Acronym HALT Teaches Self-Care Skills

Acronym HALT Teaches Self-Care Skills

Several of my clients are currently struggling with self-care issues.  Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve step groups use the acronym HALT to teach self-care skills.  The definition of “halt” is to bring or come to an abrupt stop.  In recovery, the acronym HALT is used to remind people to slow down and take inventory of their personal status.  They stop or HALT and ask themselves if they are feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. These four emotional states are relevant when a person is emotionally or physically out of balance, because he or she is more likely to engage in unhealthy or counterproductive behaviors.

HALT seems like a simple concept; however, it is often difficult to access our internal states when we are under stress. It takes some thought and time to put this concept into practice.

HUNGRY – represents a physical or emotional state.  I have a client who often goes too long without eating and becomes hypoglycemic.  She gets irritable and loses her temper with others.  As a result, she has negative relationships with family and friends.  A person needs to monitor his or her eating patterns and regularly eat nutritional food.  One also needs to consider “emotional hunger”.  This could include emotional needs like attention, caring, and affection.  Often people with addictive tendencies turn to unhealthy behavior when trying to satisfy unmet needs.  Through the twelve steps, one can identify destructive habits.

ANGRY – is a common emotional state.  The acronym HALT helps one stop and consider where anger is coming from.  Another one of my clients has anger issues.  He finds expressing emotions difficult.  He allows stressors to build up and then becomes aggressive.  When a person develops insight into the source of their anger, they can understand it and eventually decide how to express it appropriately.  A person can learn to express feelings openly by talking to others.  Or a person may need to find other ways to cope with anger like releasing energy through exercise.

LONELY – people can feel lonely when they are by themselves or with others.  Feeling lonely can result from different situations.  I have several clients who are lonely and as a result isolate themselves.  HALT can help a person change their focus on loneliness and encourage him or her to connect with another person.  This concept helps one consider the potential origin of their loneliness.  A person can develop a support system for when he or she feels depressed, anxious or stressed.  One can also benefit from engaging in social activities like meetings, cultural events, or connecting with friends rather than isolating.  The point is to engage with people who can be supportive.

TIRED – being too tired can lead to inaccurate thinking or poor performance.  I have a client who often stays up late and has difficulty getting up for work on time.  When he arrives at work, he struggles to stay awake and complete job tasks.  His job performance is often compromised.  On a physical level, going without sufficient sleep can create an unhealthy state of being.  On an emotional level, one may have difficulty managing one’s feelings.  On an intellectual level, one may struggle to think clearly or solve problems effectively.

The acronym HALT points out that a person needs to engage in self-care every day.  For people in recovery, it is important to pay close attention to one’s overall states of hunger, anger, loneliness or feeling tired in order to help prevent relapse.  Every person can benefit from taking inventory of one’s emotional states in order to cope more effectively with life’s stressors.

Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders

Recently, I had a client who came to see me due to depression and anxiety.  While doing the intake, I realized that this person also had an eating disorder.  Eating disorders often coexist with other mental health issues.  It is important for people to understand that eating disorders need to be taken seriously and can be life threatening.  This client had some of the classic symptoms of anorexia.  She saw herself as very overweight even though in reality she was underweight.  Her self-esteem was very low.  She was abusing laxatives and starving herself.  She also exercised very hard for 2 or 3 hours daily.

Researchers don’t know how many people have eating disorders.  These disorders often occur in teenagers or young adults.  However, children or older adults can also struggle with eating challenges.  Eating disorders affect people from all genders and ethnic backgrounds.  People who struggle with an eating disorder may consume small amounts of food or consume large amounts of food.

There are several types of eating disorders.  The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) article on Eating Disorders, describes the following eating disorders:

Anorexia Nervosa

People with anorexia restrict their calorie consumption and diet.  They starve themselves and are often malnourished.  They over exercise and use laxatives.  They have a distorted body image and fear of gaining weight.

