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Zusman, J. Khantzian, E. (2016). Problems in Human Development: How a Lack of Human Connections Leads to Dehumanization and Addiction. IJP Open, 3:75.

(2016). IJP Open, 3:75

Problems in Human Development: How a Lack of Human Connections Leads to Dehumanization and Addiction

José Zusman and Edward Khantzian

This work aims to achieve two main objectives. The first seeks to make a distinction between the concepts of dependency and those of addiction, which are frequently and unduly associated together. Unlike dependence, which corresponds to a trait that is intrinsic to human nature, addiction represents an evolutionary short circuit; a pattern of repetition that overrides self preservation and makes use of the mechanisms of denial and displacement as principal defensive strategies. The second objective of this work is to attempt to link the objects of addiction to those of the nonhuman environment, which, under proper conditions, are essential to the formation of the human identity. Finally, independence is understood here as a cultural myth, unfeasible and inaccessible to our species. Faced with an unattainable expectation, the obstinate search for independence only increases the pain, desperation and anguish of human existence. With these biases, contrary to what is normally propagated, independence would be closer to pathology than to health.

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