Anhedonia: The Loss of Pleasure

(Post share from the IRATAD Blog)

As I interacted with clients in various addiction recovery groups I often heard a common theme expressed.  Clients would repeatedly state, “my life is boring”, “nothing is fun anymore”, or “the day is so hard to get through”.  These expressions of opinions got me curious to discover why these clients were feeling no pleasure.  The only explanation given to me for quite some time was, “it is common for people overcoming addictions to not experience pleasure”. This makes sense, right? But what is causing this happen?  Why do people who are not former addicts experience similar symptoms of no pleasure?  The answer is found within one word: anhedonia.

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Losing Weight, Rock Bottom, Addictions, and Resolutions

(Post share from the IRATAD Blog)

To better care four ourselves we need to pay attention to our physical, mental, social, and spiritual health and strive for a healthy balance amongst each of these dimensions.  Caring for our physical health involves more than just exercising.  We need to get adequate amounts of sleep, eat a healthy diet, and maintain good hygiene.  Caring for our mental health includes reducing stress, finding healthy and positive experiences in our daily life, being mindful of the present situation, and doing things that help us stay mentally sharp.  To care for our social needs we must engage in healthy activities with people who build us up and are positive influences on us; social isolation can lead to unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.  Finally, caring for our spiritual health involves being able to see beyond ourselves and see the big picture.  Spirituality involves being hopeful, recognizing our values, and doing things for the benefit of others.  People may connect with spirituality by reading religious or inspirational texts, meditation or prayer, or by being in nature.

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Caring for Ourselves

(Post share from the IRATAD Blog)

To better care four ourselves we need to pay attention to our physical, mental, social, and spiritual health and strive for a healthy balance amongst each of these dimensions.  Caring for our physical health involves more than just exercising.  We need to get adequate amounts of sleep, eat a healthy diet, and maintain good hygiene.  Caring for our mental health includes reducing stress, finding healthy and positive experiences in our daily life, being mindful of the present situation, and doing things that help us stay mentally sharp.  To care for our social needs we must engage in healthy activities with people who build us up and are positive influences on us; social isolation can lead to unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.  Finally, caring for our spiritual health involves being able to see beyond ourselves and see the big picture.  Spirituality involves being hopeful, recognizing our values, and doing things for the benefit of others.  People may connect with spirituality by reading religious or inspirational texts, meditation or prayer, or by being in nature.

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Sexual Addiction and Women

Sexual Addiction and Women

Is there really a difference between a man and a woman who suffers from sexual addiction? Interestingly enough, the answer is yes. Actually, there is a whole collection of misunderstandings and myths that surround women and having an addiction to sex. Since there has not been one set standard to measure addiction between men and women, sexual addiction in women has not been truly acknowledged in society until the past two decades or so. But sexual addiction is a real issue for women for sure, and not just a male phenomenon any more.

When it comes to sexual addiction, it’s really about the mechanics of emotions rather than what people identify it as being sexually intimate. Addictions of any kind prominently stem from an immediate need to satisfy emotional imbalances, and searching for that type of satisfaction with sexual compulsions often leads to an addiction that continues to meet the woman’s emotional disorder.

Women share the same symptoms as men when it comes to becoming addicted to sexual behaviors, usually starting with pornography and infidelity until it grows to the point there is no way to satiate their needs to feel complete. There are several things that can be instantly identified as to why a woman turns to an addiction to sex:

  • Most commonly is the impact of childhood verbal or sexual abuse that instigates an emotional need for sex in later years. Childhood sexual abuse not only scars a woman’s healthy balance for nurturing and caring, it also leads to fear and mistrust as their inborn nature to cultivate their unconditional love as a nurturer is offended by others’ unhealthy sexual behaviors.
  • Females search for a feeling of completion, and sex gives them the dopamine rush that satisfies them for the few minutes it takes to engage in sex. But if there are emotional imbalances among the reason a woman seeks out sex to feel a bond, the sensation is soon depleted, and they will seek out more ways of receiving the same gratifying feeling through unhealthy sexual promiscuity.
  • Many women agree that it’s not about the sex. It’s about the desperate need for acceptance, love, and affection. The feeling of loneliness or powerlessness is also a landmark for women who become addicted to unhealthy sexual behaviors. Often times it is the abandonment a women feels that fuels her addiction for the need to be wanted through sexual impulses.

Where this is only a few of the issues regarding women and sexual addiction, it is safe to say that the components of any addiction have negative consequences. Many times women do not identify themselves as having an addiction to sex or having unhealthy sexual behaviors as they believe it is merely an addiction to love, being co-dependent, or a relationship addiction. Without the knowledge to identify this addiction properly, this leads to events that quickly spiral out of control.

Without a proper understanding of sexual addictions, overcoming them is an unreachable goal. Recovering from a sexual addiction takes knowledge, understanding, and counseling. Getting the proper help is vital for recovery.