Dealing with Compulsive Behaviors

Plenty of people suffer from one form of compulsive behavior or another. There's compulsive shopping, hoarding, eating, gambling, or even pulling one's hair out. And, of course, there is garden variety obsessive compulsiveness. When a person has a compulsion, he is trapped in a pattern of repetitive and senseless thinking—and these behaviors can prove quite difficult to overcome.

Recent Posts on Compulsive Behaviors

Make Choices Today That Will Help You Thrive Tomorrow

If you always give in to what feels best in the moment, it will be hard to ever have the life you really want.

Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors

By The Book Brigade on March 03, 2015 in The Author Speaks
The millions of teens and adults who engage in self-destructive behavior do so because they never learned more constructive ways of soothing themselves in moments of distress. Many have engaged in such behaviors for so long that they can't envision a way out. But it's possible to replace self-destructive acts with kinder means of coping.

Could You Be Addicted to Your Cell Phone?

Could you go 24 hours without your cell phone? Many people can't!

8 Warning Signs Your Lover is a Narcissist

The Mayo Clinic research group defines narcissistic personality disorder as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration." How do you know when your romantic partner may be a narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

The Surprising Benefits of Documenting Ordinary Experiences

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in In Love and War
Typically it’s the big milestones that we document most diligently—the weddings, births, graduations, professional achievements. These are the events we expect we’ll most want to revisit down the road. But research suggests that revisiting ordinary, everyday experiences can bring us a lot more pleasure than we realize.

How to Tidy Your Home Mindfully

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on February 26, 2015 in Urban Survival
Could the cluttered state of your home be holding you back? Marie Kondo's method of decluttering is about more than tidying the home—surrounding yourself with things that bring you joy can help you achieve a greater clarity and awareness of the mind, too.

Pride and Prejudice and Obesity

Prejudice against obesity recalls previous biases against individuals with depression, alcoholism, and compulsive behaviors. Understanding obesity as a disease must amend the need for personal responsibility.

Smoking and Weight: Those "Burnt-out Ends of Smoky Days"

By Sylvia R Karasu M.D. on February 20, 2015 in The Gravity of Weight
The dangers of cigarette smoking are well-known, but many people continue to smoke because of the fear that they will gain weight after they stop. What do we know about the effects of smoking and smoking cessation on weight?

The Joy of Stuff

Stuff can tell our story and make us comfortable.

Together/Apart in Irrelationship

When acting as Performer or Audience, the long-term need to be in healthy supportive relationships is sacrificed to the immediate imperative of smothering our deep-seated discomfort, thus putting us radically out of balance with others and ourselves. We can live like this for awhile. But at some point, the debt will come due, and must be paid back—with interest.

Are Your Boundaries Making You Miserable?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 12, 2015 in Evolution of the Self
Sure, you need boundaries. And undeniably, you have the right to assert them—whether to safeguard your privacy, self-respect, or basic sense of decency. So it’s crucial to develop the ability and self-confidence to say no, or to tell others to stop doing what they’re doing. But what also needs to be emphasized is that some of your boundaries may be holding you hostage. . .

Protection Compulsion...A Case Study

By Teri Woods Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in Compulsive!
A psychologist can't fix what they don't know about. Sometimes a patient's defenses can be so strong they thwart their own treatment. But if a therapist slips into detective mode, he/she just might find enough clues to find out what's really going on.

Understanding PTSD, TBI, Suicide and Student Veteran Success

Research shows that the transition from the intensity of military life to a more independent civilian life can be overwhelming. Recognizing and understanding special symptoms supports the important objective of increasing the success of many veteran students on campus. It is important to share this information about the needs of student veterans.

Anxious Parents Helped by “World’s Worst Mom”

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on February 08, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
Lenore Skenazy was called a bad mother when she let her 9-year old son ride the NY subway alone. Now she hosts a TV show to help parents become more like her.

How Stress Makes Us Compulsive Pleasure Seekers

By David DiSalvo on February 07, 2015 in Neuronarrative
Researchers have shown that not only does stress predispose us to wanting pleasure, it makes our desire for it drastically out of proportion to our enjoyment. The reward never reaches the level of our want.

911 Call Reveals New Details Against Former Rap Producer

By Cathy Scott on February 06, 2015 in Crime, She Writes
With murder charges against Suge Knight now official, it's looking even worse for the former music mogul as audio of a 911 call from a witness details the fatal hit and run.

Childhood Trauma and Masturbation

Often when a child undergoes abuse or trauma there are not sufficient outlets for all the rage, despair and grief that results from the betrayal. Masturbation is one of the most accessible and available forms of numbing out, because you rely only on your own body to produce the intoxicating chemicals that soothe the pain.

Looking to Meet Mr. Right Online?

By Rick Miller LICSW on February 05, 2015 in Unwrapped
Faster, faster, faster should not be confused with better, better, better. Turning to technology to find Mr. Right often goes all wrong as the technology itself often takes the place of human connection.

When Sex Isn’t About Pleasure

By Rick Miller LICSW on February 05, 2015 in Unwrapped
Sexual compulsivity is treatable. That may be one of the most important sentences you will ever hear. If it’s threatening your personal and professional life, there is an alternative.

10 Tips to Stop The Diet-Binge Cycle and Re-claim Your Body

It ‘s not easy to consciously choose to ignore the images and messages that tell you what you should and should not eat or how much you should weigh. But there are important steps you can take to help break the starve-binge cycle, re-claim your body, and achieve a true sense of self-worth.

Men Of Steal

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on January 30, 2015 in In Excess
In previous articles I have examined activities like shopping as an addiction. One similar such behavior is shoplifting. This article briefly looks at a new typology of shoplifting and argues that in some cases, shoplifting may even be an addiction.

The Joyless Addiction

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on January 28, 2015 in Science of Choice
Addicts often express that they continue to use drugs even when they no longer derive any pleasure.

Personalized Genomics, Data-Hoarding, and Drug Companies

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on January 14, 2015 in Side Effects
Genetic-testing kits have been hailed for advancing medical research and disease prevention. But who owns the data and what are the risks of it being sold or misused?

How Healthy Food Could Make You Fat

By Peter A. Ubel on January 08, 2015 in Critical Decisions
Say goodbye to the idea that what people weigh is solely a function of their deliberate choices!

Compulsive Buying

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on December 05, 2014 in A Sideways View
The causes, manifestations and cures for compulsive shopping and spending are now better understood. This disorder seems more common than ever before in rich, materialist societies which seem to promote it. Why do some people develop this compulsion and what can we do about it?

Do You Have a Problem?

By Kathryn Stamoulis Ph.D. on November 24, 2014 in The New Teen Age
If you are wondering if there is a problem in your life you need to address, start by asking yourself these two simple questions.

Addiction as a Disease of Isolation

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on November 18, 2014 in Science of Choice
The anxiously attached person chooses the chemical shortcut to avoid pain and frustration, and becomes trapped there.

Self-Mutilation, Eating Disorders, and Suicide

Using attachment theory to explain how addictive connections to pain and suffering develop, I discuss various kinds and functions of self-harm behavior. From eating disorders to self- mutilation and body modifications such as tattooing, I explore the language of self-harm, and the translation of that language and its psychological functions.

Is Pornography (Sexual) Addiction Real?

By Kevin B Skinner Ph.D. on November 03, 2014 in Inside Porn Addiction
Is pornography addictive? While there is much controversy surrounding this topic, there are hundreds of thousands of individuals and their families who are seeking help to deal with compulsive sexual behaviors. What are they telling us about pornography?

Are You a Workaholic? If So, This May Be Why

Whether you love or feel bad about what you do too much of, you may be great at ...