10 Common Questions Men Have About Sex Addiction

1. Question: Am I a sex addict?

Answer: There are a number of red flags that can signal an addiction to sex. A person who uses sexual activity be it intercourse, viewing pornography, phone sex, chat rooms, prostitution or masturbation as a numbing agent, something to prevent them from feeling bad, may have a sex addiction. Other indicators the sexual behavior is causing the addict problems include their spouse becoming upset over their behavior or they’ve gone into debt over payment for phone sex lines or Internet pornography sites. Spending an excessive amount of time viewing pornography Over 10 hours a week is another red flag, since this sexual behavior is interfering with time spent with friends, family or at work.

Another key factor is the addict has tried to stop engaging in sexual behavior but failed. When all these things come together, it’s time to ask a professional about getting help.

2. Question: Can I be cured?

Answer: Many sex addicts have reported being able to bring their sexual behavior under control, through any one of a variety of treatment methods. Some attend intensive rehabilitation facilities; others go to therapy sessions, attend 12 step meetings or use medication and a host of other techniques to control their sexual behavior. This can include finding a trusted person to act as an “accountability partner.” Or for pornography addicts, it can mean the use of pornography blocking computer programs.

3. Question: Does being cured mean I give up sex?

Answer: No. Unlike chemical dependencies related to alcohol or drugs, sex is recognized as a healthy aspect of life. Treatment for sex addiction, while it does involve a period of abstinence, seeks to bring harmful and unwanted troublesome sexual activity under control to where it is no longer causing harm. It may lead to stopping viewing pornography, discontinuing solicitation of prostitutes and other “bottom line” behaviors or even illegal activities. The goal is stopping harmful behavior, but certainly not giving up sex.

4. Question: Is sex addiction even real, or just something people use to excuse their behavior?

Answer: Truth be told, there are some experts who don’t feel sex addiction is real and say it’s more a product of conflicting social norms and mores. Other say sex addiction exists but do not feel it meets the definition of an addiction in the same way addiction to alcohol or drugs does. For a sex addict seeking treatment, it may be a moot point. To get treatment, first one has to recognize they have a problem and stop trying to use their own willpower alone to control it. Many people have sought treatment for sex addiction and reported results. Much of the criticism about its validity has been aimed at celebrities embroiled in public sex scandals and is hardly analogous to the average person not living in the public eye. Sex addiction is real and one struggling with unwanted sexual behaviors certainly can attest to that fact.

5. Question: What caused this? How did I get to be this way?

Answer: There is no definitive cause for sex addiction, and for each person it will be different. Many sex addicts report being sexually abused at a young age and growing up with a distorted view of sex and what a healthy sex life should be. For others, it is simply the rush of chemicals in their brain after discovering a parent’s pornography stash or coming across it in some other fashion. Still others indicate the accessibility of Internet pornography had them fall into a cycle, while there are those who turned to using sex as a numbing agent during a difficult period in their lives and began relying on it as a coping mechanism. For some growing up with abuse, neglect, abandonment and enmeshment have cause the to seek out other ways to feel good about life and themselves.

While knowing the cause of sex addiction is important, those on the path to recovery should not seek to dwell on the unchangeable past; instead, they need to focus on their present actions.

6. Question: Does viewing pornography and sexual interaction over the Internet count as cheating on my spouse?

Answer: Not to be glib, but it can depend on the spouse. Certainly many women do feel that their spouses having cybersex or phone sex with another woman qualifies as infidelity. They may not react in the exact same way as if it had been physical sex with another woman, but the impact on a relationship can be dire. First, the wife will feel betrayed. She won’t trust her husband if he’s been hiding his behavior. She may can feel bad about herself, perhaps thinking some failing on her part led the husband to seek these sexual outlets.

Even pornography viewing can be a sore spot for women. Society places a lot of pressure on women to be physically attractive and sexually desirable and they may feel they are in competition with actresses in pornographic videos. This can affect their self-esteem, even if they do not confront their husband about the behavior.

7. Question: Can medication lower my sex drive so I don’t have this problem.

Answer: Yes and no. There are medications out there that can lower a person’s sex drive, and they are often used to treat sex addiction. However, they are limited in their power to erase the problem completely. Some form of therapy, be it a 12 step program or other process, is required.

