Compulsive sexual desires?[spacer size="20"] A number of people are struggling to fight their compulsive sexual desires. X-Files star David Duchovny has gone public with his own sexual addiction issues. Whether people are into one-night stands, cybersex, phone sex, strippers, pornography, fantasy, hiring prostitutes, or compulsively addicted to one lover, there is help to stop sex addiction. If your desires or activities are overtaking other aspects of your life, then you likely have a problem. When people use sex like a drug to get high, it becomes out-of-control compulsive sexual desires. The first thing to do is to find a therapist and/or support group to help you stop your compulsive sexual desires. Groups such as Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous are free of charge and confidential. Read plenty of books and articles about other people who have overcome compulsive sexual desires. Your 12-step groups sell literature at meetings. Also, there are several books noted in the Resources section near the end of this article. Work to get sober from compulsive sexual desires. Define, with the help of a professional or other recovering sex addicts, how you act out. Avoid places such as strip clubs, Craigslist ads, chat rooms, and anything else that may trigger you to behave addictively. The first thing to do is to find a therapist and/or support group to help you stop your compulsive sexual desires. Groups such as Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous are free of charge and confidential. Consider getting a sponsor in a 12-step program that helps combat compulsive sexual desires. He or she can help you figure out why sex has been like a drug in your life, and together you can figure out a path to a freer future.
Tobacco and Nicotine products[spacer size="20"] First, try to get an estimate of how many employees would be interested in attending such a program. Do a poll of a representative section of employees in your location---10 percent of a large group, for example---and find out how many of them smoke, and of these, how many want to quit smoking and would attend such a program. Usually employers pay for the programs, but find out if the smokers would be willing to pay a small amount out-of-pocket, just in case that's the only way to bring one in. Find help. Smokers who kick the habit with the help and support of others are more likely to stay smoke-free. In fact, according to New Jersey's Atlantic Health hospital system, "Smokers are four times more likely to quit when involved in a comprehensive tobacco cessation program." Many companies want to encourage smokers on their staff to quit. If your company has not instituted a smoking-cessation program for its employees, here are some ideas to get one started. Go to the human resources department, or, if it is a small company, to the person who handles HR responsibilities. Find out if there are any plans in the works to bring in a smoking-cessation program. If not, ask if one can be brought in. Bolster your argument with some statistics about the importance of employee health. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that "During 2000 to 2004, cigarette smoking was estimated to be responsible for $193 billion in annual health-related economic losses in the United States ($96 billion in direct medical costs and approximately $97 billion in lost productivity)." Also, the Surgeon General reported in 2004 that "The evidence is sufficient to infer a causal relationship between smoking and diminished health status that may manifest as increased absenteeism from work and increased use of medical care services." Volunteer to get information on starting a program for the HR person. Dig up information. The companies that provide health insurance services may offer or be able to recommend seminars for employees on quitting smoking. There are also companies that exist to provide smoking-cessation classes; two such are Nicotine Solutions and Allen Carr's Easy way to Stop Smoking. Present the information to your HR contact. If your company won't pick up the tab for any such classes, ask if you can start your own using company facilities, such as a meeting room, and a copier for handouts. If so, and the employees are willing to pay for the service, get an estimate from the professionals and find out how many people are interested. See if you can schedule an introductory class to get interested employees to sign up. Another option is to call your local branch of the American Lung Association to find out about their Freedom from Smoking group clinics. If the company will provide a meeting area and nothing else, and the employees won't or can't contribute, you can still start a stop-smoking group on your own. One option is to start a group of Nicotine Anonymous. Using a 12-step program similar to that in Alcoholics Anonymous, NA helps members cease using tobacco and nicotine products and develop a more enriching life. Or, if that still seems too formal, just schedule an open meeting for smokers who want to quit and smokers who have quit supporting one another. It can be a forum to discuss the benefits of different methods and products designed to quit smoking. Regular meetings---once or twice a week---and frequent encouragement by one another during the other days will help everyone stay smoke-free.
