Sex Addiction

Of all addictions, sex addiction is the most secretive. It’s driven to secrecy by a culture of shame. We applaud when people announce they’re a recovering alcoholic, but we squirm uncomfortably if they say they’re a recovering sex addict.

But here’s the irony. Addictions to sex or porn are estimated as the most common and fast-spreading addiction in our society. It is literally a public health epidemic.

Here’s why it’s dangerous: Addictions require the user to escalate in order to continue getting their fix. The old stuff doesn’t provide a thrill anymore. This is how bizarre fetishes, and attractions to animals and children develop. These things don’t happen overnight.

I talked with a man arrested for child porn, and he was disgusted with the stuff.  He didn’t like where his addiction had taken him, yet he felt unable to stop. He was no longer in control.

With each progression, the user is less able to enjoy normal sex in a healthy relationship. Sex addictions and pornography kill real love.

If you compulsively have sex with strangers, or view pornography though you don’t even want to, then you’re dealing with addiction. Reach out now; it’s never too late to find freedom!

Food Addiction

An addiction to food is the hardest to hide. It is literally worn around one’s body like a sign indicating that something unhealthy is going on.

Like most addictions, food addiction is usually the result of an unresolved issue, often trauma or shame. Food is turned to as a form of self-medication. A person might chose to mask the pain with eating rather than deal with the underlying root cause – the abusive parent or the childhood neglect.

With this in mind, the problem really isn’t diet or exercise. That’s just the visible tip of an emotional iceberg. To deal with food addiction one must identify what they are feeling when they are triggered to overeat. Is it anger? Shame? Lust? And what thought or event precipitated that feeling? A particular place? A certain voice?

Someone severely overweight doesn’t need a nutritionist or personal trainer. On a cognitive level, they already know what they need to do, they just can’t get there. They need a mental health professional knowledgeable on eating disorders and food addiction. If you need help, reach out. And if you know someone struggling with this addiction, keeping silent isn’t doing them any favors.

Work Addiction

One of the most well-disguised addictions in our culture is work addiction. Some men turn to work in the same way others turn to vodka or opioids – as an escape. Ultimately, all addictions are forms of self-medications, and just like alcohol and drugs, work can be a way for a man to forget about his troubles at home or avoid a failing relationship.

Conservative estimates place work addiction in America at 10% of the population; however, it is likely much higher than that.[1]  One reason that it’s difficult to pin down a number is because work addiction can be perfectly camouflaged. Who can fault a guy for working hard to provide for his family, right? It’s not easy to tell a guy that he’s doing too much of a good thing. But don’t be fooled by the noble-looking façade, work addictions destroy families.

The way to tell if work has become an addiction is if it’s being pursued at the expense of one’s relationships and personal health. If you notice that your buddy is letting his health or marriage fall apart in pursuit of his job then speak up. Be a good wingman and call him out.