NIMH indicates that people with anorexia exhibits the following symptoms:

  • They are extremely thin
  • They want to be thin at all cost
  • They are unwilling to maintain a normal weight
  • They have a distorted body image
  • They have medical issues such as dental decay, dry skin and heart problems
  • Their self-esteem is tied to body weight and shape
  • Women and girls who have this disorder stop menstruating and restrict eating

Bulimia Nervosa

People with bulimia often eat large amounts of food and then purge.  During these episodes, they lack self control and can’t stop eating.  After overeating they vomit, use laxatives, fast and over exercise.  People with bulimia generally maintain a normal weight or are overweight.   People with bulimia fear gaining weight and are unhappy about their body.  They engage in bulimic behaviors secretly because they have feelings of shame around their behavior.  The binge purge cycle ranges from a couple of times a week to several times a day.

NIMH says that people with bulimia may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Inflamed and sore throat
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Worn tooth enamel and decaying teeth due to exposure to stomach acid
  • Acid reflux disorder
  • Intestinal distress and irritation from laxative abuse
  • Severe dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalance which can lead to heart attack

Binge-Eating Disorder

People with binge-eating disorder have loss of control over eating.  They consume large quantities of food.  They don’t purge after eating.  They are generally overweight or obese.  They are at risk for developing health issues such as heart problems or high blood pressure.  They have guilt and shame about their lack of control surrounding eating.

Binge-Eating symptoms:

  • Eating large amounts of food – often very quickly
  • Inability to stop eating
  • Unhappy about their weight


NIMH indicates that clients with eating disorders usually need improved nutrition, appropriate exercise routines, and need to discontinue purging.  Treatment plans generally need to be individually designed.  In chronic cases, medical care, nutritional counseling and hospitalization may be necessary.  In general, clients with eating disorders can benefit from regular talk therapy sessions and possibly medication.

National Institute of Mental Health Pamphlet on Eating Disorder




Today we can communicate with others more easily, but we don’t confide in others.

Communicating, But Not Confiding

Today people can communicate with others much more easily than in the past, but we don’t confide in others. We can call our friends or family day or night throughout most of the world. We can send emails, skype and drop box messages through the internet. We can text on our phones or put posts on various social media outlets. We can also talk face to face to others. Even though we have many ways to communicate and connect with others, sadly many people feel alone.

In a recent article by Allison Sadlier of SWNS, she sites new research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of BetterHelp. The study surveyed 2,000 Americans and found that approximately 1 in 4 Americans think they have no one to confide in. The respondents had various reasons for not confiding in others. Approximately 9 in 10 people admitted to downplaying emotions so they would not worry a loved one. About 7 in 10 were uncomfortable and held back how they really felt from a coworker, friend or partner.

People’s ages made a difference in how they responded to the survey. Young adults ages 18-30 were more withdrawn and uncomfortable discussing money, job stress, parents or friends with a partner. People age 50 and over were more comfortable when discussing these topics.

The people who had difficulty expressing themselves to others had more trouble sleeping, bad focus, short temper and poor eating habits. Around 3 in 10 were more prone to crying spells.

Even though many people believe they have no one to talk to and suffer with stressors, they are hesitant to seek help.

Therapy can be very helpful for anyone who feels disconnected or stressed. Therapy is designed to help people develop better coping skills to deal with challenges.

However, there are many reasons why people don’t seek help. Unfortunately, there is still some stigma surrounding going to therapy. For example, some people are too embarrassed or don’t want others to know what they are dealing with. One in four participants didn’t think their troubles were “serious enough” to warrant talking to someone. Some people are misinformed and think that therapy is only used to work through significant trauma.

What people need to know is that counseling can greatly improve anyone’s mental health. Having someone to talk to who is interested in your welfare can have a positive impact and make life much less stressful.  People truly can benefit from communicating and confiding in others.

1 in 4 Americans feel they have no one to confide in (SWNS Research)

Appreciative – Thank you for the recent training you did regarding sexual addiction.

Dear Dr. Chen,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the recent training you did for UT NASW regarding sexual addiction.  I am very appreciative of your willingness to share knowledge with others.  I believe in the concept of addiction and that people struggle with addictions.  I also acknowledge that some of my clients have challenges with sexual acting out behaviors.  However, I was unsure about whether or not these behaviors fit into the model of addiction.

