Compulsive and Addictive Behaviors

Addiction is not limited to biochemical substances such as cocaine, alcohol, inhalants, or nicotine. It is increasingly possible for people to experience so-called behavioral addictions. Activities such as gambling, eating, pornography viewing, and playing video games are particularly conducive to addiction because they provide the opportunity for immediate reward. The fast feedback that occurs in a gambling setting can quickly turn a pastime into a compulsive pursuit of reward, where one can't voluntarily disengage from the activity and harmful consequences occur-from losing large amounts of money to disruption of relationships.

Similarly, the frequent cell phone texting that many young people do, in which they send and receive hundreds of messages a day, contains the conditions for addiction. Many observers contend that it is especially problematic because it can interfere with one of the major tasks of development-developing effective mechanisms of impulse control.

Recent Posts on Addiction

5 Ways Yoga and Mindfulness Fight Addictions

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on September 04, 2015 in Urban Survival
Yoga and mindfulness are powerful tools to fight addiction. Here are 5 ways that yoga and mindfulness can help you on your road to recovery.

How Illegal Drug Markets Operate?

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on September 04, 2015 in Science of Choice
Illegal drug markets, like all markets, respond to changing circumstances.

Intimate Relationship Dynamics Part II: Pursuer-Distancer

If the body decides that you have an addiction, the mind decides that you have an emotional need.

Overdose Awareness Week Addresses Public Health Crisis

By Scott Dehorty MSW, LCSW-C on September 03, 2015 in Chronic Pain 360
This week is “Overdose Awareness Week” in my home state of Maryland. The week was designated to raise awareness of the heroin and opioid public health crisis, which has reached epidemic proportions. Of course, this public health crisis is not unique to Maryland; every state is battling this epidemic.

When College Shopping, Don't Forget About Mental Health

How well a school responds to its students’ mental health needs can be literally lifesaving, and that’s not just for the students already dealing with concerns such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and substance abuse. Many mental health issues first emerge in early adulthood, and college - with its stresses, competition and disconnect from familiar support network

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Genitally Does It

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on September 02, 2015 in In Excess
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Remembering Blackouts: Interview With Sarah Hepola, Part 2

By Anna David on September 01, 2015 in After Party Chat
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Obama’s Heroin Response Strategy

By Richard Taite on September 01, 2015 in Ending Addiction for Good
The good news is that the Obama administration is making at least some effort to address the horrific accidental death rate from heroin and prescription opioid overdose.

Feeling Phone-verwhelmed?

By Suzanne Gelb Ph.D., J.D. on August 30, 2015 in All Grown Up
Enjoy specific steps that you can take to create a healthier, more balanced relationship with your phone — and all forms of technology, for that matter.

Guns, Mental Illness, Substance Abuse, Trauma and Murder

By Kathryn Seifert on August 30, 2015 in Stop The Cycle
Restricting guns and increasing access to mental health treatment is only part of the answer to violence in the US. We need to look at the role of substance abuse and family violence that surrounds children with violence. There is a need to examine our cultural tolerance of substance abuse and guns as a rite of passage and family violence as nobody else's business.

I Was On Ashley Madison

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on August 29, 2015 in Minority Report
You are on the Ashley Madison list and the pit of your stomach is churning. You may experience shortness of breath, dizziness, or loss of concentration. Your double life is over and exposed (at least to those who have the list) now you're wonder if you should double-down and continue to lie or face significant consequences for sharing the truth. But where do you start?

Attraction & Infidelity: Can 'Eye Candy' Always Be Resisted?

When the Ashley Madison website, apparently promoting infidelity, was hacked revealing just how many people appear involved in relationship betrayal, the media appeared scandalised at the prevalence of infidelity - or at least the appetite for it. However psychologists have recently posed the opposite question - why is there in fact not more infidelity?

How to Tell Which Therapist is Right for You

There is a reason that a person uses to excess. That underlying issue must be acknowledged and worked through if recovery is going to be long lasting.

6 Signs of Addiction in Adult Children of Alcoholics

By Richard Taite on August 28, 2015 in Ending Addiction for Good
If you’re not already in a household where recognizable addiction, domestic violence or infidelity are the norm, there are warning signs that indicate that you could be on that path. The earlier you get help, the easier it is to make change.

What is Prescription Misuse?

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By Michael Ungar Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in Nurturing Resilience
While we know young people are likely to drink during frosh week, the real danger is that they could be dramatically under-estimating the amount of alcohol they're consuming. Here are some suggestions for parents who want to prevent their kids from developing a drinking problem.

Do Men and Women Experience Chronic Pain Differently?

Experts in the psychology field have long been working to better understand the differences between men and women. John Gray’s bestselling book, Men are from Mars Women are from Venus, remains popular more than 20 years after publication because new generations are still trying to answer questions about the different sexes.

Remembering Blackouts: An Interview with Sarah Hepola

By Anna David on August 27, 2015 in After Party Chat
In the first of a two-part interview, the author shares her thoughts on how alcoholism isn’t always a burning building but a "wrecking ball from inside."

Sex: The Pursuit of Immortality at the Cost of Immorality?

Our minds are wired for survival, but what happens when the technology and abundance of contemporary life lead some of us to "eat beyond fullness" in terms of sex, diet, and information?

Why Do You Gamble?

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on August 26, 2015 in In Excess
All surveys of gambling have shown that there are a broad range motivational factors that are central to gambling, and that attitudes towards gambling are positively related to availability and cultural acceptability. But what does the psychological research say about why people gamble?

My Daughter Steals And Lies

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on August 25, 2015 in The Teen Doctor
How To Manage Defiant Daughter

Meeting People Where They Are

The Resilience Regiment speaks with Foundations Nashville.

Anger's Allure: Are You Addicted to Anger?

By Jean Kim M.D. on August 25, 2015 in Culture Shrink
Anger is becoming an epidemic; it's worth exploring the biological and psychological reasons why anger can become addictive for people, and alternatives to kick the habit.

The Three Cs and More

By Fran Simone Ph.D. on August 25, 2015 in A Family Affair
Courage, compassion and community are key ingredients to help loved ones heal.

American Masculinity and Drugs

Reading, coffee, waiting, camera: how American men and their relationship with mind-altering substances allegedly changed throughout the last 100 years.

For the Love of Dogs: Three Ways Companion Animals Help

By Richard Taite on August 21, 2015 in Ending Addiction for Good
According to a Gallop Poll, sixty percent of Americans have a pet. Most of those who have a companion animal have a dog.

These 8 Holistic Therapies Will Literally Change Your Life

The good news is that there are many activities we can participate in that will improve our overall health and lifestyle.

Josh Duggar, Porn Addict?

By David J Ley Ph.D. on August 20, 2015 in Women Who Stray
Embattled Christian reality television star Josh Duggar has blamed porn addiction and a battle with Satan for the latest sex scandal, as he is revealed in the Ashley Madison data dump.