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The Temporal Dimension of Addiction

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image of Journal of Phenomenological Psychology

Knowledge concerning the relation of the addicted subject to time is deepened through a phenomenological analysis. The theoretical understanding of lived-time, or temporality, is explored with particular reference to the theories of Heidegger, Fuchs and van den Berg. Grounded in a description of the lived experiences of addicted persons, it is argued that the temporal relation of the addict is drawn, by the adoption of an addictive existence, primarily towards “the now” which predisposes the addict to various consequences. These include impulsiveness, sleep disturbance, pain and social alienation. The relation of addiction to death is also briefly discussed in its temporal dimension. Implications for treatment and therapy are explored.

Affiliations: 1: National Health Service, London, UK


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