You generously shared your expertise and experience with us at the seminar.  You were able to clarify issues and answer questions about sexual behavior and possible sexual addiction.  I appreciate you taking the time to identify and explain the 10 criteria for addiction including:  Loss of Control, Compulsive Behavior, Effort to Stop, Significant Amount of Time Lost, Obsessing About the Behavior,  Interference of Obligations, Continuing Despite Negative Consequences, Escalation, Losses, and Withdrawal.  This helped me better understand patterns of behavior, the addiction cycle and how early trauma enables an addiction to develop.  You also provided great insight into sexually compulsive behavior and how it impacts clients.

I believe that because of your willingness to share your expertise, all of us in attendance will be better prepared to recognize possible sexual addiction, assist with these types of issues, and refer the clients for appropriate treatment when necessary.

I truly appreciate the training you provided and time you spent at the event.  Thanks again for your willingness to teach others!

Best Regards,



Sexual Addiction Training-Assessment and Treatment


Sexual Addiction Training – Assessment and Treatment


This sexual addiction training will include assessment and treatment.  It will enable professionals to identify 10 criteria for addiction. They will understand the addiction cycle. They will recognize how early trauma and other components enable an addiction to develop. Providers will be able to identify 10 types of compulsive behavior revealed through research.

Who Should Attend

This training is sponsored by UT NASW.  This is for therapists who work with individuals and couples who are having personal and relationship problems. In some cases, the individual’s and couple’s struggles might be due to underlying sexual addiction issues.

Date: April 12, 2019

Time: 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm

Location: Salt Lake County Youth Services

Salt Lake County Youth Services

177 West Price Avenue (3600 South just west of West Temple)

Salt Lake City, UT

Continuing Education Credit: 2 hours

The following organizations have approved CE credit for this course:

Utah Association of Social Workers

Course Director: Steven J. Chen, Ph.D.

Steven was trained in Clinical Psychology and obtained his Ph.D. in 1992. He has worked at a variety of settings and has more than 25 years’ experience in psychology. Steven has worked with numerous individuals suffering from addiction, including alcohol, sex, and drug dependence. He utilizes a unique intensive outpatient approach, which is highly effective in helping those with addiction as well as spouses and family members. He is a certified sex addiction therapist (CSAT).


More Alcohol Addiction Questions

More Alcohol Addiction Questions

People have numerous questions about alcohol addiction.  In this blog we consider a few more alcohol addiction questions.  The answers presented here are not meant to provide medical advice.  They simply provide information to better understand the health consequences of alcohol abuse and dependence.  Please consult your doctor or other health care provider if you or a family member has an alcohol problem.

Is There A Safe Level Of Drinking?

For most adults, moderate alcohol use- up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women and older people – causes few if any problems.  (One drink equals one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.)

Certain people should not drink at all, however:

  • Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
  • People who plan to drive or engage in other activities that require alertness and skill (such as driving a car)
  • People taking certain over-the-counter or prescription medications
  • People with medical conditions that can be made worse by drinking
  • Recovering alcoholics
  • People younger than age 21.

Does Alcohol Affect Women Differently?

Alcohol does affect women differently than men.  Women become more impaired than men do after drinking the same amount of alcohol, even when differences in body weight are taken into account.  This is because women’s bodies have less water than men’s bodies.

Is It Safe to Drink During Pregnancy?

No, alcohol is not safe to drink during pregnancy.  It can harm the baby if a mother drinks during pregnancy.  The damage caused by prenatal alcohol includes a range of physical, behavioral, and learning problems in babies, the most severe condition is called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).

Is Alcohol Good For Your Heart?

Studies have shown that moderate drinkers are less likely to die from one form of heart disease than are people who do not drink any alcohol or who drink more.  If you are a nondrinker; however, you should not start drinking solely to benefit your heart.  You can guard against heart disease by exercising and eating foods that are low in fat.

If you can safely drink alcohol and you choose to drink, do so in moderation.  Heavy drinking can actually increase the risk of heart failure, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as cause many other medical problems, such as liver cirrhosis.

When Taking Medications, Must You Stop Drinking?

Possibly.  More than 150 medications interact harmfully with alcohol.  These interactions may result in increased risk of illness, injury, and even death.  If you are taking any over-the-counter or prescription medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you can safely drink alcohol.

How Can A Person Get Help For An Alcohol Problem?

