“Sex Addiction” Isn’t An Excuse To Kill Or Even An Addiction. It Is A Reflection of An Individual’s Moral Beliefs About Sexuality

A white man aged 21 is believed to have entered three spas across the greater Atlanta region on the 16th of March and killed eight individuals, of which six included Asian women. The next date, Cherokee County sheriff’s officials revealed what the suspect claimed on as the possible reason behind the shootings: sex dependence.

The suspect is described as a fervently religious religious Christian who been reported to have, in numerous instances was fighting to manage his sexual behavior. Officials from law enforcement have said that the suspect claimed that he was suffering from a sex addiction before committing suicide in order in order to “eliminate” the “temptation” the women in his life posed to him.

My job is as a research scientist who is specialized with behavior-related addiction, specifically sexual addictions. Much of my work has been focused on the way religion influences sexual behavior and the feelings of addiction. In the past 10 years my research has shown that sexual addiction and religion are incredibly interconnected.

Clinicians Don’t Diagnose ‘Sex Addiction’

There is currently no diagnostic that refers to “sex addiction” in any manual of diagnostics that psychologists use while working with their patients. There is no recognized diagnosis of “sex addiction” in the mental health sector. This could be shocking to some, since most people believe that sexual stimulation can be addictive..

While not defining the issue as one of dependency, psychological health professionals will, of course acknowledge that out of control sexual behaviours can pose an issue for people. Recently the World Health Organization announced that the newest version of its “International Classification of Diseases” will contain the diagnosis of compulsive sexual behaviour disorder.

The new diagnosis is an impulse control disorder not an addiction. However, it can be used to identify people who have extreme or compulsional sexual behaviours that the majority of public consider to be addiction. There are a myriad of ways to be considered a diagnosis for this condition including excessive pornographic masturbation and use of the internet for sex at a casual pace to soliciting sexual workers. The most important aspect of the diagnosis isn’t the particular sexual activity however, but rather the extent to which it has become in the course of a person’s life, and the degree of trouble or impairment it creates.

Compulsive sexual disorder is the only one of more than 55,000 diagnoses listed within the WHO manual that includes an explicit warning. Near the end of the description for the disorder, there’s a note warning the patient that “distress that is entirely related to moral judgments and disapproval about sexual impulses, urges, or behaviors is not enough to meet this requirement”.

Also, being anxious about sexual manners that you believe to be morally unacceptable isn’t enough for the diagnosis of this brand new disorder. This is a crucial caveat due to the fact that, according to my studies, it’s moral angst over sexually inappropriate behavior that typically causes people to believe they are suffering from a sexual addiction.

What Causes A Self-Diagnosis As Sexual Addiction?

The U.S. in particular, numerous studies have shown that people who are religious and those with strict religious backgrounds, and those who are morally opposed to their own sexual activities are inclined to take these actions as being a result of an addiction.

It’s also surprising that there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that those same individuals are more likely to watching porn or to have sexual relations beyond marriage. My coworkers and I have discovered that people who are more religiously committed are also reporting lower use of pornography as well as a higher level of consumption of porn.

It appears that conservative moral attitudes regarding sexuality, specifically those relating to conservative religious beliefs can lead individuals to view behaviors such as sometimes watching porn to be signs of addiction.

My colleagues and myself refer to this gap between behavior and beliefs “moral incongruence”. It is an excellent indicator of whether someone believes they are addicted to sex.

In actual fact, we’ve demonstrated in two studies based on national samples that religion as well as moral opposition to pornography increase the connection between watching pornography and the feeling of dependence to pornographic content. For those who don’t consider pornography to be morally objectionable, or if they are not religious There is hardly any relationship between how much pornography they watch and whether or not they believe that they are addicted to pornography or not. For those who are extremely religious or find pornography viewing particularly inappropriate, even small quantities of pornography usage can be linked to self-reported symptoms of addiction.

