Addiction Articles

Working the Steps for Love Addicts

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Working the Steps for Love AddictsFor love addicts, finding balance in life can be a struggle. Understanding and respecting their own boundaries requires that they have a knowledge of themselves and their limits and, as well, an honesty regarding the unmanageability that love addiction and toxic relationships can cause.

Entering a 12-step program such as Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) can be a very important part of the recovery work from love addiction. Modeled after the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 steps for recovery from love addiction look similar, with a few differences that address the addiction specifically.

Will the New DSM-5 Over-Diagnose?

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Will the New DSM-5 Over-Diagnose?Positive psychology emphasizes individuals’ strengths, and focuses on obtaining optimal mental development (as opposed to just diminishing negative symptoms), which is why I’m drawn to the field. For instance, positive psychologists not only seek to lift depression, but they encourage clients to explore their sense of happiness and resilience as well.

While not a student of abnormal psychology, I’m obviously aware that there are those who suffer from very serious illnesses. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) is published by the American Psychiatric Association to provide a standard classification and common language for mental illness. It’s used by clinicians and researchers of various orientations and backgrounds.

And with the advent of the latest edition, diagnoses run rampant, encouraging us to pose the infamous question: are mental health professionals a bit too ready to diagnose disorders?

6 Ways to Become More Independent, Less Codependent

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

6 Ways to Become More Independent, Less Codependent “Most of us live in a state of codependence, be it with our partners, friends or social group,” according to Isha Judd, author of the books Love Has Wings and Why Walk When You Can Fly . We let others shape our beliefs and decisions — so much so that we lose sight of who we are, she said.

Darlene Lancer, MFT, a psychotherapist and author of Codependency for Dummies, also noted that many people don’t become fully autonomous, instead “forming our feelings and behaviors around something external.”

Autonomy means being the author of your life, she said. You compose the rules you live by. It means “owning your own reality, perceptions, thoughts, feelings, opinions [and] memories.”

Coping with Your Partner’s Sex Addiction

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Coping with Your Partner's Sex AddictionUpon experiencing the trauma of finding out that your partner is a sex addict, you will likely be grieving the loss of your relationship as it once was. You may have feelings of emotional numbness.

At other times, you may feel rage and sadness. The important thing is to seek help from a therapist experienced in treating sex addiction, as well as to connect with other partners who are able to relate to your experience, either through group therapy, or a 12-step group such as S-Anon or COSA.

The 12 Steps & Partners of Sex Addicts in Recovery

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

The 12 Steps & Partners of Sex Addicts in RecoveryPartners of sex addicts often are devastated when they come in for therapy, and so usually have a lot of questions about how to proceed.

Many partners are so focused on the sex addict’s strides toward recovery that they often overlook themselves and their own care. I emphasize to partners of sex addicts that it is crucial to look at the ways that they have been affected by sex addiction and to actively engage in their own recovery process.

Partners of sex addicts are dealing with the trauma of discovery and, oftentimes, don’t know where to turn. Here’s a good place to start.

4 More Spiritual Tips for Staying Sane Through the Holidays

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

4 More Spiritual Tips for Staying Sane Through the HolidaysAs the holiday season winds up for its last big week before Christmas, here are a few spiritual tips to help you remember what the season’s all about. This is part two of a two-part article (part one is here).

4. Celebrate your truth.

I have a friend named Wayne who had an awful life. He was maybe 12 years old when, looking around the dinner table, he finally did the math that estranged him from his family.

You see, Wayne had four older brothers, each a year apart, and Wayne was born four years after the last. He knew immediately that he wasn’t supposed to be there; he knew immediately that he was an accident. Even worse, he knew that everyone in that household hated and resented his existence.

3 Common Ways Eating Disorders Develop

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

3 Common Ways Eating Disorders DevelopEating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and overeating develop in people of all shapes and sizes, from all backgrounds and walks of life. Here are three common ways an eating disorder develops:

Low Self-Image or Self-Esteem

It may seem like common sense: Low self-confidence can lead to someone not caring for him- or herself. But the cause of a negative self-image can run much deeper than just body image. On the surface, an eating disorder seems to be all about weight, but the desire to reach a certain size may be a symptom of underlying self-loathing.

3 Spiritual Tips for Staying Sane Through the Holidays

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

3 Spiritual Tips for Staying Sane Through the HolidaysAs the holiday season winds up for its last big week before Christmas, here are a few spiritual tips to help you remember what the season’s all about. This is part one of a two-part article.

1. The reason for the season.

I don’t care what religious denomination you call your own. The holidays are always about giving and giving back, which — if you really think about it — is the cornerstone of every thriving belief system.

For me, giving has a very specific look. It starts with hour after hour spent poring over the gift lists my wife and I have compiled, followed by standing in line after line at toy stores, department stores, and jewelry shops all over the city.

The Importance of Good Support Systems in Sobriety

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

The Importance of Good Support Systems in SobrietyIn many ways, recovery is an individual experience. Moving through recovery means becoming well-acquainted with your own thought processes and tendencies.

It is a time when you become highly attuned to why you are abusing drugs and alcohol, and a time to find ways to become the person you want to be.

Although much of recovery involves your own individual journey, the value of support systems cannot be underestimated. There are several reasons they are vital to recovery.

Anger & Partners of Sex Addicts

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Anger & Partners of Sex AddictsIn my work with partners of sex addicts, I always want to look at the role that anger has played for the partner.

Anger is a normal response to the traumatic experience of having been betrayed by your mate.

But it can also be a feeling that is difficult to tolerate. Some people dive into anger fully, while others avoid experiencing feelings of rage, and sometimes, people are afraid of their own angry feelings.

As a force, anger can be put to positive and constructive uses, and it can also be very destructive.

Dealing with Addictions Around Thanksgiving & the Holidays

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Dealing with Addictions Around Thanksgiving & the HolidaysAddictions are never easy to deal with, but they become even more challenging during the holidays. Holidays bring with them tremendous pressures, sometimes good and sometimes bad.

But the one thing that’s true for most people is that the holidays always make the stress much worse, and that increased stress can make it hard for you to hold fast to your goals and your recovery plan.

Despite the fact that the holidays add enough stress to make many people consider alcohol or drugs just to wind down, it’s possible to deal with the stressors and difficulties. You just need to remember a few key points to help you cope.

Recognizing the Signs of Love Addiction

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Recognizing the Signs of Love AddictionWhile people may admit to having struggles in their relationships, including difficulty with intimacy, it is sometimes hard to admit that you struggle with love addiction.

But what if you have come to terms with love addiction, and realized that you are struggling with behaviors that are a source of upset and unmanageability in your life?

What if you want change, and you want to do things differently so that you don’t fall back on unhealthy behaviors that can sabotage your well-being and happiness?

Recent Comments
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