8. Question: Will I ever be cured or is this a lifelong problem?

Answer: Many people report being able to bring their sexual behaviors under control, sometimes after a period of months or years, and are living lives relatively free of problems related to sex addiction. These people have addressed the factors in their life they had once sought to control by using sex; they have now embedded into their lives multiple tools to avoid falling back into destructive addiction cycles. For some, there is always the fear they will relapse, and some do struggle with sex addiction for long periods of time. There is no quick fix for the problem.

9. Question: I’m also addicted to alcohol. Is my sex addiction just a sign that I’m susceptible to addictive behaviors in general?

Answer: In some ways, yes. Many sex addicts report being addicted to alcohol, drugs, or behaviors such as gambling. They also claim family members with various addictions. It’s certainly been theorized that a person can have a genetic predisposition to addictive behaviors. As to treating multiple addictions, it should be noted that many sex addiction treatment programs are modeled after alcohol treatment techniques developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. 12 step programs such as Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous model their programs after and borrow their literature from that organization.

10. Question: Am I really a sex addict or is my sex drive just naturally high?

Answer: The difference between a sex addict and a person who enjoys a lot of sex has to do with why the behavior is being sought and the inability to stop an unwanted behavior as well as the obsession and compulsion. A person with a high sex drive is aroused and in most cases can control acting on that arousal. A sex addict is engaging in sex as a coping mechanism, isolating themselves from others even if they have a real life partner for the sex, and engaging in the sex act compulsively. They may feel shame after they complete the act, or some general feelings of depression. Actual arousal is not the primary motivator.

Types of Computer Addiction

Which type of computer addiction is responsible for most computer addicts? Since there are so many different internet computer activities it is very difficult to pinpoint exactly which one is the cause of most addicts. However, there are several types which seem to be more common with computer addicts. Outlined below are what are considered to be the most addictive computer and internet related activities.

*Online games

Online games are a common cause of computer addiction. Online games consist of multi-player games via the internet . This is where the player assumes a character in the game and plays against other people from all around the world. There are many internet games on the market and some of them have millions upon millions of players worldwide. The majority of the players involved enjoy just a casual game after school, work or at weekends. A minority, however, have become so addicted, and alarmingly so, that they are spending upwards of 12 hours per day playing the game they are addicted to. Reports have come in that some people have been playing around the clock and not eating or sleeping for days and days because they do not want to leave the computer and the character they are pretending to be.

*Chat rooms

Millions of people use chat rooms daily. It is fun for those millions of people. There are lots of conventional chat rooms. There is also chat software for the larger chat companies, for instance Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger. Alas, there is again the minority who use chat rooms to feed their addiction. These people can be whomever they want to be. They may have anti social problems, they may be shy, they may have other problems that stop them from meeting people in the real world. No matter what problem the person has the chat rooms seem to be the answer. However, the real answer is the chat rooms make a person lose even more social skills in the real world. Seldom will an internet chat room addict ever get to meet the people he or she is chatting to. It would ruin the facade the addicts are putting up for their chat room colleagues. Unfortunately, this type of computer addiction can have a drastic effect on a persons’ personality and health.

*Online shopping

Online shopping addiction comes in the form of many kinds. There is the person who is addicted to buying items from the many online shops. Then there is the person who is addicted to auction type buying. Either one could put a person in debt in a matter of seconds. Just one click of the mouse could take money from their credit card and rack up enormous debts. This type of addiction usually starts with small purchases and paying with their credit card. Many small purchases of this kind then add up to many thousands of dollars. The thrill of bidding on an item in an online auction and then overbidding just to win the item (which they may not really want anyway) does cause addiction. Once the item has been bid on and won, a contract has been entered into. A very easy addiction to get into but very hard to get out once the debt has set in.

*Online gambling and online pornography

These are possibly the most damaging of all computer addictions. These millions of dollar a year businesses make their money by sucking addicts of their money. The thrill of possibly winning by gambling is very real and has never been easier since the onset of online casinos and other forms of online gambling. Serious debts have been incurred by these computer addicts. Some have even lost everything, their family, homes, possessions and even more extreme, their lives. There are organizations that specifically deal with this kind of computer addiction and they have helped many thousands of people get rid of this damaging addiction and have been able to give advice on helping to pull their lives back together again.

By no means is this list of computer addictions complete as there are many other forms of computer addiction. The ones mentioned in this article are, I believe, to be the most prevalent types of computer addiction.

Perpetually Erect Penis – Sex Addiction or Normal Male Desire?

At some point, most men probably wonder whether they might have a sex addiction or whether that always-ready erect penis is just part of being a man. Clearly, a tool that is always at the ready is a sign of good penis health, but even so, the possibility that he may have a sex addiction problem can make a man feel quite uncomfortable. So how is a guy supposed to tell if he is addicted?

What is sex addiction?

Sex addiction – also known by the term “hypersexuality” – is a cause for enormous debate among the medical and psychiatric communities. Some people believe that there is no such thing; others believe that it most certainly does exist. But even among the latter group, there is a range of opinions concerning how to define it – and how to diagnose it.

Writing on PsychCentral, Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S, defines sex addiction as “a dysfunctional preoccupation with sexual fantasy, often in combination with the obsessive pursuit of casual or non-intimate sex; pornography; compulsive masturbation; romantic intensity and objectified partner sex for a period of at least six months.”

Weiss also states that an addiction may exist if this obsessive behavior continues despite efforts to stop it and despite the impact that it has on relationships, social life and work. He compares it to other obsessive addictive behaviors like gambling and binge eating.

If it feels good, is it addiction?

One of the traits of sex addiction is that sex is often used to make a person feel better; rather than soothing oneself in a non-sexual manner or talking to others about problems they are experiencing, sex addicts tend to turn to sexual behaviors to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.

That does not mean that a guy who occasionally fondles his tool when he’s feeling stressed or seeks to bed someone when he’s blue is a sex addict; but if this kind of behavior occurs with great frequency and if it cannot really be controlled by the man, then an addiction is quite likely.

The un-controlled aspect is key; many men have extremely high sex drives and engage in sex with an above average frequency; but they do this by choice. So, just because it feels good to have sex and a man does it often does not mean he has an addiction.

Seeking help

If a man does think that perhaps his sexual activity goes beyond normal and has the possibility of being an addiction, he should definitely seek help. There are recovery programs, such as Sexaholics Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous, that can provide support and aid in dealing with the issue. Mental health professionals, such as psychotherapists, psychiatrists and some social workers, are another resource; those with training in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can men develop strategies to meet their sex addiction challenges. Certain medications, such as SSRIs (often used in treating depression and anxiety), may be prescribed by doctors to help control sexually compulsive behaviors; various mood stabilizers may also be used. Seeking help for a sex addiction is very important; as more becomes known about this condition in future years, more therapies will be developed to help those suffering from it.

Many men who experience a sex addiction engage in sex so frequently or with such aggressive behavior that their erect penis can become damaged – raw and sore or even de-sensitized — due to rough handling. And it’s not just hypersexual men who encounter this; many men find themselves in the same boat. This is why it’s crucial that men make a habit of using a superior penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) on a regular basis. A cream with shea butter and vitamin E will nourish and moisturize the skin; if the cream also contains acetyl L carnitine, which is neuroprotective, it can help restore sensitivity lost due to peripheral nerve damage caused by rough use. And if L-arginine is also present in the cream, there will be a benefit to penis blood flow, as that ingredient aids the process which keeps blood vessels open.

Massage Addiction – Are You at Risk?

As a massage therapist, I work hard to earn repeat customers by way of offering a great service at a price that reflects value for money.

Getting to know a customer and their likes and dislikes over time makes the massage much more easier. Massaging is a highly personal service so any familiarity built over time, helps both the massage therapist and the client relax into what is a very enjoyable experience.

Where there is no ‘standard’ rate of frequency for being massaged, most Massage Therapists would suggest one massage per month is a standard rate of frequency for a repeat customer. More sessions may be required depending on whether an injury or health concern is being treated.

So what happens when a customer starts booking massages weekly, or twice per week, for no reason other than they just ‘like being massaged and massaged by you in particular. In any other profession, accelerated frequency of a customer is a welcome event. In the world of massage, it may actually cause concern to the Massage Therapist.

Could this customer be addicted to massage? If they are, is this a negative thing?

One often associates addition to what are regarded as negative habits – smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, excessive gambling, etc. Or, addiction is often associated to events that give people a ‘rush’ of sorts. High impact sports, bungee jumping, sky diving, etc. But massage? The act of being pampered into slumber!

If we break it down, my belief is that our society has become one where ‘touching’ others is at the very least, avoided – think about the discomfort of standing close to others in an elevator, or how one says ‘sorry’ when they accidentally touch by someone in the street (well most of the time). Consider how we bustle for our own patch of turf on public transport. How we act in the workplace is highly regulated and ‘touching’ of any type may point toward sexual harassment. I don’t disagree with the need to protect all in a workplace against any form of discrimination.

