Opportunities to develop and sustain addictive or compulsive behaviors are everywhere. We have 24/7 Internet access to just about anything we might desire, such as gambling, shopping, gaming, and porn. In addition, there are 24-hour gyms and grocery stores, less stigma with casual sex, and greater access to legal/illegal substances of choice.
In moderation, many of these habits can be satisfied without serious consequences. In excess, they can end relationships, damage finances, alter brain chemistries, and injure bodies. And if you're experiencing other issues such as trauma, depression, anxiety, or pain, you may be especially vulnerable to developing destructive behaviors. If you've tried in the past to reduce or quit but were unsuccessful, know that there are newer, gentler methods to help achieve your health goals.
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How might you know if you're in need of specialized professional help?
You struggle with mental or physical health issues as a result of your behavior(s) and/or your inability to stop.
You have difficulty with important relationships at home and/or at work because your behavior(s) are seen as out of line.
You experience other negative consequences that are directly caused by continued, extreme, or chronic involvement in the behavior(s) in question.
You’re unable to stop engaging in the behavior(s) despite serious repercussions.
That's not me -- I'm just having fun!
Got it. But ask yourself this: Do you find yourself indulging in any of the above behaviors because you're lonely, bored, depressed, anxious, frustrated, angry, scared, etc.? Yours is a very human response. We don't like feeling badly and can be quite creative in our efforts to numb rather than navigate our feelings.
Counseling can help you to manage and resolve these feelings so that they are less likely to control you -- to hinder you from the life you seek.