how much of "addiction" is in fact nothing more than the currently popular "victim mentality." Oh, poor me, I
can't do anything about this, because it is an addiction.
It's hard to say. Here's another long-winded bit of pedantry:
There are two basic types of addiction: physical and psychological.
Some illegal drugs (and some other things) produce a physical addiction. For instance, the function of some drugs resembles that of neurotransmitters that your body produces closely enough that when you get hooked on said drugs, your body's production of those neurotransmitters drops. This is a real physical effect, and when you quit the drugs, you feel miserable. That's the defining part of physical addictions: it must be something that you are actually dependent on because of a bodily condition.
Most addictions, though, are apparently psychological in nature. The idea of doing X (gambling, porn, etc.) has become so strongly ingrained in you that you are not able to surrender it easily. It is a fundamental part of who you are, and changing it may be as hard as changing anything else about you that is so central to who you are. As has been observed, some people can do this without much apparent effort, while others struggle for years and go nowhere, and still others never try at all.
I won't doubt that there are a lot of people who give up without trying to kick their habits. They fall into the "victim mentality" you spoke of. However, I'd venture to say that more people try to quit (with varying degrees of success) than those who never try in the first place.
Psychological addictions are quite hard to deal with. In the case of a physical addiction, the addict at least knows that at some point, the jonesing will stop and life will resemble something normal again. The psychological addict does not have this comfort. It takes a concious effort of will for months or years to avoid the addiction, and even then they may not succeed. There is no guarantee of success.
By that same definition of "addicted," I'm addicted to just about everything I enjoy doing. That's absurd.
What you're talking about is absurd. The problem is that you're proceeding from a faulty definition of addiction. Addicts don't just do something because they enjoy it; they do it because if they don't, they feel miserable. It is, in a very real sense, a compulsion. It can be likened to having someone follow you around all day and tell you to do something. It gets hard to concentrate on other things, and a lot of people give in to the compulsion just to make it stop. The bulk of whatever pleasure they receive from their addiction is a relief from the compulsion, not the intrinsic pleasurableness of the experience.
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