Human beings are programmed to be social – we seek community and we seek the company of others.

Now think about a person, who is either single or in a non affectionate ‘non touching’ relationship. They wake up and go to work and in every instance where they have ‘touched’ someone albeit accidentally, they apologise.

It is actually possible that some people in our society today go through whole days, or even months and never get ‘purposely touched’ in a positive, healing, way by someone.

Could some be using massage as a way of simply being touched? Where does someone go who yearns being touched in a non sexual, healing, pampering way go?

In a society where touching is avoided, discouraged or legislated against, one can see how easily some may become addicted to what in its essence, is a basic human need – being touched.

Breaking the Bondage of Addiction

Addictions today have become more common than we dare to accept. Many types of addictions have become socially acceptable, in these morally and spiritually bankrupt times. Good things when misused can turn into addictions.

What is Addiction?

It is dependency on a particular substance or behaviour which is impossible to break without timely intervention. It destroys the person, demoralizes the family and all those associated with him.

Society has a general tendency to consider different kinds of substance abuse as addiction, while ignoring certain behaviour patterns that are equally addictive. Food, shopping, gambling, work, or sex can turn to behaviour addictions and create problems that are just as destructive as substance abuse.

• Workaholics would be shocked if told that work has become their addiction. They believe that frenetic activity is good for mental health and wellbeing. People want to carve out positions of power and honour through their professional accomplishments. What starts as a worthy ambition soon grows into an addiction. Without work they feel enervated and depressed.

• Food becomes an emotional pacifier to satisfy longings, loneliness or low self esteem. People eat when under stress. The act of digesting the food switches off that part of the brain mechanism that makes them tense. The rise of serotonin when food is taken makes them feel good. Those who live alone and are sad or depressed are vulnerable. One woman who was eating all the time said, “I miss my husband, and my stomach does not know the difference between hunger and love.” Frenzy feeding is an addiction. It is a vicious cycle. When a depressed person snacks, his blood sugar rises and he feels good. But insulin shoots up in the blood and after a while, blood sugar falls. So he feels depressed again and reaches for a hot chocolate or a cookie.

• Gambling: Lotteries, playing cards, number games, casino games, betting at the races or even cricket matches and other sporting events can become addictive. Even losing money doesn’t deter them. They believe that luck is just around the corner. The adrenaline rush overshadows the guilt of money lost and debts piling up.

• Shopaholics are compulsive buyers. Whenever they are angry or frustrated, they find release in purchasing a pair of shoes or an expensive dress, irrespective of the money and time wasted. It makes them snap out off their moods.

• Relationships: Some people develop an over dependence on a particular person to make them feel complete or fulfilled. This may lead to stalking, threatening or harming the very person they claim to love.

• Sexual addiction is when the need for sex becomes a compulsive obsession whether marital, extramarital or same sex. 44% of sex addicts are embarrassed by what they do, but can’t help themselves nor will they seek treatment. Fetishes, pornography, rape, frottage (pawing women) flashing, are some of the ways by which they get their orgasm. This addiction is to the neurochemical changes that occur during sex. Sex addiction in women is becoming a major problem.

• Mood altering chemicals like cocaine, heroin, LSD, amphetamines, ketamine, and prescription drugs like cough syrups, sedatives, tranquillizers are habit forming. Even caffeine (one cup of coffee contains 150mgs of caffeine) is addictive. Drugs provide a feeling of well being and a false sense of power and control.

• Alcohol is a threat to modern civilization. With free availability, younger age groups are becoming hooked on alcohol. Alcoholism is said to decrease the life span of a person by twelve years. It is a depressant that affects the central nervous system immediately. No doubt it temporarily reduces tension and brings about relaxation. But in the long run, it destroys a person mentally and physically.

• Smoking is a habit very difficult to kick. It has damaging effects on liver, heart and is implicated in the cause of cancer.

All addictions, whether behavioural or chemical, are destructive. They gradually rob one of will power or self control. With drugs and alcohol, the body becomes tolerant to small amounts. So, larger quantities are needed. Mixing of drugs enhances potency, but also increases dangers. Health deteriorates. There is loss of control and inability to manage one’s affairs. Even routine jobs are difficult to perform. Behaviour becomes erratic.

