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Ornstein, A. (1995). Chapter 5: Erotic Passion: A Form of Addiction. The Psychology and Treatment of Addictive Behavior, 101-114.

Ornstein, A. (1995). Chapter 5: Erotic Passion: A Form of Addiction. The Psychology and Treatment of Addictive Behavior , 101-114

Chapter 5: Erotic Passion: A Form of Addiction Book Information Previous Up Next

Anna Ornstein, M.D.

There is a tendency nowadays to refer to an array of symptomatic behaviors that do not involve the use of drugs or alcohol as “addictive”. Anorexia and bulimia, sexual excesses, gambling, all have been referred to as “addictive”, primarily because these forms of symptomatic behaviors are driven by strong unconscious imperatives and are subjectively experienced as obligatory and peremptory. If this use becomes indiscriminate, however, it may eventually make the word addictive useless in the clinical situation.

In the clinical example I shall describe, it was the compulsive nature of the patient's love relationships that had “addictive” qualities. The paper will focus on those significant pathogenic factors which could be reconstructed in the course of the analysis and helped explain the source of the patient's “sexual addiction”.

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