There are many national and local resources that can help.  The National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service provides a toll-free telephone number.  1-800-662-HELP (4357), offering various resource information.  Through this service you can speak directly to a representative concerning substance abuse treatment, request printed material on alcohol or other drugs, or obtain local substance abuse treatment referral information in your State.  Many people also find support groups a helpful aid to recovery.  For help with more alcohol addiction questions search these topics:

SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Again, this information is not meant to provide medical advice.  It is presented to simply answer a few more alcohol addiction questions and help people understand the consequences of alcohol abuse and dependence.  Please seek treatment if you are struggling with an alcohol problem.


Struggling Due to Pornography Addiction

Recently, I was working with a couple who were struggling due to the husband’s pornography addiction. The husband talked about no longer finding his wife appealing. The wife was hurt and unhappy about this disclosure, but also quite perplexed because her husband historically found her attractive. Previously, their sexual relationship had been fulfilling. This couple was experiencing one of the unfortunate outcomes from pornography addiction.

In 2013, Dr. Valerie Voon at Cambridge University, conducted a neurological study of men who were reportedly addicted to pornography. The research showed that subjects addicted to pornography and subjects addicted to drugs showed the same changes in the reward center of the brain. Both groups of addicted individuals engaged in addictive behavior due to increased dopamine levels in order to get “high.” In other words, the drug addicts increased substance use to get high and the pornography addict increased pornography consumption to get high. Both groups needed to increase use of their “substance” in order to get “high”. This is due to the dopamine receptor cites being flooded and eventually becoming less sensitive to the dopamine, thus needing more dopamine to achieve the same euphoric effect.

In addition to Dr. Voon’s research, Norman Doidge discussed the research in the article, Brain scans of porn addicts: what’s wrong with this picture. He described a trend that professionals were seeing in the mid-1990’s. A commonly noted scenario was an adult male who is in a happy relationship, gets curious and starts looking at pornography on the internet. This person is initially bored with the sites, then finds sites that fascinate him and eventually starts to crave looking at them.

This pornography scenario illustrates the general addictive cycle.   For the 5% to 7% of the population with a predisposition to addiction, once they start using a substance, they build what is called tolerance which means they need more of their drug of choice to get “high”.

While conducting her research, Dr. Voon noticed some interesting differences with pornography addiction. She reports that while these addicts craved pornography, some didn’t like it. Even though the addict was viewing sexual acts, they were less attracted to their partner. The addict also started to have different sexual desires.

Dr. Voon’s research debunks a common misconception that viewing pornography will somehow increase all couples drive for sexual contact. The research indicates a different finding. The addicted person that views pornography is more likely to become disinterested in their partner. In addition to the decrease in sex drive toward their partner, the addict’s sexual taste can change. The specific change depends upon what they are viewing.

Dr. Voon’s research provides couples who are struggling due to pornography addiction with some clarity and answers regarding changes in taste and interest.

There is hope in these situations. The struggling couple mentioned above was able to heal their relationship. The addict was able to abstain from looking pornography which enabled them to decrease desire to get high and to adjust sexual tastes and desires. The partner was better able to understand the addictive process, make necessary changes and realize that the situation wasn’t about them. If you are struggling with the negative impact of pornography, there is hope for you as well.


When I first came in to get help for my addiction, I was scared. I was afraid of revealing the half of me that was hidden all of these years. Without the addiction, I wouldn’t know who I was anymore. I have my wife to thank for encouraging me to get help. I broke her heart which made me feel like I had no where else to turn. I needed professional help.

At the start of treatment, trying to learn everything was so foreign, I almost didn’t want to understand. But I knew that if a stayed and listened that some of the information would eventually get through and make sense.

I have been in treatment for three months. I have begun to see the problems with my addiction and how it has affected my relationship. I now understand that the addiction made me an insanely obsessed person. I’m not saying that I am better, in fact, far from it. But now I can identify when something is wrong and what I need to do to resist triggers and feel better. It is still awkward as hell bringing up some of the urges and thoughts I have in my head. What I know now, is that despite recovery feeling a bit foreign, that it helps. It take’s the burden off me. The doctor’s visits, the SA meetings and working the 12 steps all help. The doctor helps me implement strategies for prevention. The SA groups help me know that I am not alone in this struggle and that others have been through similar experiences.

