Intended for healthcare professionals


Smoking cessation

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 22 January 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:b5630

Addiction & Ambivalence

Addicts are frustrating and maddening. They ask for help but then reject it.
a while, we get frustrated and angry with them and tell them to leave us alone.
How can we help addicts without getting angry and rejecting them? We must
recognize that addicts are ambivalent about their addiction, in that they love
euphoria, but hate the sickness. So we must help them to understand their
ambivalence and the dual nature of addiction with its euphoria and sickness,
which are inextricably linked. Likewise, we must cope with our ambivalence
toward the addict, in that we love them, but hate their addiction. (1)

(1) Mann H. “Addiction: Imaginary Gains and Real Losses”

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

16 February 2010
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA