A Comprehensive View of Addictive Behaviour!


In this blogsite you will find a comprehensive worldview of what we believe addictive behavior to be in terms of altered neurobiology and in terms of cognitive-affective mechanisms such as stress and emotion dysregulation.

You will also be shown how these models contribute to a comprehensive understanding of  craving and relapse.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact us via the comments section – we would love to hear for you!

Issues with diagnostic definitions of Addiction:-

These two blogs highlight some of the issues with DSM V definitions of Addiction –

1. Translating  Accurate Diagnosis  into Effective Treatment. 

2. Diagnosis: Towards Validity and Consistency

Now we consider the two main neurobiological theories of addiction before critiquing them and combining them into one comprehensive neurobiological theory of addiction.

We then set out another cognitive-affective theory of addiction to show how this impaired neuro-biology is affected by and affects the stress and emotion dysregulation to initiate, sustain and perpetuate the addiction cycle.

We complete our worldview of addiction in terms of theoretical contributions by providing a theory of craving and relapse using these models.

We believe all one needs to know about the manifestation of addictive behaviour can be found in these three theoretical, but interacting, models of addiction.

We will also link to blogs with highlight the inherent commonalities in all addictive behaviours.

Neuroscientific Models of Addiction

A Dopamine Model 

A Critique Of the Dopamine Model

A Stress Based Model

A Critique Of the Stress Model

A Combined Stress and Dopamine Model of Addiction

Plus accompanying,

Neuro-anatomical Theory of Addiction

Diagrams of our Neuro-endocrinological Model of Addiction

extra – Nora Volkow’s Dopamine Deficit Model


Our Stress-Emotion Dysregulation Model of Addiction 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Related Blogs

Negative urgency mediates relationship between alexithymia and dysregulatedbehaviors

Explaining how negative “negative urgency” can be

Intolerance of uncertainty prompts compulsive decision-making

Decision Making Deficits in Addicts

Lack of emotion differentiation propels negative urgency

The need to act via non recognition of emotional states

Understanding emotional processing deficits in addiction

The predictive value of alexithymia in patients with eating disorders


Our Cognitive-Affective Model of Craving and Relapse 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Related blogs

How do recovering alcoholics appraise their alcohol related thoughts? 

Negative repercussions of suppressing automatically occurring thoughts about alcohol

Extent of obsessive thoughts about alcohol related to addiction severity?




Categories: Uncategorized

7 replies »

  1. It is like a enormous shot of ‘DOPAMINE’ releasing from my head.
    Thanks for following and reading my blog.
    I am extremely happy to find your blog.
    This is like the best food plate I could ever have.
    You have done a pretty comprehensive work on Brain.

    Are you a scientist ?

    What ever your profession is, this blog is my top favorite and I will reply each and every blog as and when I read.

    Thanks for your great work.
    Really appreciable. This reduces my efforts by tremendous amount 😀

    • thank you Bhanu for your very kind words. I am a former PhD candidate and write theoretical articles with two Professors in a UK University – this blog is 6 years worth of research working with these academics. I write this blog to receive a reply like your great reply. This blog is to help those effected by addiction to understand it a bit more and to challenge present ideas about addiction. Comments like your comment help keep me motivated to keep doing so. Thank you, Paul

  2. I cannot express how glad I am to find this research work. I am no practical Med guy, but I am an enthusiast and this is such a great work you are doing. I cannot thank you any less. I am going through your work.

    I am not an addict in terms of any substance abuse, but brain and its functioning, I cannot stop myself from dwelling deep into the subject.

    • thank you again Bhanu – it is great to hear of someone being so enthusiastic about the research. Much of the research is about altered stress systems in the brain which also relates to most psychiatric disorders such as PTSD, GAD etc so it is about obsessive compulsive behaviour in many ways too. I think there are common underlying brain mechanisms in the majority of disorders which are the consequence of not being able to regulate anxiety and emotion adaptively – I call this stress and emotion dysregulation (implicated in 75% of disorders in DSM diagnostics) and I believe addiction is primarily caused by this also. Also by learning about abnormal psychology we also learn how things work in a healthy brain too.

      • Yes, I couldn’t join medicine in my academics, so I chose to be an enthusiast, but nevertheless I would give my time and dedication to understand it very well. You know basically I am more of an analyst and I see situations from different perspectives. Lately I have seen how psychology and neuroscience can be of great help for me to understand various human behavior. I have joined few MOOCs related to the same, that is where I am learning interesting things.

        Most often, people are blamed for their behavior and doings, I am interested to know what forced them to do it. What is the driving factor. I have some understanding about external factors and I am collecting more and more data about it. The intrinsic driving factors have been really captivating and I cannot stop to know more about them.

        Your work will surely help me get a concentrated glimpse into human mind. I will surely get in touch with you after some more learning and understanding.

        One day I want to be a ‘Relationship Counselor’, if I can be 🙂

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