Topic: compulsive behavior
In addictions, a compulsion is usually expressed as a powerful, perhaps even overwhelming urge to continue gambling, drinking, whatever.
A Federal judge once concluded in a famous lawsuit: It was clear that psychiatrists get together to define various disorders, and then every so often, get back together to redefine them.
Isn’t that a bit like the drinker who insists he’s fine except that he just drinks a whole lot more than other people?
Apparently, many voluntary self-excluders later change their minds in favor of a return to old behavior.
We can’t always predict which problem will require attention first — or indeed, when opening a door in therapy will introduce a whole new set of emotional needs and issues.
Much of the anxiety the addicted person feels is anticipatory, based not on actual withdrawal symptoms but on the fear of not being able to find an adequate supply of the drug when they arrive.