When does compulsion to use drugs, alcohol, gamble, have sex, watch porn etc etc become wrong bad shameful terrible must stop…

The answer is in fact entirely open to our own perception of the situation.

‘Addictions’ are now being re named in the governing mental health arena as ‘impulse control disorders’. I wholeheartedly agree with this and believe it is a more helpful description of a difficulty or problem behaviour.

A useful idea for me was when I learned that all compulsive behaviours are a ‘mistaken attempt at self-care’. It begins stealthily exciting tantalizing it seems great – it can also be great fun.

When we start to drink, use drugs, gamble have lots of sex , watch porn etc we are doing it because it’s enjoyable and makes us feel good – not a stupid thing at all – why wouldn’t we want to enjoy ourselves? Unfortunately we can become dependent upon these chosen pleasures until they impact on our lives, and the lives of others, in sometimes catastrophic ways. We have in effect, lost control of our impulses…

BUT – it’s not ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘terrible’ and the first step is to undo this shaming script and find out more about why we started doing it and need to continue or want to stop.

The first step is to talk and be honest about what you are doing. With honesty and a strong desire to explore and try to understand things with your therapist, you can take back your choice.