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Category Archives: Addictions

The Addict’s Apologies aren’t Enough: How Addicts can take responsibility.

Addictions0 comments

Photo by monica di loxley on Unsplash

In my work with addicts be it drugs, alcohol, or behavioral addictions like gambling or compulsive pornography usage, one trait in early recovery often sticks out-the inability to take true responsibility for their actions.  Instead, these addicts often go to what they know best, a collection of cognitive distortions or “thinking errors” that do little more than keep them trapped in their cycle of addiction.

For example, I had a female client who came in initially because her husband threatened divorce after expressing concern for her drinking habits as she was cited for a DUI after hitting a telephone pole.  Besides the crash, the wife drank an average of a bottle of wine daily, sometimes starting mid-day and drinking until it was time for bed.  

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Sex, Shame, & Suicide: The Impact of Sex Addiction

Addictions0 comments

Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

It’s not uncommon in the field of sex addiction to hear of people wanting to kill themselves due to the problems associated with their behaviors. The shame of hiding and the fear of either revealing it to their partners or having their partners recently discover their affairs, use of prostitutes, hook-ups, or other problematic sexual behaviors may leave some feeling there’s no way out.

The general public is often unaware of the link between shameful sexual behaviors and suicide. Dr. Patrick Carnes wrote Out of the Shadows, a book dedicated to helping people understand sex addiction. According to Carnes, 17% of sex addicts have attempted suicide; 72% have thought about it. “To preserve his integrity, Dr. Jekyll has to kill Mr. Hyde,” he writes.

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Pride: The biggest challenge to addiction recovery.

Addictions, Asian Shame, Counseling & Coaching0 comments

Photo by Dev Benjamin on Unsplash

As a psychotherapist who works in the addiction field, denial is often cited as one of the biggest reasons for not getting help. While I agree denial is a huge barrier to recovery, it doesn’t quite encapsulate the condition which keeps someone in denial.

To truly get to the heart of the issue, we need to explore how pride or ego (in contemporary parlance) infects each and every one of us, but especially those suffering from addiction. The pride I’m describing is not the healthy version where one can be proud of a job well done or one’s accomplishments. Instead, the pride that can seep into the soul in a harmful way. In addiction work, pride makes itself known when one proclaims, “I can do this on my own,” “I don’t need help,” or “I don’t need God.”  

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Pastors & Porn: The Unspeakable Truth

Addictions, Asian Christianity, Asian Shame0 comments

Photo by Charles on Unsplash

Pornography is an endemic problem in the general population so it should be no surprise of its impact in church communities.  Yet how many pastors are willing to come forward with their struggles?

In a Barna research study, it found most pastors (57%) and youth pastors (64%) admit they have struggled with porn, either currently or in the past but less than 1% recommend telling their congregation.

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Sexual Fantasies during Sex: What is the Impact on you and your spouse?

Addictions, Asian Christianity, Asian Shame0 comments

Photo by Sabina Tone on Unsplash

Sex with your partner can be the most sublime experience if done with the intent of connecting with your spouse.  However, in my work with sex addicts (and many non-addicts), oftentimes the sex is devoid of connection.  What does this mean and what does it look like?

First off, at its basest level, sex is just that, a physical act of copulation between individuals lacking any desire for intimacy besides two bodies colliding.  This is usually relegated between strangers, hook-ups, and sex with prostitutes.  But surprisingly, it can happen within steady relationships where one partner becomes so emotionally disconnected from the self that the act of sex is purely a means of physical relief and satisfaction.  Some partners with strong intuition can sense this disconnect and verbalize it to me by saying, “It seems I’m being used or I’m just a sexual receptacle”.

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