Whether compulsive behaviors like using pornography or sex-hookup apps should be considered addictions is still under debate. Most of the debate concerns brain chemistry, but one does not have to be a neurophysiologist to see why the analogy with addiction is attractive.
Like drunks, people who practice these behaviors aren’t happy.
But like drunks, they sometimes think that they are happy.
Frequently, like drunks, they don’t want to change.
But like drunks, even when they do want to change, they find it difficult to do so.
On the other hand, can’t all these things be said of every vice? Cowards aren’t happy, but they sometimes think that they are. Habitual liars aren’t usually interested in becoming honest, but even if they are, they find it tough.
For that matter, shouldn’t we expect everything we do to change our brain chemistry? We aren’t disembodied spirits, but body-and-soul unities.
I am not suggesting that there aren’t any true neurological disorders. Of course there are. But the problem with medicalizing the discussion of everyday human action is that it takes personal responsibility out of the loop.
For tens of centuries, long before we knew anything about the brain, we’ve known that every choice we make changes our predispositions toward the next one to be made. That doesn’t mean we aren’t making choices.