Internal Turmoil Isn’t A Predictor of Violence

To be crystal clear The pain that individuals be experiencing when they are not in the best of their moral responsibilities is real and incredibly. But, a lot of the distress may be due to guilt and shame, not an addiction.

For shooting victim Georgia shooter, we have just not enough information to establish whether he was a victim of an out of control pattern of sexual conduct and whether the moral distress he felt was due to his conduct, or if it was all three. In reality, these distinctions aren’t crucial in understanding the circumstances.

Compulsive sexual disorder and moral incongruity are both real issues that can cause tension in a relationship, depression, anxiety and other consequences. However, they’re not just excuses for murder, violence or hate crimes. Nothing can be. If the latest estimates are accurate it is estimated that there exist many millions Americans that are worried about their sexual habits may be out of hand.

But the Atlanta suspect decided to do something that million of Americans aren’t doing, murdering and slaying women whom who he considered “a temptation”. This decision on his part isn’t in any way directly related to an addiction to sexuality, whether you felt morally incongruous about his sexual habits or whether it was a difficult day.

Do You Think Addiction Is A Brain Illness?

The addiction epidemic involving opioids is a fully-fledged issue during the presidential campaign of 2016 as well as a host of questions about how best to fight the problem and treat those who are addicts.

In December’s debate, Bernie Sanders described addiction as an “disease, not a criminal activity”. In addition georgetowinternationalacademy.org, Hillary Clinton has laid out the plan on her website for how to tackle the issue. In the site, addiction conditions have been classified in terms of “chronic diseases that affect the brain”.

The National Institutes for Drug Addiction define the addiction condition as “a chronic, relapsing brain disease”. But many experts, including myself doubt the validity of the idea to define addiction a brain-related disease.

Psychologists like Gene Heyman in his 2012 book, “Addiction a Disorder of Choice”, Marc Lewis in his 2015 book, “Addiction is Not a Disease” and an international list of academics in an open Letter addressed to Nature have been challenging the legitimacy of the label.

What exactly is addiction? What function, if any, is the role of choice? If addiction is a matter of choices, how do be classified as an “brain disease”, with the implications of being involuntary?

As a doctor who works with patients with addiction issues I was inspired to consider these questions after NIDA declared addiction to be an “brain disease”. It seemed to me that it was too narrow of a view point to comprehend the complex nature of addiction. Addiction isn’t a problem with the brain even though the brain is certainly involved, it is a matter of the individual.

What Makes Addiction A Brain Disorder?

In the late 1990s, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) came up with the notion that addiction is an “brain disease”. NIDA states that addiction is an “brain disease” state due to changes in the brain’s functioning and structure.

It is true that frequent use of drugs such as cocaine, heroin and nicotine modify the brain’s response to the brain circuits associated with pleasure, anticipation and memory. Some people believe that addiction is as a form of learning When people find that a drug – or an activity like gambling, can help to ease pain or improve the mood of their loved ones, they develop an intense bond to the substance. In the brain, synaptic connections strengthen and form the bond.

However, I believe that the question of importance is not whether or not brain changes occur – which they do – however, whether they block the elements that are responsible for control of the mind for individuals.

Does addiction really fall outside the control of addicts like the symptoms of dementia or multiple MS are out of the control of those suffering?

It’s not. Any amount of encouragement or punishment could change the course of an self-contained biological disorder. Imagine offering to bribe an Alzheimer’s sufferer to stop her condition from advancing, or threat to penalize her in the event that it does.

The issue is that addicts respond to punishments as well as rewards regularly. While brain changes occur, describing addiction as a disease of the brain is not accurate and inaccurate as I’ll explain.

The Recovery Is Feasible

Consider, for instance, the situation of doctors and pilots suffering from addiction to alcohol or drugs. When they are identified by their oversight boards, they’re monitored closely for a period of time. They are then suspended for a time and are then allowed to return on probation, and with strict oversight.

If they do not follow the rules and regulations, they could will lose a lot (jobs and income, as well as status). It’s not a coincidence that their rates of recovery are very high.

