It is hard to determine if a teen's behavior is due to addiction/compulsivity or it is more exploratory or experimental in nature. In mental health treatment, therapists use extreme caution when labeling or diagnosing childhood and adolescent behaviors. Some behaviors may be "hallmarks" of potentially addictive problems later in life. For example, adolescents may come from a highly dysfunctional family with a chaotic home environment where they do not experience bonding or attachment and as a result they turn to drugs and alcohol to escape.
Listen to Dr. Kenneth Adams discuss adolescents and sex addiction and learn how to best seek help for your teen.
Even though your husband is an adult, does he need to check with his mother before he makes any big decisions? Does his mother always seem to enter into every conversation? You are not alone! Enmeshment is the term used to describe how he feels towards his mother. Men who are in an enmeshed relationship with their mothers can have a hard time fully committing to their partners. They may appear anxious or guilty when making decisions without first talking to their mothers and they may consistently put their mothers first in their life, not you. There is hope. You and your partner can overcome this if you are willing to work on it.
Intimacy can be defined as having a close, and usually affectionate or loving relationship with another person. The ability to relate to another person on a deep and meaningful level is an essential component of successful relationships. But what happens when the intimacy has to be coupled with something like watching pornography in order to occur?
For someone who has been exposed long-term to pornography or is sexually addicted to porn, there may be issues with intimacy.
How much pornography is too much? In the 2013 movie Don Jon the viewer gets to experience the life of Jon Martello, a modern day Don Juan, whose life is centered around watching porn. He gets up in the morning and watches porn, he goes to work, comes home and watches porn, he has sex with a woman and then watches porn. He is completely consumed by pornography.
So what happens when pornography becomes an addiction?
Enmeshment occurs in the family when the mother or father places the child in the role of the surrogate spouse. This child becomes the confidant, the companion, and the equal to the parent and loses the ability to be a child. This child eventually becomes an adult and struggles to develop partnerships on his or her own. If you suspect your partner is enmeshed with a parent, you might notice an inability to commit, feelings of guilt or inadequacy after dealing with the enmeshed parent, feelings of low self-worth, or the inability to make decisions.
So how does someone who has played the role of a surrogate husband or wife to a parent "unhook" from that and start a new relationship with his or her partner?
Donald L. Hilton Jr., MD
Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, USA
Addiction has been a divisive term when applied to various compulsive sexual behaviors (CSBs), including obsessive use of pornography. Despite a growing acceptance of the existence of natural or process addictions based on an increased understanding of the function of the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward systems, there has been a reticence to label CSBs as potentially addictive. While pathological gambling (PG) and obesity have received greater attention in functional and behavioral studies, evidence increasingly supports the description of CSBs as an addiction. This evidence is multifaceted and is based on an evolving understanding of the role of the neuronal receptor in addiction-related neuroplasticity, supported by the historical behavioral perspective. This addictive effect may be amplified by the accelerated novelty and the ‘supranormal stimulus’ (a phrase coined by Nikolaas Tinbergen) factor afforded by Internet pornography.
Keywords: brain; addiction; pornography; neuroplasticity; sexuality
Clinical psychotherapist, author, and educator, Robert Weiss, offers a witty perspective on one of this year's hottest selling books while giving clinical insight about women who struggle with sex addiction in this Huffington Post blog:
There are probably 100 different scenarios for this type of situation, but the main themes for this situation are 1) You have been dating someone and did not know that he/she has been struggling with sex addiction and 2) You have knowingly and willing entered into a romantic relationship with someone who is in recovery from sexual addiction. Again, I do not mean to over simplify your personal situation, because it is different for everyone, but writing room permitted, we will examine only the underlying themes.
*Excerpts from Women and Sex Addiction by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D. in COUNSELOR June 2006
For years people have regarded sex addiction as primarily a male problem. Yet the numbers have remained steadily parallel to those found in alcoholism and gambling: