Sex Addiction: Why Can’t You Just Stop Acting Out?

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I joined Indian Bob of Recovery Radio Raw on his  Halloween Eve, 10/31/2012 show and I answered some questions many people ask about addictions and sex addiction.  The first question we discussed was Why can’t you just stop?,  the question most often asked of addicts by others who are not afflicted with the disease. And yes, addiction is a disease. Can you ask a person with cancer, leukemia, diabetes or other disease to stop it? No, that would be silly. You couldn’t expect a person with one of those diseases to just stop their disease. It’s not possible. And just the same with sex addiction, drug addiction, alcoholism and other addictions…the person can’t stop it because it’s a disease with no known medical cure.

As Indian Bob so aptly said last night, addiction is a Mental Obsession and a Physical Compulsion. What makes a person become mentally obsessed with a behavior? What makes someone desire their “drug of choice” no matter what the consequences? It could be traced well back to the childhood of the addict where one ore more of what I call the Traumas of Addiction occurred.

1. Abuse: It could be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or sexual abuse.

2. Neglect: Is not just lacking  the basic physical needs of food, water and air, but neglect of the responsibility of proper parenting, health, nutrition and guidance

3. Abandonment: Abandonment can happen even when parents are physically present, the abandonment of the proper nurturing of the child, not being there for the child’s emotional needs

4. Enmeshment: Putting a child in a role not right for their age. When a dad leaves the home, the son becomes “the head of the house” “momma’s good boy” When a mom leaves the home the daughter becomes women of the house “daddys big girl”. The child ends up taking over roles and responsibilities they should not have and circumvents and stunts the proper growth of the child.

Usually in any addict you’ll fine 1 or more of the above have occurred in their life.

So when asking someone why can’t you just stop acting out? You might say to them, “You can do anything, you can accomplish anything”…maybe so, except the one thing the addict can not do on their own is stop their acting out behaviors. They can’t do it with  willpower nor by their own devices. They must seek a 12 step program of recovery in conjunction with a properly trained addiction specialist, mental health professional or in some cases inpatient treatment.

So remember an addict of any disease can’t stop their behaviors by themselves, what they can do it take responsibility for their actions and behaviors and get help with the support of their loved ones, family and friends.

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