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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Group Addiction,Compulsive "groupers"
Author: Fraser Trevor
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Throughout history, social movements have been started by individuals who were extremely committed to their causes. However, some individual...
Throughout history, social movements have been started by individuals who were extremely committed to their causes. However, some individuals may become so involved with various religious sects, cults, or political or social action groups - or even a self help group - as to become addicted to them. When a religious sect such as the "Jonestown" group has an influence over individuals to the point where they will commit mass suicide, a compulsive state is thought to have occurred.
As with the other addictive behaviors, the group- or cause-dependent person often has low self esteem, feels insecure, is anxious, and is looking for "something" to give meaning to his/her life. Individuals are considered to be addicted to a group or cause if they constantly talk about their beliefs to everyone they meet, feel that the group's philosophy is the "only true way," and believe that everyone else is wrong, immoral, or "condemned" if they do not believe as they do. Compulsive "groupers" often feel guilty if they are not attending gatherings or working for the cause almost every day. They sometimes begin to spend less time with their families, jobs or recreation and have been known to lose their employment because of their intense involvement with "the cause." If they cannot be with their group, they often feel depressed, anxious, and irritable.

Eric Hoffer, in his book The True Believer, describes similar characteristics in individuals with commitments to a variety of political, environmental, religious, and social movements. However, like work and athletic commitment, this type of dedication has often been rewarded in our society and has produced both positive and negative social effects over the centuries on a worldwide basis.
On the whole, any activity that has become the major focus of a person's life to the exclusion of other activities, or that has begun to harm the individual or others physically, mentally, or socially has become an addictive behavior.
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