Do you believe that addiction is a disease (as in a biological or psychological condition) or that it is a self-imposed affliction based on choice?
Hey my friend, first of all: If you’re suffering from an addiction, please get help with this right away.
Having fought a fifteen year porn addiction and also being a Psych major (the latter which doesn’t make me any kind of authority), I can tell you that the inside of addiction is a lot like the dual theory of light — it is made of both waves and photons, just as addiction can be both biological and a choice.
It doesn’t work to say it’s only one or the other. On one hand, it’s been proven biologically that some people are more likely to be sensitive to alcohol and substance addiction. There are some who have a propensity for gambling, for spending, for sex. We must not be so hard on them, since they’re (probably) wired this way.
At the same time, to constantly claim that addiction is a disease is often abused to give permission for irresponsible behavior. If I kept claiming that my former porn addiction was a “disease,” which was possibly true, then I could’ve also subconsciously found excuses to continue ruining my life through porn and supporting a brutally exploitative industry. Yes, maybe it was a disease. But it was also a choice, and I took deliberate steps to get it under control and kill it once and for all. I know how I’m physically wired, but I can still do something about it.
The Western culture has this funny habit of overtly ducking responsibility. We’re always finding loopholes out of laws, always trying to get the most from our car insurance, always lying our way out of consequences. No one wants to do the hard work of owning up to their own lives. It’s a serious problem. You have fifteen year olds trying to act like “grown ups” by reenacting Grand Theft Auto, but when they get caught and punished, they cry, “I’m just a kid.”
Immature people want all the fun but none of the strings attached. You see the inconsistency and the inauthenticity. I don’t mean to sound like an old-fashioned preacher here. But I just don’t want our vocabulary to cover up the obvious truth. We’re often a weak-minded people who will look for any avenue to be selfish, and I don’t want to enable anyone for even a second to implode.
If you’re saying “disease,” then you must also say it’s treatable. There can be recovery. We can’t leave that part out either. I pray we would be serious about this and not find one more rationalization for laziness.
If I’ve sounded hard here: I don’t mean to diminish the problem. I definitely know that addictions are not beaten overnight and it can be a lifelong struggle to limp through them. But even if it’s limping: by the grace of God, so we must struggle on. Seek the help and be willing to do the hard work.