Causes of Addiction:

1. Friends or family members may introduce the young impressionable teen to a glass of beer or a cigarette. This may be the beginning of a love for these substances. Recently, the case of a brandy guzzling child of five was reported. His parents started giving him brandy every day to ward off asthmatic attacks.

2. Keeping wrong company. Peer pressure can be very persuasive.

3. Disorganized home environment where parents are poor role models. There is no love, warmth or appreciation of a sensitive child. Parents may quarrel frequently or there may be domestic violence.

4. Poor and unsafe neighborhoods where drunkenness, violence and abusive behaviour is a way of life.

5. Lack of direction with no moral standards to live by. Young people can be easily influenced into wrong ways.

6. Glorification of alcohol, drugs and vices through films, TV, advertisements.

7. Easy availability of alcohol and drugs.

How to break the bondage of Addiction:

• By first admitting that one has a problem with either substances or behaviour; that life is fully out of control; that there is loss of dignity.

• By seeking help from trained counselors or psychiatrists. They will help to get to the root of the problem – Injustice? Fear? Worthlessness? Anger? Life is not a bed of roses.

Everybody has problems, but one must learn to deal with them without the aid of substances. It is important to be conscious of one’s vulnerabilities.

• Approach for alcohol and substance abuse is multidisciplinary. It needs admission to a facility dealing exclusively with these problems. Medical measures will involve detoxification and treatment of withdrawal symptoms.

Psychological management will be through:

1. Counseling individually, by which he is psychologically conditioned to stay away from drugs or alcohol. Each member of his family must also cooperate with the addict’s treatment, through love, understanding and compassion.

2. Group therapy will help the addict realize that he is not alone and that there are others in a similar situation. Here there is mutual understanding, acceptance, sharing of individual problems and sympathy.

3. Sociotherapy involves teaching the addict effective methods of adjustment to normal life. He should not be left in a high risk environment. Community reinforcements like recreation clubs, Alcoholics Anonymous, and job availability will be helpful.

Rehabilitation can be a long and hard battle depending on whether the addiction is to a substance or behaviour. It depends on the addict’s desire and determination to be cured, and the support he receives from his loved ones. Relapses may occur. But there must be the will to start all over again. Sometimes it may be a life long struggle especially with drug addicts and alcoholics. Therefore finding support groups is important.

Along with therapy, dependence on God is essential. A daily walk with God will strengthen a person enough to surmount the injustices of life, and dispel lurking fears.

The seeds of addiction are within all human beings. We need to periodically examine ourselves and see if there are things we find difficult to let go, and which have the potential to turn into addictions.

The Double Life of Sex Addiction

Sex addicts are just like you and I, with the exception that they are struggling with a disorder that is gradually consuming more and more of their lives. Because sex addiction causes addicts to continually increase and escalate their sexually compulsive behaviors, they begin to lead double lives. They lead their normal life the best they can and live every moment of the day for their addictive life. Over time the normal life will unravel as the addictive life consumes more and more of time and energy.

For addicts, this issue is a deep, haunting secret. They live in constant fear of being caught. Tension, anxiety and stress built up as a result of having to live a secret double life. The compulsion to engage in sexual behaviors becomes more and more time consuming and the addict finds that he has to constantly escalate his behaviors just to achieve a sense of normalcy in his life. Along with a deteriorating emotional state, many addicts suffer from severe consequences as a result of their double life.

Relationships suffer as a result of this addiction. When a sex addict is living a double life, he tends to withdraw from everyone, including his spouse or life partner. This means that his relationships will suffer and in some cases become broken. The person he is in a relationship with will find it difficult to understand his change in behavior. Naturally, the addict will not be able to explain that change out of fear of revealing his double life.

Leading a double life often has serious financial implications as well. Individuals begin to neglect their responsibilities or are unable to perform well at work as a result of engaging in sexually addictive behaviors the night or morning before work. In some cases, addicts may even be engaging in sexual behaviors while at work, to the detriment of their duties. All of these instances of neglect will eventually add up, and employers will be left with no choice but to terminate the person. Repeated warnings will not be enough for an addict to stop the neglectful behavior from continuing.

Another source of stress and financial burden comes from the expenses related to leading a double life as a sex addict. Just like gambling, alcohol and drug addictions, sex addiction can become quite costly. The costs of pornography, online sex chats, phone sex chat lines, prostitutes, strip clubs, adult videos and books and other sexually related goods can add up to huge debt for the sex addict. The burden of covering up these expenses combined with the looming debt will only add to the pressure the addict is experiencing while trying to keep his double life a secret.

