The generally accepted definition of addiction is the dependency on a substance. However, addiction manifests itself in many different ways which are not discussed as regularly as they should be. Addiction can be understood as the inability to abstain from any activity which releases neurotransmitters in the brain; most commonly serotonin, endocrines, or dopamine.
Pornography, sex, television and video-games can fall into this category and can become the downfall of many. The underlying reason for addiction is a lack of happiness and fulfillment, leading the addict to compensate for the brain’s shortage of essential “feel-good” chemicals through unfulfilling, hedonistic activities.
Long-term happiness requires the stable foundations of strong relationships, a healthy body and a balanced mixture of work and leisure; addictive activities do not lead to long-term fulfillment. Short, excessive bursts of pleasure have the same effect on the brain as a short-circuit on an electrical current.
The presence of addiction seems to be increasing in the Western world. Modern society and, by extension, any civilization in decline begins to disregard long, fulfilling activities for shorter “hits” of chemical release through lazy, slovenly slurps of serotonin and dopamine. This is exacerbated by cultural collapse, neglecting the importance of family and the behavioral sink.
Lack of fulfilment leads people to seek easier and baser forms of pleasure. What was once achieved by long, arduous but rewarding victories, helped by strong family units, a proper economy and political system, has been sacrificed in favour of mindless indulgence.
Modern pleasure-seeking often lacks catharsis or insight and its addictive effects are exacerbated by broken families, stagnant economies, and a dystopian world drained of courage, virtue, or dignity. The result is increased rates of depression, which generally lead to more widespread addiction.
The only hope a modern man has is to ensure he does not fall into the same pitfalls as his idler, more miserable counterparts. He can also attempt the yet nobler goal of saving as many of his companions as he can through writing and teaching.
Addiction is more common that originally thought
Long-term addictions can lure the strong from the path to self-mastery to mediocrity, insignificance and worst of all, an ailing body and soul. Aside from the obvious examples, addictions that are less discussed such as pornography and idle activities like video-games can limit a man’s potential.
The effects of substance abuse, such as social alienation and atrophy of the body and mind, are widely known and discussed. The effects of addictions less widely recognized are, however, more subversive and can produce a wide range of symptoms; they can affect anyone, even strong, red-pilled men of the manosphere. Their effects are sometimes invisible in the short-term, and therefore self-awareness is critical: recognizing that a harmless habit is quickly developing into a mini-obsession is vital for maintaining discipline.
Excessive idleness is a leading contributing factor to developing addictions. This can be easily avoided by maintaining a rigorous routine and having goals. Neurotransmitters do not give a hard-working person a quick influx of hedonistic bliss like an idle pleasure will, but they will reward him every morning he wakes up to an active life, filled with fulfilling activities.
A strong man like this simply does not need excess indulgence. Hobbies and intellectual pursuits require effort and a great deal of time and investment. It is therefore unsurprising that the modern man tends to forego them for easier and more instantaneous forms of pleasure.
Effort is commonly what differentiates alphas from betas: alphas are stable, anti-fragile men who invest ample time and energy into long, difficult projects; whereas betas seek comfort through short, drip-like bursts of adrenaline and serotonin, becoming incapable of developing their own will and personality. The latter type is the ideal model for the corporate West: a soft, flabby child, hooked on superfluous products which cater to its self-gratifying, impulsive whims and infatuations, keeping the economy afloat (or just about).
To overcome these addictions, the problem must be addressed at its roots: considerable time must be invested into long-term solutions such as strict regimes, discipline, exercise and intellectual pursuits.
Addictions stem from a desperate thirst in the brain for pleasure chemicals due to lack of fulfilment. A life that is well organized, varied and fulfilling is far less likely to be susceptible to such symptoms.
Addicts are not a marginalized sub-section of society; they make up today’s unfulfilled, depressed majority. The human brain is not designed to remain unchallenged, in a docile state of carefree existence like that of a sheep or a snail. Its intricacy and complexity is designed for continual self-improvement and expansion.
Over-indulging the brain with idle activities, saccharine substances, or superficiality will make its neurons cry out for stimulation, slowly wilt, and eventually recede into detritus. Man must abstain from deteriorating his brain by overcoming addiction in all of its forms.