Music Addiction Disorder – Real or Fake?

Music Addiction Disorder – Real or Fake?

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” This is the serenity prayer that is often chanted in unison by those struggling with addiction who attend Twelve-Step Meetings such as A.A.

While drug addiction is a serious issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly, music addiction disorder aka M.A.D. seems a little extreme in comparison. 

Can You Compare Music Fans to Clinical Addicts?

I’ve joked in the past about being addicted to music but in my mind, it’s not an addiction if it’s helpful to your overall well-being with little or no negative consequences. I came across the term “music addiction disorder” while doing some research for another blog article I was working on. 

Even when it comes to drug or alcohol addiction there’s still quite a bit of debate as far as what constitutes “addiction” and what doesn’t.

Does it Improve or Impair Your Life?

It would be fair to say that if you have an irresistible craving to hear as much music as you can while shirking the rest of your responsibilities you might have a problem. If you spend your entire paycheck on unnecessary equipment or records, you might have a problem. 

On the other hand, if you can manage to balance a strong interest in music on top of getting everything you need to do, you probably don’t have the so-called M.A.D

Disorder vs. Avid Interest

These days it seems like there’s a disorder for everything. Is biting your fingernails really a recognizable medical disorder that should be treated with therapy and medication? Maybe if the nail biter can’t stop to the point where they are literally biting past the nail, through the skin, and down to the bone. 

The whole point I’m trying to make is that just because someone has a hobby or interest and spends a lot of time doing it, doesn’t mean it’s an addiction

The definition of addiction is as follows:

Music Addiction Disorder definition

Behavioral Addiction vs. Substance Use

A lot of times, addiction to behaviors get overlooked. Most people think that it can only manifest in the form of drug-taking and alcohol drinking. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I would even go as far as to argue that you can become entrenched in certain emotional patterns that then become addictive patterns of thought and behavior. 

Emotional Patterns

For example, let’s say that your natural inclination is to get mad when someone cuts you off in traffic. This is a pretty natural response for most of us. Where it would start to become a problem is if you tried swerving over to cut them off and you flipped them the bird. This is obviously an extreme example but I think you see what I’m trying to get at. 

Take it a step further and pretend that this becomes your automatic response every time anything slightly annoying happens while you’re driving to work or the coffee shop. At some point, it will catch up to you and you could get ticketed for reckless driving, it could escalate to a roadside confrontation, or you could even end up crashing your vehicle because you’re so pissed off that nothing else matters

Addiction Isn’t Limited To Substances Only

That would be an example of how someone could become entangled in negative emotional patterns which leads to negative behavior and consequence. 

Not to keep ranting but unless your interest in music drives you to the point of no return as mentioned above in the case of road rage anger, you probably don’t have a diagnose-able addiction to music. 

It’s Not Always Black and White

As Oscar Wilde put it, “All things in moderation, including moderation“. Music, emotions, and even certain drugs have positive effects on the brain. To say that they’re either all bad or all good isn’t fair. 

I will be writing an article in the future about the positive effects of music on the brain so be sure to stay tuned for that. 

Take This With a Grain of Salt

Don’t feel bad about taking this with a grain of salt because I’m no psychologist or doctor of medicine. 

Another thing I will say is that you don’t have to be a psychiatrist or psychologist to recognize negative consequences/patterns

Crank the Volume All The Way Up!

For now, turn the volume all the way up on your music, unless it’s 3 am and your neighbors decide to file a noise complaint… See, that would be a negative consequence in relation to your love for music. 

Responsible adults usually make responsible choices and the same applies here. 

I think by now you’re beginning to understand my perspective on what some have called a music addiction disorder. You might have a different kind of disorder if you can’t stand listening to music at least once a day

Sonic Elevation

Now that you’ve seen our take on M.A.D. – do you think you have Music Addiction Disorder? Does the amount of time you spend watching music interfere with your daily life? Do you spend way too much money buying new albums, records, or audio equipment? 

If you want to share your thoughts – leave a comment below. If you have any questions, feel free to ask using the comment section below. I always do my best to respond as quickly as possible. I hope you enjoyed reading about a lesser-known ‘disorder’! Thanks for stopping by, I look forward to hearing from you!

Sonic Elevation: Ride The Waves. 

5 thoughts on “Music Addiction Disorder – Real or Fake?

    • Author gravatarAuthor gravatar

      Hi Dom,
      Enjoyed the read about “M.A.D”. I think I know some people who might actually have this lol. My GF’s daughter, and even half of her sports team exhibit signs at every game. It’s like when certain songs come on, they lose all ability to concentrate and pay attention to their coach, what they are doing, etc. They begin doing little trendy dance moves, even while the coach is trying to talk to them. So, I think in some cases, it can be a type of addiction.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love music (not all music), I play the guitar. And it can get you out of certain moods, or into certain moods. So, it obviously does affect our souls. I think some people just have self-control issues.

      Enjoyed, the read, and will drop back in and read other posts and see what’s new.


      • Author gravatarAuthor gravatar

        Hey John,

        That’s a good example but it almost sounds like a music “possession” more than addiction in that case. The trendy dance moves do tend to get old pretty quick since a lot of the “hit singles” have a dance to go with the songs now ha.
        For sure self control definitely plays a factor. There will be much more content of this type for you to read in the future.
        Thanks for stopping by, it’s always appreciated.

    • Author gravatarAuthor gravatar

      I LOVE this site or your love of music. I too absolutely LOVE music…many different kinds. I prefer jam bands like Widespread Panic, Phish or the Grateful Dead, but the Blues are great too and jazz. Your articles are fantastic! I could put a link on my site to your site, since most people value music in their lives and it helps a lot of people.

      • Author gravatarAuthor gravatar

        Hey Matt,

        I really appreciate it! For some reason I haven’t been able to get into the Grateful Dead I dunno why. There’s some good blues stuff out there for sure, I like some of the more modern stuff that fuses blues elements with rock/industrial like some of Manson’s stuff for example.

        It would be much appreciated if you could spread the love, I agree, music is definitely a powerful tool for enjoyment, healing, etc.

        Thanks again for tuning in, 🙂

    • Author gravatarAuthor gravatar

      i don’t know if i have m.a.d but i listen to music at least once every two hours when i have school (during the break) except at night, and when i don’t have school almost all day long
      also sorry if i made grammar mistakes i’m french learning english

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