Reasons to quit smoking[spacer size="20"] One of the first reasons should should relate to health. Do not rationalize and tell yourself that emphysema or lung cancer can never happen to you. Lung cancer can happen to people 20 years after they stop smoking, and it can happen earlier to those who never stop. Pick up a note pad, pen or pencil. Sit in a quiet room and jot down all valid reasons that you should and could stop smoking. There are probably more than a dozen sound reasons, (one of them being the cost), but 12 steps should be more than enough to convince you to stop. Add fruit slices to water. Make up your mind that you can and will stop smoking. Think of things to do each time you have the urge to smoke. Buy hard candies and put one in your mouth instead of a cigarette. Buy lollipops for the same purpose. You might gain weight during the process, but you can work on losing it once you stop smoking. Drink plenty of water; add a slice of lemon or orange if you do not like plain water. Find a self-help group for those who are "kicking the habit." If there are none in your vicinity, start one. Run it similarly to Alcoholics Anonymous, advertising by word of mouth and posting fliers inside stores and schools. Start a buddy system for members to to assist each other when the need for a smoke becomes overpowering. Keep reading the 12 steps you wrote down. Add more steps if needed. Be determined, and you will be able to stop. The first day is the worse, with each day getting easier. At the end of the week, you will find that food tastes better, your breath smells sweeter, you have more energy and you feel better. Don't waver; remember, you do have control of yourself and your actions. Once you make up your mind to stop smoking, just do it.
Workaholism[spacer size="20"] Workaholism is one of the main causes of stress and acute adrenal failure among Americans is this addiction we have to work and business. In our modern day society, over work has become a badge of honor for many of us. The busier you are, the more important you are. We see nothing wrong with working a 12-16 hour work day. American culture deems overwork as normal and acceptable. In a Gallup poll done in October of 2004, 38% of Americans said that they work more than 45 hours every week. Hard work is what built America and allows us to innovate and stay above the curve. Workaholics, creates instability, is one of the causes of stress, and stunts creativity. The biggest indicator of a workaholic is someone who constantly chooses work over family, social engagements, time off, and play. When you feel you cannot stop working you most likely have an addiction to work. For many work is a source of stability, self-worth, and protection against the uncertainties of life and human relationships. Achieving life balance is perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing us in the twenty first century. Trying to keep up with technology and our neighbors have caused millions of Americans to over work in their jobs. Americans are using their jobs as an anesthetic to relieve emotional pain, deny their worries, build their self esteem, distract themselves and escape from feeling and experiencing life. Some experts believe that work addiction is perpetuated by the need for a constant adrenalin rush, which can cause acute adrenal failure. Which is similar to being in a state of flight of fight mode where adrenalin pumps up the supply of oxygen and glucose in the brain, increasing the heart rate. Over time, adrenaline and constant stress hormones in the body can lead to acute adrenal failure. Until you become aware of your addictive behavior and tendencies, they will remain in the sub conscious. With awareness you can start making changes. For example, a person that is addicted to sugar, may constantly eat sugar and have no idea they are doing it because it is so habitual. When you find that you are having a hard time leaving work at home, write about your experience in the moment. Ask yourself, why am I feeling this way? What is really that urgent? What am I trying to avoid? Start thinking about what work means to you? Writing will also help you bring greater awareness. Map out for a week your daily schedule, how many hours you work, sleep, rest, play, socialize etc. I know this is going to be difficult. But put in your schedule an hour walk outside, or sitting in a coffee shop with a cup of tea and a non work related book. Much like starting a new fitness program, you may only be able to sit still for 10 minutes. If you stick to it the times will get longer and easier. If you find yourself thinking about work or getting angry, write about your emotions and why you are feeling this way. Schedule social activities and share with your close friends and family that you are trying to cut back on thinking about and doing work all the time. Join a Workaholics Anonymous Group.
