Monday, January 23, 2006

Sexual addictions: The insidious destroyer of trust

If there is one thing upon this earth that mankind love and admire better than another, it is a brave man, -- it is the man who dares to look the devil in the face and tell him he is a devil.

-- James A. Garfield

Sexual Addictions and Marital Infidelity

I'm working on today's radio show. The show is on sexual addiction, marital infidelity and spousal betrayal. Really, the show is on addiction because an addiction is an addiction is an addiction. You can argue the subtle nuances of how different addictions are best treated.

Yet, humans are driven to pursue pleasure and avoid pain. Two basic motivations. Addictions are basically a pleasurable chemical rush inside the body that occur due to thoughts, feelings or actions. When we get locked into a pattern of repeating destructive thoughts or behaviors, we are addicted.

We can be addicted to anything and everything - sex, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, excitement, adrenaline, anger, stress, worry, fear, inflexibility, power, you name it. We can be addicted to behaviors, thoughts OR feelings.

Take heroin, for example, one of the most addictive substances on the planet, right alongside crack and nicotine. When you look closely at how heroin works inside the body's cells, you see the injected heroin dock with the opiate receptors of individual cells. These are the exact same receptors that were designed to receive endorphins which are normally created via things like exercise, sex, deep breathing and positive emotions. Rather than receive the body's natural endorphins, the cell takes in the heroin molecules and that cell grows to need the heroin. Over time, more heroin is needed to produce the same perceived high.

When a particular cell is bathed in heroin for a long time or repeatedly, it's receptors shrink and it becomes less sensitive to the same amount of heroin or endorphins. This creates what we know as tolerance. The same amount of heroin is no longer sufficient to produce the desired high.

Here comes the wild part. Whether you are talking about heroin or cocaine, or anger or fear, it's the same underlying chemical process. You can be addicted to your emotions. Feelings create peptides, or molecules of emotion as Dr. Candace Pert calls them. These emotion peptides dock with the receptors on each cell. With intense or chronic feelings, the cell begins to need or crave the same emotions over and over. And just as with heroin, your cells build up a tolerance to these peptides, or molecules of emotion.

For example, if you are addicted to anger, then you will gradually need either more intense anger (i.e., rage) or need to become angry more often, in order to satisfy the cravings of your body and it's cells. And a self-perpetuating cycle is born.

Hard to imagine? I know. But it makes so much sense.

Do you have any of these in your life?

Destructive, negative feelings (short-term)or moods (long-term). These might include sadness, anger, irritability, fear, anxiety, stress, depression, resentment, disappointment, shame or guilt.

Encountering the same negative situations over and over.

An inability to change your self or your life.

A perceived inability to create a new life or pattern.

Yearning for certain emotions.

Looking for things to dull your pain.

Swearing you'll never do something again. And then you find yourself doing that same behavior again in an hour, a day or a week.

Emotions are addictive. And I believe they lie at the base of all our other addictions - sex, drugs, alcohol, and more.

Find out more by listening to todays Guide To Self radio show on KDIA 1640 AM at 5 pm (PST). Listen live on the internet at

Past shows on similar topics can be found at

Begin a new life today. The first step is the desire to change.

Have a wonderful day!

Dr. John Schinnerer
Radio Show Host
Guide To Self Radio

Guide To Self(C) 2005-06.
Guide To Self is sponsored in part by Infinet Assessment, the best in pre-employment testing. Please support their efforts at


Post a Comment

<< Home