Here are a few others to take into consideration.

In what are known as contingency-management experiments those who are addicted to heroin or cocaine are rewarded with vouchers that can be exchanged for money, household goods or clothing. The participants who are randomly assigned to the voucher group typically have superior results than those receiving treatment on a regular basis.

Take a look at an investigation on contingency planning conducted by psychology professor Kenneth Silverman at Johns Hopkins. Subjects with addiction were offered $10 an hour to participate in an “therapeutic workplace” if they gave pure urine tests. If the test results are positive, or the subject is unwilling to submit a urine sample, they can’t work or collect the pay for that day. Employees who worked at the workplace gave significant amounts of urine that was opiate-free than those in the comparison group of the study. They also employed for longer hours, earned greater earnings from their jobs and used less money to purchase drugs.

With the drug court system through drug courts, the criminal justice system imposes swift and specific penalties to those who fail to pass drug tests. The threat of prison time for each time tests are unsuccessful is the punishment and the carrot the assurance that charges will be removed if the program is successfully completed. The participants in the drug courts are likely to perform significantly better when it comes to arrest and alcohol consumption those who were adjudicated in the same manner in the normal manner.

These examples illustrate the importance, and the possibility of behavior shaping via external rewards and sanctions.

Is It A Disease of Choice?

In a decision model addiction, it is the result of positive and quick decisions to alleviate mental discomfort or manage mood – that can have long-lasting consequences like family decline or loss of employment, health issues and financial issues.

If it’s a matter of choice then why should anyone “choose” to engage in this self-destructing behavior? People don’t use addiction drugs simply because they wish to become addicted. People take addictive drugs for the immediate relief they seek.

Let’s take a look at a typical progression. In the beginning of a period of addiction it increases the satisfaction value, while previously rewarding things like jobs, relationships or family deteriorate in value. The attraction to drinking begins to diminish as the negative consequences build up such as spending too much money and causing disappointment to loved ones, being a target for suspicion at work, the drug is still valuable as it eases psychic discomfort, reduces withdrawal symptoms, and squelches an intense cravings.

In treatment, medicines such as buprenorphine and methadone for an addiction to opiates, as well as Antabuse or Naltrexone to treat alcohol dependence are certainly able to reduce craving and withdrawal, but seldom can they be sufficient without therapy or counseling to assist patients in their journey to recovery. Motivation is the key in order to change the behavior that is needed.

The ability to make choices must be understood to be included in treatment
The disease-versus-choice dichotomy does have some value because it leads to emphasis on treatment over incarceration. However, it ignores the type of treatment that is most effective and that is treatment that focuses on improving patients’ self-control and decision-making skills and leverages the effectiveness of sanctions and incentives. This is the kind of treatment addicts need to be able to make better choices in the near future.

It’s much more productive according to me, to see addiction as a behaviour which is present on multiple levels, from molecular structure and function, as well as the physiology of the brain to psychology psychosocial environment, as well as social interactions.

However, NIDA researchers say they believe that as we know about the neurobiological aspects of addiction as we learn more about the neurobiological components of addiction, the more we can recognize the fact that it is a brain-based disease. For me, this makes the same sense as saying that now that we have more knowledge about the role played by personality traits, like anxiety as a factor in causing an increase in risk for addiction and risk, we can finally, acknowledge the fact that addiction can be viewed as a condition of personality. It’s neither. Addiction isn’t a problem that is only one aspect.

The official language of addiction does addicts an injustice when it suggests they are just a victim of their own brains that have been hijacked by addiction.

Foods That Are High In Refined Carbs And Added Fats Are Similar To Cigarettes – Addictive And Harmful

Every year, millions of Americans attempt to cut back on processed foods industrial products which contain usually loaded with added fat and refined carbohydrates, and refined carbohydrates. Think of industrially produced cookies cakes, potato chips and pizza.

