[FOUNTAIN]Dealing with addiction

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[FOUNTAIN]Dealing with addiction

When a children's story depicting the adventures of a boy wizard named Harry Potter, written by J.K. Rowling, appeared to great popularity a few years ago, a strange phenomenon occurred. After the release of a sequel to the first book was delayed, readers, tired of delays, staked out the author's publishing house and several bookstores, and protested the postponement.

In the United States, dazed children spent their time in school and at home mesmerized by the adventures of young Potter.

Three years after the first of the Harry Potter books was published in 1997, readers started experiencing "withdrawal symptoms." Some American publishers created a club for those who were experiencing these symptoms. The publishers provided club members with information on other fairy tale serials in which boy wizards were portrayed.

Withdrawal symptoms are a stage in which people feel nervous and agitated and are unable to perform their work after quitting behaviors that they have indulged in for a certain period. Medically, withdrawal symptoms are mental or physical symptoms that occur after a substance addict stops acquiring the substance.

The addicts think of only alcohol or cigarettes and frequently have nightmares when they cease drinking or smoking. They might snoop around in front of bars or search for cigarettes inside their pockets with their fingers trembling. Students who are addicted to the heated excitement of playing computer games, and cannot concentrate on studying, also fit into this category.

The month long Korea-Japan World Cup ended Sunday. The cheering by the Red Devils ended Saturday. People may fall into an illusion of hearing a cheer like, "Dae Han Min Guk," or "Victory for Korea," whenever they are passing in front of Seoul City Hall and walking on major streets. With memories of excitement and enthusiasm lingering, it may be difficult for people to pull themselves together. They may also feel sad and empty occasionally. They need a sort of wisdom to overcome exhaustion after such successful performances.

When concentration on something leads to a sudden feeling of languishment, it's called a "burnout syndrome," a term first used by Herbert Freudenberger, an American medical doctor specialized in a psychoanalytic theory.

Feelings of loss and a sense of emptiness after finishing a huge task is called an "empty nest syndrome." There are still many things in which we can find passion, soothing our emptiness.

The writer is a JoongAng Ilbo editorial writer.

by Choi Chul-joo

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