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What is Addiction, Really?

In my work as a sexual addictions therapist, clients often wonder if they’re really addicted to pornography or other forms of sexually acting out.  I think the word “addiction” freaks people out.  The idea of being an “addict”  usually kicks in the denial system and prevents them from ever looking at how serious their problem might really be. 

If you’re not sure, then consider the following thoughts:

  1. If you want to stop, but can’t, then you’re probably addicted.  In other words, if you cannot control the rate, frequency, or duration of the behaviors, it’s unmanageable.  (example:  every three months he looks at porn.  He promises himself he won’t do it again, but finds himself sneaking a peek for a few minutes and keeps it secret). 
  2. If you require more experiences to get the same effect, then you’re probably addicted (example:  he keeps looking for different...
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