Recovering from sexual addiction[spacer size="20"] Hundreds of thousands of people suffer from sexual addiction or sex addiction - a pattern of sexual behavior which the sex addict performs in spite of the ever-increasing negative impact it has on his or her quality of life. Sexual addition is often characterized by the compulsive use of pornography, internet "cruising", extreme promiscuity, extra-marital affairs, phone sex or any other sexual activity that interferes with daily living. Frequently, suffers of sex addiction use these sexual behaviors to mask or "medicate" unpleasant feelings such as depression or anxiety, past traumas or other mental or emotional challenges. Recovering from sex addiction is usually a difficult process, but there is help available for those who wish to recover. Follow these steps to begin the journey towards freedom from sexual addiction: The first step in recovering from sexual addiction is to understand the dynamics that are involved in the dysfunction. There are several essential books which will help sexual addicts understand their affliction: "Out of the Shadows" and "Contrary to Love" by Dr. Patrick Carnes are the best places to start. Those that especially struggle with sex addiction as it relates to the Internet should also read, "In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free From Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior", also by Patrick Carnes. A second element to escaping sex addiction is to seek out the wisdom, encouragement and support of a twelve-step group dedicated to breaking its power. Twelve-step recovery groups provide a safe, supportive, non-judgmental environment in which to learn from the experiences of other sufferers and confront deep-seated personal issues. Some of the most prominent twelve-step sex addiction recovery programs are Sexaholics Anonymous (SA), Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA), and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA). Each of these groups can be reached through their websites, listed in the Resources below. Some groups offer telephone and online meetings for those without group meetings in their area. Many sex addicts find that one-on-one sex addiction counseling is also an invaluable element of their recovery. Consult your local yellow pages for a list of available counselors or psychologists in your area. Be sure to work with a counselor with previous experience in treating patients with sexual addiction.
Sexuality[spacer size="20"] Sexuality has become a part of our popular culture. Also, our contemporary lifestyles place a high value on the quality of sexual experiences. Within this context, many forms of sexual addiction are often overlooked. Sexual addicts represent a group of people who are distressed by compulsive sexual behaviors which they do not want to engage in. Although this definition of sexual addiction gives us an idea of what sexual addiction is like, it is also important to understand that sexual addiction has three distinct levels. Understanding Sexual Addiction Levels Addiction manifests in behaviors which are regarded as normal or tolerable within the cultural context. It is the compulsive and excessive nature, resulting emotional despair, and functional impairments which define addiction at this level. Examples of behavior at this level include masturbation, anonymous sex, compulsive sexual relationships and pornography. Addiction creates victims and the behaviors at this level are illegal. Behaviors at this level include offenses such as exhibitionism, voyeurism, indecent phone calls and frottage (rubbing up against a non-consenting person for the purpose of sexual arousal.) Addicts usually become aware of their problem because of legal charges and excessive lost time. Time at work or home must be sacrificed to carry out the sometimes elaborate plans needed to engage in these behaviors. Addictions are the most destructive with the greatest legal repercussions. Behaviors at this level include rape and child molestation. It is important to understand, however, that these behaviors may not indicate addiction, but that addictions to these types of behaviors can exist. These types of violent and highly offensive behaviors can be the result of other forms of severe psychopathology unrelated to addiction. Remember that the levels of sexual addiction do not necessarily represent a progression. An addict at level one may never develop behaviors in level 2 or 3. A high risk exists for those in level 1 to progress to level 2, but it is rare for those at level 2 to progress to level 3. Keep in mind that the levels of sexual addiction can overlap. It is common for behaviors in level 1 to overlap with level 2. It is also common for addicts at level 3 to engage in most or all behaviors in level 1 and 2. Understand the different levels of sexual addiction, myths abound what sexual addiction is, and how it can be changed. It is important to understand the different levels so that one can seek professional help for their specific needs. Treatment needs are different for the different levels of addiction. Not all excessive or compulsive sexual behavior indicates a level 1 addiction. Sometimes these behaviors increase slightly during a time of sexual exploration. And, even if level 2 behaviors are not an addiction, the fact that it creates victims indicates the need for change.
Live nicotine-free[spacer size="20"] Smokers Anonymous is a self-help group for people who want to live nicotine-free lives. By offering support to others who are addicted to this addictive chemical, member can accept their cravings but choose not to act on them. This group is open to people who have a desire to be free from nicotine. Members learn new ways of dealing with their cravings. They get the help they need from the support group, their Higher Power, and from themselves. The basis for treating the nicotine addiction is to accept the fact that the addict will experience a craving for the substance. Rather than fighting the craving, which may lead to nicotine use, group members learn how to let it be. Accepting the craving and living with it means that group members isn’t using nicotine to deal with the pain of not using the substance. By adopting and practicing the 12 steps on a daily basis, a person who is addicted to nicotine can change their life. The first step is to admit that they are powerless over nicotine and that enlisting the help of a Higher Power can help return them to sanity. The goal of using the 12 steps is to achieve a spiritual awakening and a new life. The group offers a list of suggestions for getting free of nicotine on its web site. They range from tips to use before the official "quit day," as well as how to cope with the first few days after quitting smoking. The list also includes suggestions on how to stay smoke-free over a long term. Smokers Anonymous treats quitting as a process. With time and if the person follows the steps, they can successfully break free from a nicotine addiction. This group acknowledges that breaking free from nicotine is very difficult, but it is possible to give up smoking forever.
Sexual Addiction and Cheating[spacer size="20"] Many remarks have been made that some of these folks might be hiding behind the title of sexual addiction to excuse their bad behavior. That they are not sex addicts but just immoral, loose people. So what exactly is the difference between sexual addiction and just plain cheating. First of all sexual addiction is just that an addiction. Any behavior engaged in to escape internal discomfort can become compulsive. Thereby making it an addictive disorder, such as compulsive gambling, eating, and spending. There are symptoms that an addict will display. What follows are the symptom criteria for identifying sexual addiction. Sexual addiction, like any other addiction, is a true mental health issue. There is a symptom criteria of the behavior and 3 out of the 10 symptoms need to be present to be considered sexual addiction. Most sexual addicts have 7 or more of these symptoms. The symptoms are listed below (1) Recurrent failure to resist sexual impulses. There is a failure for the person to stop, a failure to be able to resist the impulse to engage in the activity. (2) More extensive/longer sexual acting out than intended. The person tells themselves I will only do this for an hour, just like an alcoholic will tell themselves only one drink. But its more than what they intended; overboard. (3)Inordinate time spent obtaining sex, being sexual, or recovering from sexual experiences. Sexual addicts will sexualize others, situations, finding sexual connotations in ordinary events or remarks. (4) Acting out takes significant time away from obligations: occupational, academic, domestic, or social. al experiences. Sexual addicts will usually be compulsive in more than one sexual behavior, such as masturbating excessively to viewing pornography. (5) Continuation of behavior despite consequences: such as Risk of VD Lost partner or had marital problems Lost rights to be with children Abortions/ unwanted pregnancies Career problems Risk arrest The behavior becomes destructive (6)Tolerance - More frequency or intensity of behavior is needed over time to obtain the desired result. Most sex addicts will report an increase in their behavior and in risk taking to try new sexual behaviors. (7)Deliberately limiting social, occupational, or recreational activities to keep time open for acting out. (8)Distress, restlessness, or irritability if unable to do behavior (withdrawal) Dizziness Body aches Headaches Sleeplessness Restlessness Anxiety Mood swings Depression Sex addicts who have affairs, the thrill may come from the chase and the conquest more than from the sexual encounter itself. Just as in alcoholism, and drug addiction, sex addicts usually come from dysfunctional families in which one or more parent had an addiction problem or were abusive or emotionally unavailable.
Addiction recovery specialists recognize two types of drug intervention. There are formal interventions, which involve a high level of organization and planning; and there are informal inventions, which usually occur when a perfect occasion to have a talk arises unexpectedly.
In both cases, an intervention should occur whenever you feel the time is right. If your instincts tell you that a loved one is endangering himself or others with his drug habit, then it’s time to have a drug intervention as soon as possible. But even if your loved one hasn’t reached the dangerous stages of addiction, it’s never too early to show your support and make your feelings known.
Formal interventions usually happen after family and friends have tried multiple other options to get the addict to stop abusing. Although a formal intervention is often thought of as the last resort, there’s no reason to wait until your loved one has gone off the deep end. As soon as you think it’s become a serious problem, start thinking about a drug intervention.
There are different formats that a formal intervention can take, but they usually involve having the addict’s loved ones gather at a set time and place to collectively and lovingly confront the addict about her habit. Many formal interventions are conducted with the aid of a trained professional. In fact, this is the preferred method, as poorly planned interventions can do more harm than good.
An informal intervention may occur at any time and with no advanced notice. Some loved ones of addicts find themselves forced into this situation when an emergency arises or the addict becomes mean, self-destructive, or belligerent. In some situations, you have no other choice but to reveal your strong conviction that things have gone too far.
Of course, there are times when an informal intervention is to be avoided. For example, when the addict is high, he may not see the wisdom of the intervention. Also, an informal drug intervention should be avoided when there’s any danger that it will put the addict over the edge emotionally. Play it safe by having the talk in a warm, non-confrontational way. If you can recruit anyone to help you on short notice, all the better.