In this article we will try to differentiate Addiction vs Habit. When do we say that it’s just a habit and when do we say that it’s already a state of addiction.
WHAT IS HABIT?
Habits are routine behaviors done on a regular basis. They are recurrent and often unconscious patterns of behavior and are acquired through frequent repetition. Many of these are unconscious as we don’t even realize we are doing them.
We can see that habits define our character, our thoughts and feelings and our ‘usual’ behaviors. We can also see that habits are behaviors that are nearly or completely involuntary and because they are repeated frequently, we become ‘better’ at them (increased facility of performance).
When behaviors are repeated in a consistent context, there is an incremental increase in the link between the context and the action.
A habit can also be an addiction.
Some believe the term addiction should be reserved for describing a physical dependency on chemical substances such as alcohol and drugs.
Other addictions include a range of compulsive behaviors such as gambling, eating, shopping, playing videogames, work and internet usage. This type of addiction is typically described as ‘psychological addiction,’ a state that can also accompany physical addictions.
One definition describes physical addiction. It is often referred to as dependency often leads to tolerance- the addicted person needs larger and more regular amounts of whatever they are addicted to, in order to receive the same effect. Often, the initial reward is no longer felt, and the addiction continues because withdrawal is so unpleasant. There is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved.
Most addictive behavior is not related to either physical tolerance or exposure to cues. People commonly use drugs, gamble, or shop compulsively in reaction to being stressed, whether or not they have a physical addiction. Since these psychologically based addictions are not based on drug or brain effects, they can account for why people frequently switch addictive actions from one drug to a completely different kind of drug, or even to a non-drug behavior. The focus of the addiction isn’t what matters; it’s the need to take action under certain kinds of stress. Treating this kind of addiction requires an understanding of how it works psychologically.
When referring to any kind of addiction, it is important to recognize that its cause is not simply a search for pleasure and that addiction has nothing to do with one’s morality or strength of character. Experts debate whether addiction is a “disease” or a true mental illness, whether drug dependence and addiction mean the same thing, and many other aspects of addiction. Such debates are not likely to be resolved soon. But the lack of resolution does not preclude effective treatment.
PS: some are excerpts from all around the web