Russell Brand thinks there are clues to his addiction problems in his childhood.
The outspoken comic - who has battled addictions including drugs and sex - believes such behaviour is prevalent from a young age and thinks his TV watching and food habits were an indication of the self-destructive path he was heading for.
He said: "It was obvious from the way I watched TV as a kid - too much television, too many Penguin chocolate biscuits. I think what addiction is, for me, is it's a behaviour that's indulged continually, despite detrimental consequences.
"Some people can eat chocolate - and some people keep going 'til they get fat then they make themselves puke. Some people can look at a bit of pornography, other people are looking at increasingly deviant pornography, watching it all night.
"And if you have this condition, and I call it an illness, then drugs will address it really well, because they create a physical craving to accompany the psychological malady."
Russell - who is divorced from Katy Perry - has been clean for nine years and admits his subsequent fame and success is unusual for a recovering addict, but he insists his true happiness comes from being able to deal with his problems.
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, he said: "In the end not everyone is going to go off and be in movies and live some superficially sequined glitzy little life. But to tell you the truth, and this is easy for me to say, that's f**king bullshit anyway. You know that, I know that, everyone who's worth anything knows that there is no real satisfaction or gratification in, 'Oh look, you've got a nice car,' if you're not happy inside.
"So the thing that's valuable to me is that I now have the tools and facilities for dealing with life."
The 37-year-old star has also learnt to stop caring about what other people think about him and he no longer searches for validation in others' opinions.
He said: "One of the things I've learnt is not to live my life through others' perspective on me, as it is irrelevant.
"When you first get famous, there's nothing more gratifying or exciting than reading that people like you.
"What one quickly - or in my case slowly - learns is that it's irrelevant what other people think of you."