Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 189–204

Disorders of Desire: Addiction and Problems of Intimacy

  • Helen Keane


This essay investigates the tensions produced by the categorization of different forms of excessive desire under the singular model of addiction, and it challenges the increasing acceptance of addiction as an all-purpose explanation for unruly desires through a comparison of the different forms of disordered desire in sex addiction and alcoholism. Moreover, it argues for a broad understanding of addictive processes to undermine the normative and moralizing assumptions of addiction discourses. Refiguring addiction as a kind of intimacy is one way of making sense of the intense relationships people can develop with substances and with activities.

addiction sex addiction alcoholism intimacy 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Keane
    • 1
  1. 1.School of HumanitiesAustralian National UniversityAustralia

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