When you see the word, “ADDICT,” what picture comes to mind? The word itself carries such a burden of stigma that I cannot refer to my interviewees here as addicts. Someone will take exception to that word as being uncaring.
When a word carries that much emotional baggage, we must challenge the assumptions that ground it. And I do with this fourth installation in the series. Through the use of video, I introduce the word “Addict,” but relate it to all those behavioral addictions to which so many of us fall victim: compulsive cell phone use, gaming, porn, shopping, eating, exercise. Compulsively engaging in an activity with a negative impact on the person is considered a behavioral addiction. Isn’t it fascinating that we stigmatize the behavior that may involve the least choice, the greatest compulsion, simply because it was deemed to be illegal.
Most of us exhibit addictive behaviors. We tend to judge others rather than ourselves.