• Terence Gilbert

When does a habit become an addiction?

It's easy to dismiss porn use as a harmless habit - but when does a habit become an addiction?

I've had clients who access erotica every day. I've also had clients that, in comparison, don't access it very often at all. But they still had an addiction. These guys often had busy lives, with careers and families, and so didn't have the time or space to access porn daily - but whenever they were away on business, or their wife was out for the evening, they could easily lose a few hours down the rabbit hole.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, if you answer yes to 3 or more of the following questions - you have an addiction:

1) Has your use increased or escalated over time?

2) Do you get withdrawal symptoms? (e.g. anxiety, irritability, depression)

3) Do you have difficulty controlling your use?

4) Do you understand the negative consequences associated with the activity?

5) Are you neglecting or postponing activities or responsibilities in order to continue the activity?

6) Do you have a desire to cut down or quit?

7) Are you spending significant time or emotional energy obtaining, using, concealing, planning or recovering from use?

These are all great questions, but there's one missing that for me sums up the problem...

Do you want to stop, but find yourself unable to stop? - Now it's an addiction.

So why is it that you're unable to stop? What is it giving you?

It doesn't matter what addiction it is. Whether it's food, gambling, drink, drugs or porn - the answer usually that the addiction provides some form of escape. And what is it that we need to escape? Usually some form of emotional pain.

Your habit is an addiction if it is a compulsive behaviour that you are unable to control that started out as a response to emotional pain.

If you can ease the emotional pain - you can beat the addiction. I will help you do that with Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT®).