Taṇhā is sometimes related to the Western psychological concept of addiction.
- The Dalai Lama states: Much human suffering stems from destructive emotions, as hatred breeds violence or craving fuels addiction. One of our most basic responsibilities as caring people is to alleviate the human costs of such out-of-control emotions.
- Ron Leifer states: Obsessions, compulsions, and addictions are desires out of control, desires gone wild.
- Mingyur Rinpoche states: Attachment is in many ways comparable to addiction, a compulsive dependency on external objects or experiences to manufacture an illusion of wholeness. Unfortunately, like other addictions, attachment becomes more intense over time.