Sharon Begley's new book is Can't Just Stop: An Investigation of Compulsions.
From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: Why did you decide to write about compulsions, and what do you see as the best definition of the term?The Page 69 Test: Sharon Begley's Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain.
A: It’s from casual observation, mostly in my work life. Just a few years ago, it was obvious nobody could go anywhere or do anything—a trip to the cafeteria or the ladies’ room—without their phone attached to them, as if it’s an oxygen tank.
I was watching that, and…asking why that is. Many of the things we do are because they’re fun, but this was very different. We’re attached to our phones, or hoarding, or [expressing] manifestations of OCD because if we didn’t do them, we would be puddles of anxiety. It’s all about keeping anxiety at bay.
I was trying to get experts to explain the difference between addictive and compulsive behaviors…When I got to people who did understand it, [the idea was that] compulsion arises from an anxiety…Addictive behavior arises because...[read on]