Common Alcohol Dependence Questions Answered

 Common Alcohol Dependence Questions Answered

Here are some answers to common alcohol dependence questions.  It is important to understand that these answers are not meant to provide specific medical advice, but to provide information to better understand the health consequences of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.  Please consult your physician or other health care provider if you or a loved one has an alcohol problem.

What Is Alcoholism?  Alcoholism, also know as alcohol dependence, is a disease that includes the following four symptoms.

  1.  Craving – A strong need, or urge, to drink.
  2.  Loss of Control – Not being able to stop drinking once drinking has begun.
  3.  Physical Dependence – Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety after stopping drinking.
  4.  Tolerance – The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get “high.”

Is Alcoholism A Disease?

Yes, alcoholism is a disease.  The craving an alcoholic feels for alcohol can be as strong as the need for food or water.  An alcoholic will continue to drink despite serious family, health or legal problems.

Like many other diseases, alcoholism is chronic, meaning that it lasts a person’s lifetime.  It usually follows a predictable course, and it has symptoms.  The risk for developing alcoholism is influenced both by a person’s genes and by his or her lifestyle.

Is Alcoholism Inherited?

Research shows that the risk for developing alcoholism does indeed run in families.  The genes a person inherits partially explain this pattern, but lifestyle is also a factor.  But remember; risk is not destiny.  Just because alcoholism tends to run in families doesn’t mean that a child of an alcoholic parent will automatically become an alcoholic too.  Some people develop alcoholism even though no one in their family has a drinking problem.

Can Alcoholism Be Cured?

No, alcoholism cannot be cured at this time.  Even if an alcoholic hasn’t been drinking for a long time, he or she can still suffer a relapse.  Not drinking is the safest course for most people with alcoholism.

Can Alcoholism Be Treated?

Yes, alcoholism can be treated.  Alcoholism treatment programs use both counseling and medications to help a person stop drinking.

Treatment has helped many people stop drinking and rebuild their lives.

Which Medications Treat Alcoholism?

Three oral medications – Antabuse, Depade and Campral – are currently approved to treat alcohol dependence.  In addiction, there is a long acting injectable medication called Vivitrol.  Although medications are available to help treat alcoholism, there is no “magic bullet.”  In other words, no single medication is available that works in every case or with every person.

Does Alcohol Treatment Work?

Alcoholism treatment works for many people.  But like other chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma, there are varying levels of success when it comes to treatment.  Some people stop drinking and remain sober.  Others have long periods of sobriety with bouts of relapse.  An still others cannot stop drinking for any length of time.  With treatment, one thing is clear however, the longer a person abstains from alcohol, the more likely he or she will be able to stay sober.

Do You Have To Be An Alcoholic To Experience Problems?

No.  Alcoholism is only one type of an alcohol problem.  Alcohol abuse can be just as harmful.  A person can abuse alcohol without actually being an alcoholic – this is, he or she may drink too much and too often but still not be dependent on alcohol.  Some of the problems linked to alcohol abuse include not being able to meet work, school, or family responsibilities; drunk – driving arrests and car crashes; and drinking-related medical conditions.  Under some circumstances, even social or moderate drinking is dangerous – for example, when driving, during pregnancy, or when taking certain medications.

Are Specific Groups Of People More Likely To Have Problems?

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism cut across gender, race, and nationality.  In the United States, 17.6 million people – about 1 in every 12 adults – abuse alcohol or are alcohol dependent.  In general, more men than women are alcohol dependent or have alcohol problems.  And alcohol problems are highest among young adults ages 18-29.  We also know that people who start drinking at an early age – for example 14 or younger – are at much higher risk of developing alcohol problems at some point in their lives compared to someone who starts drinking at age 21 or after.

How Can You Tell If Someone Has A Problem?

Answering the following questions can help you find out if you or a loved one has a drinking problem:  Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?  Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?  Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?  Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?  One “yes” answer suggests a possible alcohol problem.  More than one “yes” answer means it is highly likely that a problem exists.  If you think that you or someone you know might have an alcohol problem, it is important to see a health care provider right away.  They can help you determine if a drinking problem exists and plan the best course of action.

