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Prof. Marcantonio Spada

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Prof. Marcantonio Spada is a Chartered Psychologist with over 25 years of experience spanning academia, psychological therapy, coaching, corporate training, and advisory work. An E...

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Who are you?

Hi, my name is Mark Antonio Spada. I'm professor of Addictive Behaviours and Mental Health. In this experience, you can ask me anything you like about addictive behaviours.

What is an addictive behaviour?

So an addictive behaviour is an activity, a behaviour, or the use of a substance that becomes a major focus in a person's life at the detriment of many other activities. Usually it becomes harmful, actually does become harmful over time, psychologically, physically, and socially. So psychologically, one might develop anxiety or depression as a consequence of engaging in an addictive behaviour. Socially, one might lose important social networks and physically. Illnesses of all kinds can emerge from the use or engagement in addictive behaviours. And if we take this perspective, almost anything can become an addictive behaviour.

What are the most common addictive behaviours?

There are many forms of addictive behaviours. You've got addictive behaviours that are linked to the use of a substance, alcohol, cannabis, nicotine, heroin. You've also got addictive behaviours that are linked to what we actually do. So for example, gambling, gaming, or engagement in pornography use. So nowadays we're really facing a challenge because we have a very wide spectrum of potential addictive behaviours to deal with. We go back 30 or 40 years ago, the term addictive behaviours would've really been thought of a behaviour to do with the use of a substance. Nowadays, it stretches to all sorts of other behavioural addictions. Some of the ones I've just mentioned.

Can anyone become addicted?

How does an addictive behaviour develop?