Sunday, March 18, 2012

Addicted to a Behavior?

The above article outlines the difficulty in treating "process addiction" including compulsive eating, sexual addiction and gambling. We find in my practice more client's families are confused by this addiction, asking 'why can't you stop?,' 'at least you aren't using drugs,' and most common 'you make a lot of money, why would you blow it on gambling?'  Although we are funded to provide full-services to family and significant others roughly 10% of our client's are and of that only a handful continue services beyond one or two Q & A sessions.

For a quick anecdote I had a S.O last week joke about how she can "understand" her spouse's addiction because she too is addicted- to lip gloss.

The author, Robert Weiss is the author of three books on sexual addiction and Founding Director of the premiere sex addiction treatment program, The Sexual Recovery Institute. He is Director of Sexual Disorders Services at The Ranch and Promises Treatment Centers. 

"As with substance addiction recovery, the journey toward living free from addictive behaviors such as sex, gambling, and compulsive overeating is a complex, long-term process that requires professional counseling and/or integrated treatment from a team experienced in addressing the specific process addiction and any co-occurring emotional or substance disorders.
Reducing shame and stigma are essential in treating the process addictions. Sadly, our culture has limited understanding and compassion for these problems, more often viewing them as moral failings or character flaws, rather than as adaptive behaviors utilized for emotional stability and survival. Until the late 1970s (a period that evolved a sea-change in our understanding of the addictive process), our culture considered alcoholics to be “bums.” In much the same way, sex addicts are still perverts, and overeaters are just fat and lazy. So we still have a long way to go."

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