Why do people engage in compulsive behavior?

In my previous post, I talked about Anthony Weiners sex addiction and we looked at this through the lens of Compulsive Behavior. Whether it be sexually compulsive behavior/ sex addiction or other compulsive behaviors such as shopping, cleaning, eating, drugs/alcohol, twittering, facebook addicition, etc. It starts out as self-soothing. When we are anxious or stressed out in our day to day lives, we desperately look for something to make us feel better. Often it is something that can telaport us away from the stress and allow us not to think about what’s bothering us. It’s a means of “licking your wounds”. It is ok, even healthy to escape every now and again. Take a time out (to use the popular child rearing term). By all means, take time away from your stress; a minivacation from the trouble. Take the time to regroup. Read a book, meditate, sing a song, listen to music, practice yoga, or yes; go on Twitter/facebook, etc. Be sure to pay at least a little attention though. Just enough attention to observe whether these coping techniques are becoming compulsive. A Coping mechanism can become a compulsion. If you find yourself needing to leave constantly to engage in this activity to the point where you can’t stop thinking about it, it might be time to try and see if you can switch things up. If the coping strategy becomes no longer about soothing yourself from a stressor and becomes purely about the ritual of the activity, then try and take a step back. If you find that you cannot stop engaging in the activity after having tried to do so, then it is time to seek help. You can do this by searching google for a self-help or 12-step group, addiction group and insert name of the compulsive behavior in your search. You can also contact me and I can help you address the problem.

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