Addiction and the Holidays

Addiction and the Holidays

Holidays can be very stressful, even for family members who are well-equipped for handling increased stress. For those who struggle to handle stressful situations, or who are addicted to sex or pornography, the holidays can be especially trying.

The stress in your life – if you’re addicted to sex or pornography – is probably, in many ways, too much for you to handle without your addiction. You see, your addiction plays a role in helping you cope with or handle stress. For many sex addicts they get this. For others, the path of “connecting the dots” from stress to sex or masturbation is not that clear. Most additions are born out of a need to escape from uncomfortable emotions – stress definitely fits.

So, it’s the holiday season – more family, more pressure to be social, more activities, less down time, the weather changes and you may not get outside as much (for exercise or escape) – and stress levels for you and those around you increase.

As stress increases you’re more likely to use your addiction as an escape. But, the holidays, somehow, bring about added shame to masturbation, pornography, infidelities, affairs, etc.

If you’re struggling this holiday season, know that you don’t have to continue to struggle. It may seem like sex or pornography is your most important need. It might seem like these are the escape you need to calm down and get relief from the stress of your life. It might even seem that you are justified in what you are doing.

I’m not here to tell you that what you’re doing is right or wrong. If you think your sexual activities or your use of pornography is more than you want, or if you believe your use or behaviors are hurting your quality of life from a relationship, career, financial or social perspective, let’s talk.

There is a path out of sexual addiction. You can live a life free of pornography and unwanted sexual activities. In fact, you deserve it. If not only for you, for your spouse and your family.

About the Author:

Dan Gabbert holds a Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from Avila University in Kansas City, MO. Dan is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Certified Sex Addictions Therapist (CSAT), a rigorous certification issued by The International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP).