I think Shana's comment really illustrates the stigma addictions can create for the addicted. In addition, it brings up something I totally forgot to talk about but is so critical in addiction treatment, and that is shame. Shame comes internally from hating the power the addiction has over you and not wanting to let people know about it. It is re-enforced by people who don't know how to deal with addictions and do look upon it as a weakness. It's a huge obstacle to recovery.
It is interesting to me that Mel brought up the following:
i had a friend who spoke of the social strata of rehab: heroin and cocaine addicts, top of the totem pole. Then alcoholics, gamblers, sex addicts, others. Last, eating disorders and cutters.
I thought about touching on this although from a different perspective. Namely from which are more 'social acceptable' or have less stigma around them in society from my POV. I would stick drug and alcohol addiction, particularly alcohol with AA and such, at the most 'accepted' forms of addiction. Eating and gambling probably in the middle with sex addiction towards the bottom. I think cutters are more an example of personality disorder than addiction, although I suppose it could be all stuffed together. Not real sure there.
I am totally in agreement with the need for understanding the commonalities between addictions. I believe they have more in common than they do differences. The 'acting out' behavior is simply the sympton, not the cause.
Very good stuff. Keep it coming.