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

52 Ways: Identify Threats to Your Relationship from Others

By Roni Beth Tower Ph.D., ABPP on November 19, 2017 in Life, Refracted
Identify behaviors that undermine the integrity of your love relationship, create conflict between partners, or destabilize one member in a way that throws a couple into chaos.

Shame as a Barrier to Addiction Treatment

The largest barrier to alcoholics getting treatment is shame. This is ironic because getting help and getting sober should be an action that alcoholics feel proud of.

How to Break Free From Excessive Internet Gaming

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on November 17, 2017 in Think, Act, Be
There is a growing awareness that problematic Internet use can have serious consequences. A new study demonstrated one simple technique that can help.

Adult-Onset ADHD Is Usually Something Else

By David Rettew M.D. on November 15, 2017 in ABCs of Child Psychiatry
Doctors are seeing increasing numbers of people presenting with what looks like adult onset ADHD. A recent study, however, finds that ADHD is rarely the cause.

The Primal Wound: Do You Have One?

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on November 12, 2017 in Moral Landscapes
Is suffering a necessary part of the human condition? To anticipate doom, fear intimacy, or carry a sense of falseness and meaninglessness? No, say the psychosynthesists.

Is Addiction a Disease of the Brain?

By Gregg Henriques Ph.D. on November 10, 2017 in Theory of Knowledge
Addiction is when the primary process mind overpowers the deliberative actor mind.

Grudges Are Empty Calories to Brock Lindow

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on November 10, 2017 in Brick by Brick
"Life was punching me right in the mouth."
Crestock

Relief from Night Terrors This Veterans Day

By Kathleen Frazier on November 09, 2017 in From Sleepwalker to Sound Sleeper
For veterans suffering from debilitating night terrors, a veteran's son has created an app to stop night terrors.

Opiate Addiction: A Cautionary Tale and Case Discussion

By Jeffrey Deitz M.D. on November 09, 2017 in Case Conference
See how one courageous woman is surviving and thriving while getting treatment for opiate use disorder.

Talking to Children About Their Birthparents

Can you tell me about them?.........How to handle difficult questions and address sensitive issues.

Do Smart Phones Make Us Smarter?

By Tim Elmore on November 09, 2017 in Artificial Maturity
If you’re like most, you will consult your phone about 80 times a day. Find out what the latest research says on how this influences your mind and your life in general.

Phubbing-The #1 Phone Habit to Drop For Better Relationships

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on November 08, 2017 in Feeling It
Here's what happens to your relationships when you ignore others for your phone.

Bringing Music to Veterans

By Kimberly Sena Moore Ph.D. on November 08, 2017 in Your Musical Self
In celebration of Veterans Day, let's peek at how music therapy is improving the quality of life of veterans in Atlanta.

Why Is It So Hard to Change Minds?

Ever wonder how to change someone's mind about climate change or vaccines? An evidence-based technique from substance abuse treatment may be the answer.

Why Addicts Make Poor Decisions

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on November 06, 2017 in Science of Choice
Decision failures could explain why addicts pursue and consume drugs even in the face of negative consequences.

Is Pain Being Treated Properly?

A common reason for referral is “my primary care can no longer or does not feel comfortable with continuing to prescribe me my pain medications."
unsplash/ericjamesward

Shrugging at Addiction

By Deborah King on November 06, 2017 in Mining the Headlines
Everyone knows someone affected by the opioid crisis in America. Are you doing anything about it?

Why We’re More Likely to Buy Frivolous Things on Our Mobile?

By Liraz Margalit Ph.D. on November 04, 2017 in Behind Online Behavior
When it comes to what we’re buying it also seems that the device really does matter.

Drug Overdoses are Leading Cause of Death for those under 50

By Kimberly Key on November 01, 2017 in Counseling Keys
Increased drug use has skyrocketed in recent years, bringing child abuse and abuse-related deaths.

More Corporations Behaving Badly: An Opioid Scandal

By Alan A. Cavaiola Ph.D. on November 01, 2017 in Beyond Bullying
Learn how one corporation made billions while fueling the opioid epidemic.

A Five-Step Approach to the Opioid Epidemic, Part 2 of 2

By Dan Mager MSW on October 31, 2017 in Some Assembly Required
Make no mistake: there is no magic bullets and no quick fixes to this crisis. However, there are several critical steps that can help us make meaningful progress toward solutions.

Harlem Success Academy and Substance Abuse Treatment

Graphical illustration of why controversies in policy involve people talking about phenomena on two sides of a phase transition.

What Does It Mean to Recover from Food Addiction?

By Carolyn C. Ross M.D., M.P.H. on October 30, 2017 in Real Healing
Are you obsessed about food? Do you find it hard to stop binging on certain foods? Do you wonder if you can ever be free of your food addiction?

Beware the Masks of Addiction

If we sacrifice our truth for the sake of the mask’s persona, then the illusion of the mask begins to drive our perception, choices, and relationships.

Brain Imaging Shows We Can Unlearn Chronic Pain

By Eric Haseltine Ph.D. on October 27, 2017 in Long Fuse, Big Bang
New hope for previously untreatable pain.

The Psychology of Obscene Telephone Calling

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on October 27, 2017 in In Excess
Obscene phone calling has existed for decades yet there has been little research into it. What do we know about it psychologically?

Is There an Epidemic of Despair in the Rural Heartland?

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on October 26, 2017 in Talking About Men
New research shows a sharp increase in premature death rates among rural less educated whites; mainly due to suicide, overdose, and substance abuse. What are the underlying causes?

6 Things an Addict Will Never Tell You

By Amy Dresner on October 25, 2017 in Coming Clean
Want to know what active addicts aren't telling you? Here are 6 things they're probably lying about.

7 Ways Creativity Supports Addiction Recovery

Creativity can play an important role in recovery.

Here’s Why You're Addicted to "The Bachelor"

By Jen Kim on October 24, 2017 in Valley Girl With a Brain
Do you accept this truth? Love is not the reason you're tuning into reality television.