, the word “addiction” was used almost exclusively to define and describe dependence on mood altering substances. Addiction is centered on sensory stimulation and gratification. When a particular chemical substance that produces an incredible “rush” or “high” wears off, an individual starts returning to the drug to experience the same feeling again. Substance addiction is further understood as continued involvement with a drug because of immediate pleasure and gratification, in spite of the negative consequences the addict would eventually experience.

Today we speak not only of substance addiction but also, in a broader context, behavioral addiction. People who have an abnormal dependency on food, gambling, shopping, exercise, sex, work, the Internet, video games, music or television are also called addicts. Like substance addiction, behavioral addiction is predicated on mood altering habits that produce feelings of escape and pleasure.

Some are addicted to romance novels and soap operas on television; others are addicted to soft drinks. I have known people who “needed” to drink two six-packs of Diet Coke for breakfast every day. Coffee and chocolate can turn people into addicts. Many people today are slaves of technology—they have to be on the Internet several hours every day—they are constantly checking their messages on their cell or Smart phone to see if someone has called or texted.

People are addicted to what is now called “social media.”

Some people find themselves, as one song decades ago opined, “addicted to love.” These addicts are in a perpetual quest, even if they are married, for what they define as love—a feeling, an experience, a high, a sensation—that someone out there will eventually fulfill. Even though being addicted to this idea of love is roughly equivalent to chasing the pot of gold at the end of rainbow, many people are addicted to this feeling they define as “love.”

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