Writing as Addiction (draft)

From covariance of addictions by Sam Haylett of PROMIS -
The criteria for substance dependence are the presence of at least three of the following;
  1. Tolerance develops, indicated by (a) larger does of the substance being needed to produce the desired effect, and (b) the effects of the drug becoming markedly less if only the usual amount is taken.
  2. Withdrawal symptoms develop when the person stops taking the substance or reduces the amount. The person may also use the substance to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  3. The person uses more of the substance or uses it for a longer time than intended.
  4. The person recognizes excessive use of the substance, may have tried to reduce it but has been unable to do so.
  5. Much of the person's time is spent in efforts to obtain the substance or recover from its effects.
  6. Substance use continues despite psychological or physical problems caused or made worse by the drug.
  7. Many of the activities (work, recreation, socializing) are given up or reduced in frequency because of the use of the substance.
These criteria also apply for behaviour addiction. Donegan et al (1983) proposed some more general features of addiction, including Writing can become an addictive behaviour. Like those who become addicted to exercise, some writers exhibit guilt if they don't write daily, and are prone to cross-addiction. Because writing encourages isolation, is cheap, and is encouraged as a form of therapy from other addictions, it attracts addicts.
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Updated in September, 2000
tpl@eng.cam.ac.uk