What is Addiction?
"For all addicts a moment comes when they
realize they have a problem."
Out of the Shadows, Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.
According to the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual (DSM-IV):
"When an individual
persists in use of alcohol or other drugs despite problems related to use of
the substance, substance dependence may be diagnosed. Compulsive and repetitive
use may result in tolerance to the effect of the drug and withdrawal symptoms
when use is reduced or stopped. This, along with Substance Abuse are considered Substance Use Disorders...."
can be expanded to include any uncontrollable compulsion to engage in a
specific activity (watching TV, overeating, Internet pornography, compulsive
shopping, sex with a partner and/or with self, and gambling) despite negative
or painful consequences. Just like with chemical addictions these other
addictions will have withdrawal effects when the behaviors stop. Also, like
chemical addictions they are also progressive (meaning that they will get worse
over time) and can become life threatening.
with addiction are frequently conning themselves that they have it under
control. They think if they just try a little harder (on their own) they can
stop their problematic behavior. This simply does not work. An addict is truly
out of control and cannot stop. Addiction recovery is not just about being
strong or tough (though these qualities will be helpful too). It begins with
recognizing that they need help and are willing to pick up the "thousand
pound phone" and make the calls to their sponsor, a fellow from their
program or their therapist to connect and stop the addiction cycle one day at a time.
PATHOS is a brief sexual addiction screening questionnaire. The aforementioned clinical study from Carnes, et. al., found PATHOS as clinically significant for effectively classifying patient’s appropriateness for entering treatment as potential sex addicts. PATHOS stands for the six assessment questions:
Preoccupied: Do you often find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts?
Ashamed: Do you hide some of your sexual behavior from others?
Treatment: Have you ever sought therapy for sexual behavior you did not like?
Hurt others: Has anyone been hurt emotionally because of your sexual behavior?
Out of control: Do you feel controlled by your sexual desire?
Sad: When you have sex, do you feel depressed afterwards?
A positive response to just one of the six questions would indicate a need for additional assessment with a certified sex addiction therapist. Two or more are considered to certainly indicate sexual addiction.
You are worth the effort... If you feel this
fits you, call now for a free phone consult to help on your path
to recovery and healing.
Carnes PJ, Green BA, Merlo LJ, Polles A, Carnes S, Gold MS, March 6, 2012 (1):29-34. PATHOS: a * brief screening application for assessing sexual addiction. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e3182251a28. PATHOS is reprinted here with permission from the International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (iitap).