According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is defined as involving "a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual's life experiences." But for many, it goes beyond things like substance abuse. And in a Reddit thread on the AskReddit board, users came together to share addictions that some people have but maybe didn't know about.
And in sharing addictions they personally have, or an addiction they know someone has, the Redditors made it possible for others to comment with potential remedies to overcome them. And no, I'm not talking about an addiction to chocolate. Although to be fair, there may be some individuals with a serious reliance on it. Still, there are apparently tons of addictions that you may not have heard about until now.
Users on Reddit shared their surprising addictions in a thread.
The AskReddit thread started when someone posted the question: "What is an addiction people have, but don't know about?" And thousands of comments later, we have lots of addictions that people either shared about themselves or have seen in people around them.
There are also comments from others who now realize they have the same addiction, but didn't know until now that's how serious it was for them.
Like shopping, which one user said their mother-in-law deals with as a clear addiction, although the mother-in-law likely doesn't see it this way.
"My mother-in-law has [a shopping addiction] and just thinks she can't pass up a good deal," the user commented. "The store clerks know her by name and she buys so much stuff that she has bought the same thing twice for my kids. It's honestly so sad."
Another surprising addiction some people share is external validation. One Reddit user even confirmed this when they commented (albeit jokingly, most likely), "Checks back for upvotes…"
Someone else commented, "100 percent I am guilty of it. And actually something my therapist and I have been working on. It's rough out here and it feels nice to be told you are doing OK, but it doesn't need to be your North Star for everyday life or self-esteem."
Social media is another addiction named in the thread. And I think we can all agree that, to some degree, we either feel that or know someone close to us who does. I know I do and there have even been times where I recognized my own reliance on it and had to delete social media apps from my devices for a while.
According to another Reddit user, escapism in multiple forms is another addiction many share. To them, it means relying on things like daydreaming, movies, social media, and anything "that makes you not aware of your current physical surroundings."
Even if you're aware of the addiction, it can be hard to overcome it.
While some of the Reddit users commented in jest on the AskReddit thread, others do recognize that they may already claim one or more of the addictions. And despite that, some of them have no intention of fighting those addictions.
Like one user, who simply owned up to their "weed addiction." And another, who admitted they need a lot of validation because they received none as a child.
I am in no way in denial that I have my own addiction to caffeine, which I need daily. But I too have no intention of eliminating caffeine from my life.
At the very least, as someone else commented, some of these individuals can take comfort in knowing some of their addictions don't affect them negatively in a physical sense. For the most part.