Difference Between Habit and Addiction

Habit vs Addiction

Although the two words Habit and Addiction sound similar, there are few differences between them. When explained simply, a habit can be defined as an acquired pattern of behaviour which occurs automatically. An addiction, however, is rather different to a habit. It can be defined as a chronic relapsing brain disease. In psychology, attention is paid to addiction as a condition, which is disruptive to the behaviour of the individual as well as the society at large. A habit, on the other hand, is non disruptive. Psychologists claim that an addiction arises from habit.

What is a Habit?

As mentioned above, a habit can be defined as an acquired pattern of behavior that often occurs automatically. Habits come from various factors, such as from the people we meet, the experiences that we encounter in life and the numerous decisions we make in our life. When an action is carried out by an individual again and again, it becomes a habit. For an example, imagine a person who always arranges his books in a particular manner on his desk. If someone were to change this pattern of order, there is a tendency for the individual to correct it. This is as a result of the repetition of action, which makes the individual comfortable in specific ways and manners. From childhood to adulthood, this manner of arrangement remains the same. Hence, a habit is an automatic response towards the completion of an action in a specific way for a long period of time. This is common to all humans. We tend to do things in the same way throughout the course of our lives without even realizing that we do so. However, most habits do not disrupt the daily events of a person’s life. But, there can be instances where certain habits are irritable to most people. Habits, in general, have to be viewed more as personal mannerisms and behavioural patterns. For an example, observe an avid reader. Whenever he gets free time, he would spend his time reading books. This is because the individual has made a habit of reading throughout his lifetime. This is an example of a very positive habit. People, however, have negative habits as well. In such cases, they can lead to problems for the individual as well as for others, but these can be corrected.

Difference between habit and addiction_Reading

What is an Addiction?

When paying attention to addiction, it can be defined as a chronic relapsing brain disease. According to psychologists, it alters the brain due to the repeated performance of any action. An addiction creates an impact, not only on the individual, but also on those who surround the individual who has the addiction. But, in most cases, it is the person who has the addiction that suffers tremendously. This is because as the addiction becomes severe, it affects both the personal life and the career. A person with an addiction has difficulty in a number of functions, which are usually considered as essential for daily life. Decision-making, learning and memory and behavior control are some examples for the areas that get affected due to addiction. Just as a habit, addiction is also repetitive. However, the difference stem from an addiction becoming indispensable for the individual, as without performing a particular act, living becomes difficult. In this sense, an addiction affects the mental stability of the individual. The regular intake of drugs can be taken as an example for a kind of addiction that affects the mental stability. The mind becomes incapable of stabilizing, if drug use is terminated. For addictions, it is very important to seek the assistance of a professional.

Difference between habit and tagging


 What is the difference between a habit and an addiction?

• A habit is the resultant of mental actions whereas addiction affects mental stability.

• An addiction is damaging and destructive in nature whereas a habit cannot be damaging and destructive in nature.

• You need to have the counseling of a psychiatrist to get over addiction whereas you need not consult any psychiatrist to get over a particular habit.

• Habits die hard whereas a few addictions cause death.


Image Courtesy:

1.Reading a Book by Dmn (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

2.Smoking by Ivo Balzer (Own work) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons


  • Semorrison1

    What sort of medical model bullshit is this? Are you perhaps a psychiatrist?