Over time, this double life can lead to severe consequences such as divorce or loss of a house. Unfortunately, like any other addiction, the individual will need to make the decision to seek help, and it often takes serious consequences to convince a sex addict to get help. However, once the addict makes that decision, there are many effective programs that can lead him to lifelong recovery.

Responsible Gaming and Addiction

Gaming is one of those fun activities that most Ugandans find appealing. This is especially true for online gaming and online casinos. The beauty is that gaming online is safe because the regulation bit has been taken care of the National Gaming Board Uganda which is a body corporate that was established to ensure responsible gaming in Uganda.

Despite the regulation that has been put in place, it is still your responsibility as a player to ensure that you play the right way and avoid any gambling issues that may arise. Many games have gotten addicted because they probably were not advised as to how best to play. Many have found themselves borrowing money to facilitate their gaming and losing jobs all because they do not exercise any form of restraint. The truth of the matter is that for you to reap anything out of gaming, you need to be extremely disciplined.

The commonest symptom of gambling is the inability to stop irrespective of how much money has been lost. Addicts are the gamers that you will find playing day or night and who often resort to pleading tactics when told to stop. They keep requesting for more time or one more game. Addiction is mostly intensified or fuelled by the use of substances like alcohol and drugs since these remove any inhibitions that one might have.

How to avoid the addiction – The Four Pointers

  1. Have a pre-set budget: Creating a budget will give you a discipline that you need while gaming. Given that people earn different incomes, it’s essential that you do not base your budget on that of others but rather create one that fits perfectly into your income. Remember that gaming money should not take priority over bills like rent, food and tuition. It should be taken from your supplementary budget after other essential expenses have been removed. Remember to stick to your budget and not divert from it irrespective of whether you are winning or losing. If you need to reinvest, rather invest with your winnings than with money that is not budgeted for.
  2. Do not accumulate unnecessary debts: Borrowing is not a good decision when it comes to gaming. Not only will it create unnecessary anxiety but will also put a lot of strain on your finances. Remember that gaming is not a necessity so if you have no money, you would rather postpone it than enter into debts.
  3. Follow a strict set of rules: Setting your personal rules will help you have a discipline when playing. Set a time frame within which to play so as to leave room for other activities. Also essential is that you do not raise the stakes when you lose. Count all losses as such as opposed to them being a ticket for further playing. It is also essential that you follow the rules that you have set and not deviate from them.
  4. Never rely on your luck: Luck is just odds and this might not guarantee a good gaming experience for you. It is important that you understand that at certain times you will win while other times you will lose. At some point you will hit a jackpot but this does not mean that you should continue playing thinking that it is your night. It is important that you have fun while playing and not take the game too seriously. So play for playing sake and have fun while at it.

The above are just a few pointers of how to avoid gambling. However, in the event that you find yourself an addict, there is still hope for you. You might need some professional help along the way and might even need to close your accounts for a while until you get things under control.

Overcome Weed Addiction With These Three Tips

To overcome any addiction you need a plan, a strategy that will allow you to deal with all the problems and cravings that will challenge you along the way. Without a proper plan most people succumb to their addiction once more and continue their habit making it even harder to quit the second time with the feeling of failure that comes with a failed attempt. To overcome weed addiction you must understand, plan and act to quit your habit for good!

Understand Your Addiction

If you do not understand your addiction in depth you will never learn to overcome it. Since marijuana has no chemicals that addict you like cigarettes have nicotine it means that smoking weed is a psychological addiction where you are addicted to getting the high, you want it and the cravings are a deep seated want not a physical need. This is just like alcohol addiction or a gambling addiction where the action becomes something you keep going back to again and again until it starts to take over your life. This is the end result though, the important thing is to understand the root cause and the triggers associated with your drug abuse. By understanding the root cause, why you started to smoke and why you continued you get beyond the simple “I like to get high” excuse, you also need to know what triggers your cravings, there are often events in your life that make you want to go have a smoke, isolating these incidents and knowing what causes them allow you a depth of knowledge you need to combat your addiction.

Have A Plan

Once you develop a good knowledge of your addiction you need to have a plan. You need to know what you need to do when a trigger event happens and how you can stop yourself giving in to the cravings, there may be many ways to do this but you must make this plan and stick to it whenever you are triggered. Only once you can avoid giving into cravings can you focus on overcoming your addiction fully.

