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A compulsion is an overwhelming desire to do something. An addiction is a physical or chemical dependence on a substance or behaviour.
Two key differences between compulsion and addiction:
The difference between a compulsive behaviour and a habit is the ability to choose to do them.
When an otherwise harmless behaviour becomes so consuming that it negatively impacts oneself or others, it may be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Most compulsive behaviours attributed to OCD are incredibly time-consuming, cause major distress, and impair work, relationships, or other essential functions. It can include behaviours such as eating, shopping, hoarding and animal hoarding, skin picking, and gambling.
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Shopping can be socially acceptable because consumerism is continually pushed on us in the forms of posters, adverts, and signs.
Shopping is also a way of life: You need food and clothing from stores. Even if you try to stop compulsive buying by avoiding the stores in person, there is still a world of online shopping.
Our brains compute 3 things about reward: how much will we get, how soon will we get it, and how certain are we that we will in fact get it.
And it’s when the probability of a re...
Games are enticing because you might win but you might not. And video games do it so efficiently, because they ride the tide of computer technology. The balance between winning and losing is continuously adjusted, according to how well you’re doing, as measured in hits and misses, gains and losses, moment by moment. The sweet spot knows you, it finds you. It adjusts to you.
The brain can become addicted to productivity just as it can to other addiction sources, such as drugs, gambling, or shopping.
As with all addictions, the desire for the st...
What makes addiction to productivity complicated is that society tends to reward it - the more you work, the better. A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, but in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh the short-term benefits.
Addiction affects the brain's reward system. It results in compulsive behavior while disregarding harmful consequences.
At the root of obsession with productivity is a fear of wasting time. Everything is seen as either productive or unproductive.
Buying groceries is seen as productive because you have to eat, while a hobby is viewed as unproductive. Productivity junkies are overly focused on a single aspect of their life. Potential sources of pleasure, such as spending time with loved ones, are very low on the list.