Managing Your 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 difficult to overcome.

Recent posts on Compulsive Behaviors

Do We Control Our Own Purchasing Habits?

By Liraz Margalit Ph.D. on September 20, 2016 in Behind Online Behavior
Flaws in our decision-making ability are fuel for the market. In certain situations we are especially susceptible to external influences.
Pixabay, labeled for reuse

Why the Sex Addiction Model Is Not a Humanistic Approach

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on September 14, 2016 in Standard Deviations
Plenty of evidence suggests that harm reduction psychotherapy provides a more humanistic alternative to sex addiction treatment.

When Porn Consumption Goes Up, Sex Crimes Go Down

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on September 13, 2016 in Standard Deviations
Contrary to media hysteria, research shows that when porn consumption goes up, sex crimes go down.

Unwavering and Too Proud of It

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 12, 2016 in Ambigamy
Don't mistake poor impulse control for uncompromising principle.

Life... Don't Talk to Me About Life

By Robert J King Ph.D. on September 07, 2016 in Hive Mind
The U.K. press recently picked up our paper about violence and gambling. Here's why they (and other traits) tend to go together and why this matters.

Fear of Sudden Infant Death

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on September 06, 2016 in Fighting Fear
An example of the treatment of an exaggerated fear—of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Surprisingly, the very quick cure of this fear was followed by a lessening of other fears.

How Much Sex Is Too Much Sex?

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on August 30, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Normal sexual behavior may be overpathologized (that is, treated as disordered when it is not) if a clinician fails to recognize the wide range of normal human sexual expression...
Microsoft clip art/onlinecollege.org

The Perils of Multitasking

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on August 26, 2016 in Memory Medic
Multitasking not only becomes a habit, it is addictive. I see many youngsters who seem to have withdrawal symptoms if they can't check their phone messages every few minutes.

Desperately Seeking a False Sense of Security

It is the awareness of the most mundane threats to our hearts that irrelationship most effectively protects us from—how emotionally close we are to those in our everyday lives.

"Same Head Every Day"

Brainlock is our way of describing the neurological/physiological-meets-individual/social/contextual factors that underlie and sustain irrelationship.

Are Olympians Addicted to Exercise, Work or Neither?

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on August 16, 2016 in In Excess
Olympic athletes are dedicated to their profession and spend hours every day training and exercising. But are Olympic athletes addicted to exercise, their work, or neither?

Consequences of Compulsive Sexual Behavior

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on August 12, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Individuals with CSB (compulsive sexual behavior) may face a variety of medical complications, including unwanted pregnancies; sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS

How Social Constructionism Created the Sex Addiction Model

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on August 11, 2016 in Standard Deviations
An ideological belief in the malleability of sexuality has given rise to the sex addiction movement.

Diagnosing Compulsive Sexual Behavior

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on August 08, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Is compulsive sexual behavior a new disorder?

Canine Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

By Nicholas Dodman on August 07, 2016 in Dog Days
Have you ever wondered why some dogs exhibit pointless repetitive behaviors? I'm talking wrist licking, tail chasing, flank sucking, shadow chasing, and so on. If so, read on.

5 Psychological Syndromes You've Never Heard Of

How many of these rare psychological afflictions are you familiar with?

Cognitive Rigidity: The 8-Ball From Hell

Cognitive Rigidity (difficulty changing mental sets) is a core feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and is commonly associated with a suite of challenging traits.

Your Relationship’s Personality

What is a relationship's personality, and how does it protect itself? Defect and defense can be seen as interchangeable terms—both pinpointing the existence of irrelationship.

You Know That The Behavior Is Harmful. Why Can't You Stop?

You’ve promised yourself that you will NOT (pick one: have that drink, binge on that food, take those pills, engage in self-harm, place that bet, etcetera). Then you get home.

Ridding Happiness Contaminants 9: Addictions and Compulsions

In this second installment of Ridding Addictions and Compulsions, learn the powerful three strategies to getting started getting stopped. They can put you on the road to recovery.

Inside the Mind of the Munich Mass Killer

This kind of conundrum has led some psychiatrists to suggest mass or spree killers suffer from a rare disorder so far unclassified and unknown in the textbooks.

Pokémon Go—Addiction to Mobile Tech No Laughing Matter

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on July 19, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Research shows that those with a behavioral addiction—including gaming addiction—have similar brain dysfunction to those with cocaine or gambling addiction.

Gotta Catch ‘Em All: The Poké-Demic of 2016

By Ryan Anderson on July 18, 2016 in The Mating Game
In 2016, the mobile gaming world has thus far been defined by one thing above all others: Pokemon Go. This article looks at some of the ingenious psychology behind the app

The Toughest Part of Pokémon Go: Stopping

The wildly popular game is prompting exercise and sociability. But there might be another effect: addiction.

Clear Thinking About Decluttering: 8 Insights

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in Creating in Flow
Like diet books, books about how to clean out our clutter are always popular. What's the fascination, and why can't we "just do it" once and for all?

Misdiagnosis of a Behavioral Addiction

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on July 12, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Many people with behavioral addictions have been told that they have a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Gambling, ADHD, OCD and Kleptomania

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on July 07, 2016 in In Excess
Papers in psychiatric journals have claimed that many of the characters in the Star Wars movies have underlying psychopathologies including pathological gambling, OCD and ADHD

Can Any Behavior Be Addictive?

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on July 05, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
The answer is probably “yes,” depending on the person.

Sex as Relationship Builder or Deal Breaker

Sex can be used to build intimacy. But when a relationship is in trouble, sex can be used just as easily to maintain distance. In that case, sex stops being about sex.

Your Mindset Is Making Your Money Decisions for You

By Michael F. Kay on June 20, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
Newsflash: your life is ruled by your mindset.