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Picture of Addiction Definition from dictionary

Addiction Disease Fundamentals

Picture of Addiction Definition from dictionaryThere are lots of words specific to addiction treatment that you may or may not know.  In order to get everyone up to speed, we thought we’d introduce a few words that will help you navigate the addiction treatment world.


A state resulting from childhood trauma that renders a person unable to experience appropriate levels of self-esteem, set functional boundaries with others, own their own reality, deal with adult dependency issues around needing and wanting and express reality with moderation.


Any process that relieves intolerable reality and becomes a priority, taking time and attention away from other priorities and creating harmful consequences that are ignored.

Eating Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive preoccupation with food and/or weight. Body image is usually distorted. Symptoms may include overeating, anorexia, bulimia or a combination of these conditions.

Chemical Dependency

A progressive fatal disease in which the addict/alcoholic loses the capacity to predict when chemical use will stop once she/he starts.

Sex Addiction

Obsessive-compulsive sexual behavior in the face of harmful consequence. These obsessions can take the form of fantasy or overt acting out, performed alone or with others.

Love Addiction

A process of obsession and compulsion whereby a person assigns too much time, attention and value above themselves to any person they are in a relationship with, coupled with having unrealistic expectations for unconditional positive regard from that person to the exclusion of self care and self valuing.

Addicted Relationships

Relationships that exist between a “love addict” and any other addict that create intensity (often mistaken for romance or love) and avoid real intimacy.


The experience of being in a relationship with a power, external to and greater than self, that provides guidance, solace and serenity.

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