Act On Your Knowledge

Only by acting on this knowledge and having a plan for countering triggers can you work to solve the root cause of your addiction, the seed of all your cravings and need for the drug will always be there luring you back unless you find some solution or peace with yourself that can allow you to truly be free.

While these tips are only a simple overview on how to overcome weed addiction they can still provide a structure for fighting back against the controlling forces of addiction that can dominate your life and lead it to ruin.

Porn Addiction – 7 Ways to Stay Addicted

Recovery from porn addiction is a simple but difficult process. The principles and directions suggested are not rocket science but they can be difficult to maintain. Unlike other chemical addictions, sex is something that you carry with you between your ears. At any moment, the sex or pornography addict can get a little high just by indulging in fantasy. With such an easy availability and an unending supply, is it any wonder that pornography addicts struggle with sobriety. The bottom line is that the porn addict must be willing to do whatever it takes to get sober and stay sober. He or she can either follow a process that works or they can do one of these top seven things to stay addicted.

1. Don’t take the risk of being Honest– You won’t be too vulnerable and you won’t stay sober either. Our addictions grow in the dark, so keep your secrets and keep your porn.

2. Only go to 12-step meetings when it is convenient. You are a busy person and it can be very difficult to juggle family, work, and recovery. Keep your meetings as a low priority and keep acting out.

3. Find a counselor that won’t hold you accountable – A good counselor that understands this problem will push you to do the things you need to do to stay sober. They will hold you accountable. That can be uncomfortable and awkward. Stick with a counselor who knows less than you do about porn addiction and stick with your addiction.

4. Masturbation– You can tell yourself that it’s okay to masturbate as long as you don’t use pornography just like the alcoholic can have a glass of wine with dinner, the gambling addict can still play cards, and the heroin junkie can do with a fix now and then. It’s what we call fantasy. Masturbate in early sobriety and get back to your pornography quicker.

5. Don’t get a 12-step sponsor – Asking someone to be your sponsor feels pretty weird, calling him is awkward, and having coffee and talking is stranger still. Sponsorship is a good idea that you will get to soon. Take your time and find the right person. Eventually you will find the right sponsor or maybe you will just act out again.

6. Don’t get an Internet filter– Take your time with this one. Set the passwords later when you get a chance. Just don’t go to the porn sites for now. An internet filter or block makes it much harder to access pornography and you don’t really need all that support. Be sure to keep your smart phone too.

7. Neglect good self care– Now is the time to work as many hours as you can, stay up late working or watching TV, or just eating whatever looks good. Exercise is optional. Burn the candle and watch your sexual sobriety melt away.

That’s the list. The top seven ways you can stay addicted to pornography. It’s your choice. Please choose wisely.

The 12 Steps To Recovery From Sex Addiction

Recovering from a sex addiction requires adhering to a 12 step program. Such programs have become synonymous with people’s efforts to change their lives and behaviors, and have been applied to everything including over-eating, sex, compulsive gambling, and drug addiction.

The original 12 step program was published by Alcoholics Anonymous in the late 1930s to treat addiction to alcohol. Since then, it has been adapted and directed towards other forms of addiction and compulsive behaviors and has been recognized by the American Psychological Foundation. Small details within each 12 step program change depending on what’s being treated, but all follow the same template. While there is debate on what defines addiction, many agree that the brain becomes dependent on chemicals either imbibed (alcohol) or produced naturally through a behavior, such as sex or gambling.

The 12 Steps:

Step one is the sex addict admitting they have no power over their sex addiction and that their lives have gotten out of control. This step essentially defines a sex addiction, a situation where a person no longer can control their sexual behavior despite it causing them problems. This may sound facetious, but if a sex addict could control their behavior, they would not be an addict. Admitting powerlessness also opens the door to getting outside help. A person with a broken leg does not try to mend it on their own, they call a doctor because they do not have the skills to heal themselves. It is no different with a sex addiction.

Step two is acknowledging there is a “higher power” that can help the addict with their addiction. This and the next step may be two of the least understood, as “higher power” generally refers to God. While many going through the 12 step program turn to the Christian faith, anything can serve as the higher power. A person can look to the sun, a favorite object, anything they can mentally equate with a power above themselves. Some neurologists have said the human brain is hardwired towards religion, and because of this it can be used as a powerful tool in influencing behavior.

