This study sparks some questions about how we define addiction. Is withdrawal even necessary for a diagnosis of addiction?
Some definitions of behavioral addictions, such as the one used by Potenza and colleagues in their 2006 paper, include “continued behavioral engagement despite adverse consequences” as a component. In a behavioral addiction like gambling, this could manifest as a person continuing to gamble, even when they don’t have any money.
But how would this look for rock climbing? Would a rock climber really continue to rock climb if they had, for example, broken their leg? The prospect seems absurd.
In a recent movie called Free Solo, about a rock climber who completes long climbs without any safety ropes, there was a scene in which he was climbing (albeit roped in) with a boot on after he sprained his ankle. This was after he had asked his doctor if he could make the injury worse with activity and she said, “You could probably do too much too soon.”
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