Can A Problem Drinker Simply Cut Down?

It depends.  If that person has been diagnosed as an alcoholic the answer is “no.”  Alcoholics who try to cut down on drinking rarely succeed.  Cutting out alcohol – that is, abstaining – is usually the best course of recovery.  People who are not alcohol dependent but who have experienced alcohol-related problems may be able to limit the amount they drink.  If they can’t stay within those limits, they need to stop drinking altogether.

If An Alcoholic Is Unwilling to Get Help, What Can You Do About It?

This can be a challenge.  An alcoholic can’t be forced to get help except under certain circumstances, such as traffic violation or arrest that results in court-ordered treatment.  But you don’t have to wait for someone to “hit rock bottom” to act.  Many alcoholism treatment specialists suggest the following steps to help an alcoholic get treatment.  Stop all “cover ups.”  It is important to stop covering for the alcoholic so that he or she experiences the full consequences of drinking.  Time your intervention.  The best time to talk to a drinker is shortly after an alcohol-related problem – like a serious family argument or an accident.  Be specific.  Tell the family member that you are worried about his or her drinking.  Use examples of how drinking has caused problems.  State the results.  Explain what you will do if he or she doesn’t go for help – not to punish the drinker, but to protect yourself from his or her problems.  Get help.  Gather information in advance about treatment options in your community.  If the person is willing to get help, call immediately for an appointment with a treatment counselor.  Get support.  Remember you are not alone.  Support groups include Al-Anon, which holds regular meetings for spouses and other significant adults, and Alateen, which is geared to children of alcoholics.

You can call the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment) at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for information about treatment programs in your local community and to speak to someone about an alcohol problem.  Many people find support groups a helpful aid to recovery.  Search these topics:


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA)

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)


The World Health Organization (WHO) Acknowledges Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD)

The World Health Organization (WHO) Acknowledges Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD)

Over the past twenty-five years, I have observed a wide variety of beliefs and values about human sexuality.  Some people believe in having many sexual partners while others think that having a monogamous relationship is right. Some individuals advocate having multiple sexual experiences as “normal and natural”.  While others indicate that sexual acts or thoughts can become obsessive, compulsive, and out of control. I know of professionals who become very frustrated during discussions about sexuality.  Both sides of the argument seem to have merit depending on how you view the situation.  Human sexuality IS a normal activity; however, for some sex turns into compulsive “acting out.”  At this point, the World Health Organization (WHO) is acknowledging research trends providing important information on this topic.  The World Health Organization (WHO) Acknowledges Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD)

On July 2, 2018, The Social Post news reports WHO officially recognized their most current diagnostic manual, ICD-11 which categorized sex addiction as a form of mental illness.  This decision implies that sex addiction needs medical consultation and intervention.

According to Porn, the ICD-11 describes the condition of Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD) in the following way:

Compulsive sexual behavior disorder is characterized by a persistent pattern of failure to control intensive, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behavior.  Symptoms may include repetitive sexual activities becoming a central focus of the person’s life to the point of neglecting health and personal care or other interests, activities, and responsibilities; numerous unsuccessful efforts to significantly reduce repetitive sexual behavior; and continued repetitive sexual behavior despite adverse consequences or deriving little or no satisfaction from it.  The pattern of failure to control intensive, sexual impulses or urges and resulting repetitive sexual behavior is manifested over an extended period of time (e.g., 6 months or more), and causes marked distress or significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Distress that is entirely related to moral judgements and disapproval about sexual impulses, urges, or behaviors is not sufficient to meet this requirement.

The ICD-11 does not specifically use the word “addiction,” rather it classifies CSBD as an “impulse control disorder.”  This is due to a person’s inability to control impulses to engage in repetitive sexual behavior.

The Social Post news reports that approximately 2% to 4% of the population experiences this condition.  Some professionals believe this number is higher due to the billions of dollars that are spent on the various areas in the sex industry.

Professionals in the field have been aware for some time that certain clients neglect their relationships, health, family, and work responsibilities, due to these sexual obsessions and compulsions.  Hopefully, for people suffering with this new diagnosis “CSBD” will understand their condition and feel more comfortable seeking treatment.

For more information or consultation, please contact me.