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Sabshin, E. (1995). Chapter 1: Psychoanalytic Studies of Addictive Behavior: A Review. The Psychology and Treatment of Addictive Behavior, 3-15.

Sabshin, E. (1995). Chapter 1: Psychoanalytic Studies of Addictive Behavior: A Review. The Psychology and Treatment of Addictive Behavior , 3-15

Section I: The Workshop Papers

Chapter 1: Psychoanalytic Studies of Addictive Behavior: A Review Book Information Previous Up Next

Edith Sabshin, M.D.

Addictive behavior implies a broad spectrum of behavior, from drug addiction to alcoholism, to smoking, to gambling, to food addiction, to hypersexuality. These behaviors are fueled by strong unconscious forces which give them a driven and demanding, insatiable and impulsive peremptory quality. Addictive behavior includes a wide spectrum of degrees of pathology, from the boundary of normal behavior to severe psychological and biological dependency. Psychoanalytic interest has included occasional commentaries by the pioneers of psychoanalysis but was infrequent and intermittent in the early days. The depth of the psychopathology and the difficulties in treatment seemed beyond the scope of classical psychoanalysis.

In the past twenty years, psychoanalytic study has led to a large body of data and discussion concerning the nature, the origin, and the treatment of addiction. This burst of interest has been due to concern about the increase of addiction that parallels easy access to more addicting drugs such as crack cocaine; to concern about the frequency of addictive behavior in young teenagers; and to openness to change in psychoanalytic theory.

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