Dealing with Compulsive Behaviors

Plenty of people suffer from one form of compulsive behavior or another. There's compulsive shopping, hoarding, eating and gambling. 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

Faux Fun

By Bernard L. De Koven on February 09, 2016 On Having Fun
There may be good reasons for thinking that fun isn't enough.

Bill D. on Alcoholics Anonymous

The future of mental health interview series continues with Bill D. on Alcoholics Anonymous

Five Steps to End Your Email Addiction

Many of my clients spend most of their waking existence monitoring their email and social media feeds. Sound familiar? 5 steps to help you check less, but work—and play—more.

A Practice of Mindfulness Doesn’t Take Time, It Makes Time!

By Rick Miller LICSW on January 22, 2016 Unwrapped
A well-rounded lifestyle should include regularly tuning into oneself — and tuning out the distractions. Being present sets the stage for personal effectiveness and satisfaction.

4 Truths About Lies and Liars

By Jennifer Haupt on January 21, 2016 One True Thing
As much as we say we detest being lied to, most of us stretch the truth an average of three times during a 10-minute conversation. Is it sometimes better to lie—and be lied to?

Mindfulness in the Treatment of Self-Destructive Behavior

Self-destructive (dysregulated) behaviors can feel impossible to resist. Can mindfulness really help something so entrenched and overwhelming? (If so, how?)

5 Brain-Smart Resolutions

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on January 14, 2016 Obesely Speaking
Preventing no pain no gain from turning into no pickles no onions.

Defensiveness Hinders Recovery From Addiction

Commitment to recovery is undermined when defensiveness minimizes the impairment, make others responsible for it, or attacks solutions for failing to meet some arbitrary condition.

Beware of Performers Bearing Gifts

Being generous is, of course, a wonderful quality. It is also the sheep’s clothes of irrelationship, allowing us to hide our anxiety about being close to others.

Discovering Your Defense Against The World

Irrelationship is a joint psychological defense system, but how does our interaction with the world shape our relationship with ourself?

Should Someone be Accountable for Acts He Can't Control?

By Eric Newhouse on January 02, 2016 Invisible Wounds
PennLaw Professor Stephen J. Morse suggests a new legal plea to reflect disorders like PTSD in which some vets may have cognitive or control deficits that limit their culpability.

Selfies Kill More People Than Sharks Do

How did the need to show off on social media come to trump common sense for sensing danger and one's instinct for self-preservation?

Our Consumer Culture’s Double Bind for Hoarders

By Barry Yourgrau on December 17, 2015 Mess
One image that neatly distills how profoundly mixed are the messages about over-acquisition in our society.

Betting To The Beat

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on December 17, 2015 In Excess
The effect of music has been studied extensively in commercial contexts but what does the psychological literature tell us about the effect of music on gambling behaviour?

Drawing a Line in the Sugar with Chef Emily Luchetti

By Carrie Barron M.D. on December 14, 2015 The Creativity Cure
Dessert's are about emotional connection as well as sugar. Celebrity Emily Luchetti helps us approach them in a healthy way.

Social Media, the Network Effect and Procrastination

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on December 07, 2015 Don't Delay
There’s an army of growth hackers working in the tech industry to hook you deeply into social media. Their job is to break down your self-regulation. The result? Procrastination.

Two Sides to Repression in Irrelationship: A Different View

Irrelationship can most certainly serve as a jointly created means of keeping the repressed—well—repressed.

Understanding Self-Destructive (Dysregulated) Behaviors

Have you ever realized that one of your behaviors was causing you harm – but been unable to stop the behavior?

Mass Killers Explained by Syndrome E (Evil)

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on December 06, 2015 Moral Landscapes
Recently, Itzhak Fried hosted a conference on Syndrome E, an idea he published in 1997 to explain mass killers. Let’s examine the characteristics and alternative explanations.

Understanding OCD

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on November 27, 2015 Think Well
Here's some information that will help you to better understand the crippling anxiety disorder of OCD, how to best treat it, and why the treatment works.

Happy Holidays—Or Else!

Being haunted by the idea that other people are “better” at holiday celebrations than we are can drive us to “fix” our own family’s time together. But this preoccupation with “getting it right” can become an emotional wedge between ourselves and those we’re trying to please.

Why We’re Addicted to Our Smartphones, But Not Our Tablets

As mobile technology has become integrated into nearly every aspect of our lives, our smartphones are shifting from device to dependency.

The Trigger That Pulls the Finger

Guns aren’t simply a ready instrument of violence, but can incite it as well.

Gambling Advertising And Marketing

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on November 19, 2015 In Excess
Over the last few years there has been a great deal of speculation over the role of advertising as a possible stimulus to increased gambling, and as a contributor to problem gambling (including underage gambling). But can gambling advertising and marketing be done in a more socially responsible way?

Change, the Not So New Norm

We talk about change all the time. Yet, in spite of the frequency with which it occurs, we are not skilled at managing it. Here are some tips to guide you through the process.

Dis(mis)sing Mental Illness

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on November 15, 2015 Shadow Boxing
A lethal spree, fueled by mental illness, remains a controversial case in the legal system.

This Is Why You Wanted Coffee and Donuts This Morning

By Gary L. Wenk Ph. D. on November 14, 2015 Your Brain on Food
If coffee and donuts did not exist, our brains would force us to invent them.

My Visit to an Extreme Hoarder

By Barry Yourgrau on November 07, 2015 Mess
I was, at last, in hoarding Valhalla: ghastly, derelict, oppressive, aesthetically astounding, most piles and surfaces grayed with dust.,

10 Signs You’re Addicted to Online Shopping

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on November 04, 2015 Urban Survival
How do you know if your online shopping is becoming a problem? Here are 10 signs to watch out for.

Earth to Humans: Why Have You Forsaken Me? Limited Behavior

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on November 01, 2015 The Green Mind
What are the psychological roadblocks that explain why we’re not doing much to solve global climate change—a phenomenon that threatens the core of our society? This is the seventh and final post in a seven-part series.