According to the dictionary
definition, dependence refers to a submissive,
obedient state characterized by the loss of
Many people consider that their goal in life is
to have a pleasant, easy and active life, a good
social status that satisfies them and those
around them, and to control their life and
psychological mental state.
A mixture of these goals can cause a dependence.
A general rule says that if a behaviour
is followed by a pleasant outcome, this behaviour
will be repeated in the near
future. However, this behaviour is
reinforced rather than dropped, if its expected
outcome does not follows the behaviour each time.
From a psychological
point of view, dependence refers to
an excessive, abnormal and harmful behavior.
It might sound incredible, but almost
all human activities - such as working, feeding,
sex, collecting valuable materials, taking pills,
drinking alcohol , and taking drugs can turn into
Usually, the dependence term is only used for
those behaviours that cause, in certain degrees,
a loss of personal freedom
by affecting the person's judgment
capacity. Even when the person starts
realising that his/her behaviour became a serious
problem that affects them and the people around
them, he/she will still continue to behave the
same. These behaviours are similar with obsessive
or manic behaviors, and can lead to personal
Once a person loses his/her freedom, their
personality starts slowly and insidiously to
change. A self-dilusional reality created by the
addict from lies and twisted explanation to
protect him/her from losing the his/her
self-esteem and other people's respect, stops the
addict from becoming aware of these changes.
Many people do not like to be called substance
dependents, because this term is perceived
throught its negative connotation.
functions fulfillment, and health
are few of the most valuable society traits. As
long as people are dedicated to their personal
pleasures and pasions without losing their
health, social status, or work ability, they will
not be called substance dependents or maniacs.
These terms (substance dependents and maniacs)
are only used when these values (liberty,
self-determination, self-control, social
functions fulfillment, and health) are
impaired, when the person's life perspective and
interests narrow, and when the addictive
behaviour becomes dominant (without being
followed by its initial satisfaction). Finally,
the alcoholic discovers that drinking offers no
satisfaction. A similar situation is faced by an
workoholic (a person who is work addicted) who
continues to work excessively even when he/she
has lost the interest on the work results and
success. The dependence's inner dymanimcs leads
to a progressive incapacity to perceive pleasure
and a general loss of life appetite.
There are two types of dependences: physical
dependence and psychological
The physical dependence
is caused by the constant, frequent and abusive
consumption of harmful substances. The body
adjusts to these substances causing an increased
tolerance. In this state, the addict's body needs
the substance to function normally.
The physical dependence occurs when the addict
stops using the substance, and is characterized
by a so called withdrawl syndrome (unpleasant
physical symptoms). The body will function
normally only when the person start re-using the
We can talk about a psychological
dependence when the addict displays an
inner desire and then an obsessive need to
consume the harmful substance in order to achieve
pleasurable outcome or to avoid the discomfort.
A psychological dependent uses that substance to
obtain a comfortable psychological state, and to
cope with stressful situation and low spirits.
When the addict cannot consume the substance,
he/she experiences uncomfortable feelings (even
It is possible for the psychoholical and physical
dependence to develop independently.
Each substance dependent displays a typical,
unhealthy and disfunctional attitude long before
the actual onset of the dependence. When the
dependence develops, decisive for it's onset is
the person's need to use the substance in order
to achieve certain outcomes, and not the actual