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

Happy Mother-Someone's Day

As there are "good enough mothers,” there are also good enough "mother-someones" who do not give up when things go terribly awry, but are able to use the failures and derailments as opportunities to work together to right the wrongs, get the relationships back on the rails together—to repair interactively.

Addiction: A Systems Perspective

By Dan Mager MSW on April 21, 2015 in Some Assembly Required
The dynamics of systems theory and neuroplasticity can provide valuable windows through which we can better understand the respective processes that contribute to addiction and recovery.

10 Tips to Change From Reactive to Proactive in Situations

All of us encounter experiences in life when we may be temporally overwhelmed by a negative emotion, be it anger, pressure, nervousness, despair, or confusion. In these situations, how we choose to “master the moment” can make the difference between proactive versus reactive, and confidence versus insecurity. Here are ten ways to be less reactive in difficult situations...

Hoarders and Collectors

By Elias Aboujaoude M.D. on April 16, 2015 in Compulsive Acts
A hoarding diagnosis should have nothing to do with a person’s net worth or a clinician’s take on what is worth collecting and what does not deserve getting attached to.

The Emotional "Trials" of Trial Independence (ages 18 - 23)

For many last stage adolescents (18 - 23) independence can prove too much of a good thing when they flounder in so much freedom, become stressed out, and experience emotional crisis as a result. At this juncture, parents can be of help.

Can We Exercise Too Much?

By Pirkko Markula Ph.D. on April 12, 2015 in Fit Femininity
Physical activity has been proven to improve physical and psychological health. However, is any amount of exercise good? Too much exercise can prevent psychological well-being. When excessive exercise develops into exercise dependence, it becomes compulsive behaviour that controls the exerciser's life.

The Difference Between Healthy and Unhealthy Passion

By Gregg Levoy on April 10, 2015 in Passion!
Passion can be either beneficial or detrimental, life-giving or life-denying. And it can share a border with mania. Here’s how to tell whether your passion for work and life is healthy or not.

Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer

It’s not out of the realm of possibility that cancer can be ameliorated through nutritional means, just as we prevent scurvy, pernicious anemia, and pellagra. At the very least, we do know that nutrition plays causative, preventive, and treatment roles in cancer.

8 Signs You're in a Relationship with a Sexual Narcissist

Sexual narcissism can be defined as a grandiose sense of one’s sexual prowess which, in the mind of the sexual narcissist, entitles him or her to engage in acts of emotional and physical manipulation at the partner’s expense. How do you know when your partner may be a sexual narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

The Fake Sanity Clause*

By Hal Mathew on April 03, 2015 in Unagoraphobic
If you can look this content you can feel this content

How to Apply Spring Cleaning to Your Body, Mind and Soul

By Gregg McBride on March 28, 2015 in The Weight-ing Game
What are you sitting on, keeping in your home or potentially hoarding on your shelves that might be holding you back mentally? Anything you need to get rid of? Any de-cluttering you need encouragement on? You might be surprised to learn that your mind is in need of spring cleaning even more than your living space is.

The Blissful Torture of Unrequited Love

Whether fast or slow, it comes on hard—as powerful as a bludgeon, but one covered in the softest velvet. It’s two-faced as well, like an optical illusion. And it’s also supremely paradoxical. How can an unreturned love engender such ecstatic, sublime feelings? Yet the chemical dynamics of reciprocation fantasies can be incredibly powerful...

Spirituality and Addiction

For years, people have accepted the notion that addiction is a spiritual disorder. Let's take a look at that idea.

Making Saves

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on March 17, 2015 in In Excess
Extreme couponing is an activity that combines shopping skills with couponing in an attempt to save as much money as possible while accumulating the most groceries. Extreme couponers spend hours and hours on the internet or scouring scouring rubbish tips or supermarket car parks looking for coupons. But can it be addictive?

3 Major Warning Signs of Relationship Trouble

Most of us want to meet and settle down with the “right” person, and most of us want such a relationship to last. Yet, 53% of marriages in the U.S., 48% in Canada, 47% in the U.K., and 43% in Australia end in divorce. What are some of the major warning signs of a relationship in trouble? Here are three key indicators based on research...

When Compassion is the Best Medicine

What a brain disease strikes, friends and family need support for the patient and themselves.

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!

The Surprising Future Appeal of Everyday 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.

Why Stress Can Make You Do Some Unusual Things

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.