On my LBC show on Wednesday we talked about addictions and how to deal with them. I guess we all know what the most commons addictions are to alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. But it goes far more widely than that. A friend of mine is addicted to Skippy peanut butter and reckons she eats a jar of it every two days. A caller on the show told me he was addicted to buying and looking after dangerous snakes. Really.
I’m not sure if you’d class this as an addiction, but I reckon I am addicted to my Blackberry. If I lose it or leave it at home I feel as if a limb has been chopped off. I can’t think of anything else which gives me that feeling of total loss. Perhaps I need to think a bit harder.
I wonder if we should differentiate between physical addictions and psychological ones. We don’t talk about sex addiction much in this country, yet it is a major issue in the United States. I always thought that it just meant that someone just had a bit more sex than average, but I had to change my mind after a friend of mine declared himself a sex addict. He literally has to have sex with a different person every day otherwise he says he gets the shakes. Imagine the pain he caused his wife when he had to admit what he was doing. Unbelievably, she has stuck with him. He goes to Sexaholics Anonymous meetings and is desperate to rid himself of what he regards as a dangerous affliction. The trouble is that anyone who wants casual sex can now get it on tap.
Many so-called ‘dating’websites are in fact nothing other than message boards for people looking for an anonymous, no strings attached, bonk. CraigsList, PlentyofFish.com and in the gay world Gaydar.co.uk and apps like Grindr mean that sex is on tap 24 hours a day. And like with so many other forms of addiction, some people find it very difficult indeed to turn off that tap.
Psychologists reckon that a lot of non physiological additions occur because of stress or because of unhappiness in another area of one’s life. I live a very happy life, albeit quite a stressful one. Who wouldn’t, with two more or less full time jobs? I think I should therefore acquire an addiction. Your suggestions please…