Critical Function

The word judgment is one of the most powerful words we know. It affects everything we do in life. This one word has a tremendous influence on our success, our happiness, our choices, and ultimately our very lives.

Having good judgment and being judgmental are two very different things. Judgment here means wisdom, and judgmental implies morally evaluating someone else or their actions.

Affected by addiction Judgment, or lack of it, is a powerful mental aspect of the disease. However good your judgment was before the development of addiction, we can safely bet that addiction has degraded your judgment. As the addiction progresses, most addicts will rely on older, more dysfunctional tapes for decision making.


Certain types of brain damage can impair judgment. Some people are able to believe that they have experienced that damage, and frequently check out their judgment with others to be sure they don’t make any serious mistakes. Others stubbornly suffer from such mistakes, often tragically.

It might be helpful to think of addiction in that way. As the disease progresses, judgment is gradually affected. At first, the judgment becomes questionable surrounding the food or other addictive substance. Gradually, it worsens, affecting an ever-increasing part of the addict’s life.

The answer for addicts is not to totally abandon their judgment, but to learn not to rely on it without outside feedback. This means accepting the guidance of a Higher Power or Program, which often comes through the experience, strength, and hope of others.


Usually, judgment improves dramatically as addicts in recovery learn to use this guidance from their Higher Power or Program.

Judgment, see also: Affirmations, Behavior, Defenses, Delusion, Dichotomous thinking, Diet mentality, Habit & structure, Integrity & values, Magical thinking, Mental aspects, Moodifiers, Obsession,' Openmindedness, Paradoxes in addiction, Priorities, Program, Step Three, Stinking thinking, Therapy & treatment, Visualizations.

Updated 11 Sep 2015

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Addictionary 2 by Jan & Judy Wilson

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