addicted to vs. obsessed with

jokaec

Senior Member
Chinese - Hong Kong
1) He is addicted to fishing.
2) He is obsessed with fishing.

Are they both correct and the same? Thank you!
 
  • Rhye

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Colloquially, they are the same. Technically, addiction is a real medical condition that may require treatment, whereas "obsession" is not, but we'll often use them interchangeably for hyperbolic effect.
     

    jokaec

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Hong Kong
    Colloquially, they are the same. Technically, addiction is a real medical condition that may require treatment, whereas "obsession" is not, but we'll often use them interchangeably for hyperbolic effect.
    :thumbsup:
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    Even in ordinary, non-technical use there can be a difference in meaning.

    1) He is addicted to fishing. - He can't do without fishing; he is unhappy if he can't go fishing.
    2) He is obsessed with fishing. - He thinks and talks about fishing constantly.
     

    Rhye

    Senior Member
    English - American
    However, I reckon that if someone were obsessed with fishing they would also be unable to do without fishing—and I also reckon that the fishing addict would talk about it all day long too. I don't find your distinction to be practically true.
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    However, I reckon that if someone were obsessed with fishing they would also be unable to do without fishing—and I also reckon that the fishing addict would talk about it all day long too. I don't find your distinction to be practically true.
    Good point. I should have mentioned that addiction and obsession often, but not always, go together.

    I am addicted to WordReference (can't do without it), but not obsessed by it (I am capable of talking about other things - at least some of the time!).

    Also, some people are obsessed by things that they do indeed do without. No doubt everyone can think of examples.
     
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