A higher power plays the role of a neutral yet supportive third part in the sex addict’s life. It is not the addicts themselves, nor is it their therapist, nor is it a loved one the addict may have wronged or someone who will judge them.

The third step is giving themselves over to that higher power, as they understand it. Many sex addicts begin reading the Bible and attending religious services of their faith. Others will take up a different spiritual text as their understand of their higher power. The book or the faith or belief is not important here, what is important is that the reliance on self get turned over to a reliance on a higher power. Most religions have set guidelines on sexual conduct, as well as other aspects of life, and make for a ready made code of conduct a person can adhere to, at least until their lives are under their control once more.

Step four is where the sex addict gets to the “nitty gritty” of their problem and comes to see what it looks like from the outside by completing a “moral inventory” of themselves. This inventory documents their life and how and when their sexual habits, failings, and other common behaviors began in an effort to see the big picture and have an accurate understanding of what it is. Typically, a deadline is put on this step, as many addicts tend to get hung up on it, either because they find it difficult to examine themselves this way, or feel the need to be too thorough.

The fifth step involves taking that inventory and showing it to someone else, either a spouse, sponsor, clergy or trusted confidant, or even another sex addict further along in their treatment. This is done for a number of reasons. If a sex addict can share this, it means they are comfortable with it to a degree and will be able to open up further because seeing the behavior inventory may not be enough to let the sex addict truly see their problem or recognize patterns in their behavior. When it comes to the familiar, an addict sees what they intend rather than what really is. It’s the same as when an athlete needs a coach to check their stance or swing or attitude for their sport. So the sex addict needs another pair of eyes on their moral inventory to catch things and gain feedback from a different perspective.

Steps six and seven of the original Alcoholics Anonymous version are asking the higher power or God to remove the addict’s defects and to forgive them. Other, more secular minded versions describe these steps as similar transition periods. The sex addict goes from identifying the problem to recognizing that they, themselves, are now past that stage and can now expend energy enacting change. The addict is taught to see that the mistakes have been made cannot be unmade, and wishing to change the past is a waste of energy. While it’s not a “clear slate,” it is a shift of focus onto the present, which can be affected by the sex addict.

Step eight, while at first may seem like a look back, is actually for the addict to compile a list of people their sex addiction has harmed. This may be family they’ve neglected, spouses cheated on, and in extreme cases, victims of their sexual abuse. This step is sometimes broken down into smaller segments, identifying the types of relationships harmed by the sex addiction. In the case of deceased loved ones or people the addict cannot have contact with, this step serves as an emotional release by further letting the addict see the extent of the damage their behavior has caused.

The ninth step is an extension of the eighth, and involves making amends with the people identified in that step, when possible. It could be something as simple as a verbal apology, and may not be something that can be accomplished in a moment, a day, or even months. This step is distinctive to the individuals involved, and not completely possible in all cases.

Step 10 is continuing the list from step five, and admitting when a mistake has been made. This can expand beyond sexual behavior and include any kind of non-desirable actions or emotions. Negative feelings are what led the sex addict to compulsively seek the numbing behavior to start with. And being able to identify those trouble spots and handle them in a way that doesn’t feed a new addiction cycle is key. Sex addiction often comes with other forms of addiction, or can spin off into those other forms if the root cause is not being monitored.

Prayer and meditation are Step 11 in the program. Many call prayer and meditation one and the same, but whichever route the sex addict chooses, they should set aside time each day for quiet reflection. A daily pause is used as an anchor to keep the complexities of the addict’s outside world from becoming overwhelming. This step lets the sex addict remind themselves of their progress and the tools they have to fight their compulsions.

The final step is working with other sex addicts, or passing on some of the knowledge the addict has gained. The selfless side of this is ensures a pool of experienced teachers well versed in the subject matter who can perpetuate the program. The benefit to the addict doing the teaching is the same as to teacher; the one imparting the wisdom in turn learns more about what they’ve come to know. Having to articulate to another person what one has learned makes a person think about benefits in ways they hadn’t before, and leads to greater understanding.

Those are the basic 12 steps found in addiction recovery programs. Many are closely related, but together they show a progression. It should be noted this programs not a “do these 12 things and you’re cured” prescription, but at the higher levels are a lifelong set of behaviors. They may play a less active role in the recovering sex addict’s life as time goes on, but the inventory, meditation, and teaching tend to be in the background for a long time.