Is Addiction a Behavioural Disorder or a Disease?

Is Addiction a Behavioural Disorder or a Disease?

Addictions are commonly classified as a form of brain disease. However, a group of addiction specialists are questioning the necessity of classing addiction as a disease, and its potential damaging effects.

Up to now, since an addiction is recognised as a disease, as a mental health issue, many individuals believe that a once-fits-all diagnosis exists. This is very similar when considering further cognitive issues, such as depression. Here is where addiction specialists believe we have gone wrong, placing focus on a multifaceted disorder, rather than the actual causation.

On the other end of the spectrum, an addiction is argued to be a disease, to be an illness which causes detrimental impacts, especially to physical and psychological health. It’s a disease requiring vast addiction treatment to suppress and diminish side effects.

Through both arguments, there is a blurred line between addiction, its severity and its position in the mental health world. Here’s our take here at Rehab Clinics Group, touching on the question of ‘is addiction a behavioural disorder or a disease?’.

If you’re unfortunately affected by addiction, whether personally or through the witness of someone else, we are here to help you work through your addiction diagnosis.

What is an addiction?

An addiction is where an unhealthy, negative habit is formed around a certain variable. In most cases, drug, alcohol or gambling addictions are the case. Yet, addiction diagnoses can be linked to any variable, causing a routine, a consistent lifestyle, a dependence. Today we even see social media addictions or phone addictions, showcasing the capabilities and complexities of addiction. This also highlights the personal experience of addiction and how varying encounters can either form or motivate addiction.

So far, an addiction has been recognised as a disease. This is down to the correlating impacts addiction has on physical and psychological health. This is the case when considering further mental health issues, standing as an internal disease, stemmed from genetics, from bodily functions or reactions.

However, through more and more research, especially through the cognitive strain of addiction, its disease classification is dwindling, turning into a behavioural disorder. Many specialists believe that an addiction is developed through choice, behaviours, attitudes, emotions and experiences. It is far-reaching from a disease stereotype, where behavioural side effects are ultimately conditioned through consumption or exposure.

Through this argument, it can be difficult to see whether an addiction is a behavioural disorder or a disease. Yet, the general consensus is that addiction is a life-limiting illness to develop and experience. By enabling an addiction, lives will change. If you are experiencing an addiction of any form, it’s time to source support, no matter its overarching classification.

Is addiction a behavioural disorder or a disease? Here’s a breakdown…

An addiction, in theory, is classed as a disease. However, this classification is now being questioned, as addiction is being viewed as a general disease, as a stereotypical type of side effects. When in fact, it is a wide range of symptoms, linked to personal experiences with addiction.

When you think of a disease, you envision something out of control, for example cancer. A lot of cancers are developed involuntarily. Yet, the argument shares that an addiction, to an extent, is a voluntary behavioural disorder, formed through the acceptance of exposure.

Specialists are again questioning its classification as a brain disease by stating that internal signs of addiction cannot be viewed or measured. The body and mind do not fit a generalist definition of addiction. Yet, addictions can be identified through behaviours and choices, making it a behavioural disorder, a subconscious choice.

When answering ‘is addiction a behavioural disorder of disease?’, there are many counter-argumentative opinions. However, the key takeaway which specialists hope users and those around them will understand, is that an addiction is different for every individual. There isn’t a specific way to treat an addiction as a disease. There are however addiction treatments in place to diminish the changes caused by addiction, by a behavioural disorder.

Overcoming addiction through rehab

No matter your opinion on addiction, and its classification as a behavioural disorder or disease, it is important that you understand that it is dangerous. An addiction is one of the hardest conditions to overcome, down to the deeply ingrained behaviours which form over time.

The important factor is that you consider rehabilitation if you are suffering from an addiction. Without taking this step, the behavioural disorder of addiction will change your quality of life, your persona and your experiences. The disease form will also adapt your physical and psychological health, increasing your risk of addiction related mental health issues.

Overcoming addiction via rehab is the best way forward, available here at Rehab Clinics Group.

Treating a behavioural disorder

Unfortunately, medication or a single detox programme will not motivate the rehabilitation of addiction. Greater addiction treatment is required when treating a behavioural disorder. Down to the fact that behaviours have changed, that opinions have changed, that outlooks have changed, linked to addiction, it’s vital that those habits and new routines are broken down.

Through a range of behavioural and psychological addiction treatment options, treating and suppressing the unique side effects of addiction is possible. Again, maintenance can be achieved, helping to control addiction as a disorder. However, a cure, commonly available through disease, isn’t the case when considering addiction.

Whether you’re suffering with a drug and alcohol addiction, a gambling addiction, a social media addiction, whatever the addictive variable, vast restoration is required to treat a behavioural disorder. Conditioned behaviours and norms must be changed, in order to lower the addictive level of that variable. Through rehab, this can be achievable, treating an addiction us possible.

To experience this, reach out to our team here at Rehab Clinics Group. In addition, if you hope for more information on ‘is addiction a behavioural disorder or disease?’, contact our team. Although the classification itself will not change addictions and their severities, it’s important that a clear understanding of addiction and its uncontrollable hold is gauged.