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Can anyone explain to me the difference between addictive behaviour and compulsive behaviour?

I am curious to know if I engage in behaviours addictively or compulsively, as it could affect how I look at overcoming the behavior.



Maybe one of the differences between an addiction and a compulsion is that with an addiction, there are usually symptoms of withdrawal when one is deprived of the thing that one is addicted to. I don't know if that's true of a compulsion.

I spend a lot of time on the Internet, and at times become "compelled" to send more e-mails than usual, post on more message boards (like right now, in fact) and so forth. But when I leave my computer, I experience no withdrawal, no overwhelming urge to return to it.

So maybe this is a distinction, I don't know.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
It's a fine line sometimes. With "addiction", there is usually a development of tolerance (needing more and more over time) and significant withdrawal when the object/substance isn't available.
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