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

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.

Gambling, Sex, And Gaming In Virtual Reality

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on June 15, 2016 in In Excess
There is little scientific evidence (as yet) that individuals have become addicted to virtual reality (VR) applications. However, could the new VR applications be addictive?

How Your Risky Behavior Affects Others

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on June 14, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Behavioral addictions impair function, can have legal and financial repercussions, and can lead to mental health issues such as depression and thoughts of suicide

The Power of Giving - in Action

There is nothing so valuable as having what we offer to others taken, made use of, and experienced as having value and being useful and helpful. Irrelationship blocks this.

The Psychology of Stand-Up Comedy

Academics have not only studied stand-up comedy. Occasionally they have performed it too.

How to Stop Mild Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior

The Mayo Clinic defines OCD as: "unreasonable thoughts and fears that lead you to do repetitive behaviors." Here’s a quick tip to help stop mild obsessive-compulsiveness.

How Your Childhood Affects Your Money Today

By Michael F. Kay on June 02, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
Your past holds the secret key to unlocking the reasons why you are either stumbling or strutting in your money life.

What If Only I Am Ready/Willing To Work On Our Relationship?

When bottoming-out in irrelationship, it can be a painful moment fraught with terrifying insights into how wrong so much of what previously felt right about the relationship is.

Sports Betting Via Smartphones

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on June 01, 2016 in In Excess
Mobile phone betting provides convenience and flexibility, and from a gaming operator’s perspective, provides gambling on the move. The future of sports gambling is here already.