After Governor Mark Sanford abandoned his state and his family to be with his mistress in Argentina, people applauded his long-suffering wife Jenny for kicking his lying butt to the curb. Yet even as she denounced his affair, she gave him a big gift … she called his cheating "an addiction." These days, people love characterizing everything as an addiction, from the frivolous to the frightening. In pop culture parlance, you can be a rage-aholic, a shop-aholic, and a choc-aholic. Addictions are serious things, but is cheating seriously an addiction?
Addicted to … Everything
Addiction is the inability to discontinue reckless or harmful behavior. Addicts can't stop themselves from self-destructing, whatever their choice of poison may be. We don't fully understand addiction yet, but we do know that there are genetic components, as well as social factors, that can contribute to addiction. When people think about addictions, the most common ones are usually drugs and alcohol. We know that physical addictions to alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes can literally change a person's brain chemistry, shutting down certain areas of functioning. Physical addictions also alter nerve pathways to the brain's pleasure centers, causing horrible withdrawal symptoms if people try to quit.
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