Disease: a particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of peopleI think it could fit this definition?
@gigi Would you classify smoking as a disease? Would you call laziness, or idleness a disease? It seems to me these diseases, including alcoholism, are all behaviors or decisions, that can be stopped immediately or pursued. I.e., I gave up smoking instantly 8 years ago. These are behaviors that can lead to diseases like alcoholism can lead to liver disease, smoking can lead to cancer, and laziness can lead to obesity. So, the difference is you can choose to be an alcoholic, smoker, lazy because they are behaviors. But, you cannot choose to stop having real diseases like liver disease, cancer, or being obese, etc. It also seems to me that some people, maybe therapists, would like to change the definition of disease to include alcoholism, smoking, etc. so they can tell their patients...don't worry, it's not your fault. It's a disease that you have no control over...so you can feel better about yourself. I don't buy that altered definition.
Oooops, line 2 should read..."It seems to me these habits or addictions, including alcoholism, are all behaviors or decisions..." My bad!
@dorothy8532 Well that's the official definition of the disease... My personal opinion on the matter is that yes, humans choose to smoke, drink etc and in theory it's up to them to stop. But I do recognize that every human is different so even if I can make these decisions for myself, I appreciate that it might not be so easy for others. I wouldn't compare with the biological diseases, it's just different type. And I don't think that addicts of any type get help just from therapists who tells them "it's not your fault" (never heard any therapist or doctor say that); most of the times they need to see a GP or specialized doctors.But in any case, I don't think that your point is the right labelling of addiction, right? I assume you want to make a different point?
@gigi I'm suggesting the original, primary definition for disease includes synonyms like cancer, illness, inflammation, sickness, infirmity, ill health, etc. The Oxford English Dictionary uses the sentence: "‘bacterial meningitis is quite a rare disease" as an example of its primary meaning. I think we can all agree bacterial meningitis is truly a disease. However, the Oxford Dictionary uses the following sentence as another or secondary meaning for the word: "we are suffering from the British disease of self-deprecation." I think it's quite clear in the second example, self-deprecation is not truly a disease, but rather "disease" is being used as a metaphor for a negative condition. Likewise, I think calling acoholism or smoking diseases is in the very best case, a metaphor. You can use the word "wheels" to refer to a car, but that metaphor does not change the original meaning of wheels. Likewise, you can use the word disease to refer to bad habits or choices like smoking and alcoholism, but per se bad habits and/or bad choices do not equal diseases. Again, they can lead to diseases like liver disease, lung cancer etc...but those simple choices of smoking or drinking too much are not diseases.
@dorothy8532 Yeah of course! And the language and words evolve over time so their meaning and use evolves as well.I guess what I'm trying to understand is the purpose of defining or not defining addiction as "disease" or not i.e. the practical implications
@gigi Obviously, I don't think addiction is a disease. I can go into more detail later, at work now. Do you think addiction is a disease? If so, why?
@dorothy8532 "It also seems to me that some people, maybe therapists, would like to change the definition of disease to include alcoholism, smoking, etc. so they can tell their patients...don't worry, it's not your fault. It's a disease that you have no control over...so you can feel better about yourself."I don't know in what twisted universe you think being identified as an alcoholic makes one feel better about oneself. Then again you can elucidate when you accept my debate challenge on this prompt.
A lot depends on how you see disease. It's something of a catch-all term. Many diseases can be caused by malnutrition. That can be pretty similar to alcoholism or obesity. They then cause various dysfunctions with body and mind.There are various claims that there are genetic markers making you prone to alcohol addiction. I find them fairly credible since it is often hereditary and found strength in some populations compared to others.I find Alchohol to have a very displeasing quality and effect so I just don't drink but for rare occasions as part of a celebration. It tends to make me feel that like other genetic taste differences there are genetics involved.No, whether that disposition is a disfunction itself, I don't know. But addiction certainly is a disfunction of sorts.
Ya it's a mental disease. I always tought that calling that "mental disease" is too easy to debase. It's not a virus or something that we "catch" if our health is not good. The term should be changed to avoid this kind of misunderstanding.
You've been challenged head-to-head. Unmoderated. Fair warning: your challenger suffers from the disease you claim does not exist.
@citizenthom Challenge accepted. Fair warning - I'm probably an alcoholic by your definition and the definition of others. But, I don't have a disease...I choose to drink too much. My ex-girlfriend Linda has cancer, SHE has a disease...not me. I have to work tomorrow, Sunday, but I have Monday and Tuesday off. How do we set this up?
@dorothy8532 Earliest I have is Friday, and next week is likely better.
@citizenthom The week after thanksgiving is probably better for me too. Let's touch base after turkey day.