For a lot of people, the desire to make changes in their eating habits is triggered by worries about the possibility of life-threatening health issues, such as heart disease and diabetes. The effect of eating habits on health isn’t an unimportant issue. In fact, a multidisciplinary panel of 37 top scientists from all over the world discovered unhealthy eating habits as more risky to health than sex that is unsafe as well as alcohol, drug and tobacco use.

Most people are aware that processed foods aren’t healthy. However, cutting them down can be so complicated and difficult that most people fail. majority of efforts do not succeed. Why?

My Food and Addiction Science and Treatment Lab at the University of Michigan, my colleagues and me are studying the most under-appreciated aspect in the food industry: these processed foods could be addictive, and may have more to tobacco than whole foods, such as beans or apples.

Afraid of Processed Foods That Are Ultra-Processed

I am a psychologist clinical who is interested in the science of addiction, obesity as well as disordered eating. In my time in Yale University, it became obvious to me that lots of individuals were showing the classic signs of addiction through their relationships with processed foods, such as a losing control of their the consumption of food, a heightened craving for food and inability to curb their consumption when faced with negative consequences.

So, my coworkers as well as I developed The Yale Food Addiction Scale. It’s a scale that utilizes an American Psychiatric Association criteria used to determine other addiction disorders to determine whether someone might be addicted to highly processed foods.

Based on current estimates according to our current estimates, 15 percent of Americans have reached the threshold for the threshold for addiction to food and is associated with weight gain weight gain and lower quality of living. This is similar to that of dependence on other legally and readily available substances. For example, 14% of people in the U.S. meet the standards for being diagnosed with alcohol-related disorders.

It is evident from our study that the majority of people don’t feel this numbing pull from any food. The most processed foods with excessive levels of fats and refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar are the ones that people eat to satisfy their cravings. For instance the chocolate and ice cream French fries, pizza, and cookies are among the food items people consider the most addicting. In no way is it surprising, people claim that they aren’t likely to become addicted to cucumbers, beans and broccoli.

But can these highly processed foods truly be considered to be addictive? Or is it just a case of taking a little too much of something they enjoy? To answer these questions my coworkers and I have been looking at one of the most recent major discussions in addiction science – whether smoking cigarettes is addictive.

The Evidence Suggests That You Could Be Dependent On Tobacco

The notion that smoking cigarettes was addictive was debated for several decades.

Contrary to substances like opioids and alcohol Tobacco products aren’t intoxicating, and people can carry on their lives while taking these products. The products of tobacco also do not cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms, as do opioids and alcohol. There is no need to break the law in order to get tobacco or to use it.

The biggest tobacco companies in the world often referred to under the name of Big Tobacco – often highlighted the distinction of tobacco and “classic” addictive drugs. The growing doubt over whether or not tobacco is addictive could allow them to avoid responsibility in their practices within the industry and put the blame on the consumers who made their decision to continue smoking.

In 1988 in 1988, the Surgeon General made a formal declaration that tobacco products as being addictive. The report was in direct contradiction to Big Tobacco’s assertion that smoking tobacco is an issue of the consumer’s choice based on the flavor and sensory impact of their products.

The Surgeon General’s basis on the classifying tobacco as addictive on their capacity to induce strong, sometimes addictive urges to use regardless of a desire to stop and despite serious health risks. Another aspect of evidence was that of the capacity cigarettes to quickly give high doses of nicotine, making their use highly re-inforcing. Users are prone to repeating the same behavior which leads to more of the substance. The last addiction criteria that tobacco was able to meet was its capacity to alter moods – improving pleasure and reducing negative emotions, as nicotine alters the brain.

There is a widespread belief that the name originated from the discovery of a particular brain response to smoking tobacco. in the 80s scientists were aware that nicotine could have an impact in the human brain. There was little information available at the time about what the effects of addictive drugs are on the brain. In actual fact, a biological indicator of addiction – such as the specific brain reaction that indicates someone is addicted to a drug is not yet available.

The Surgeon General’s designation of tobacco as a drug that is addictive increased the proportion of the population who considered smoking cigarettes as a form of addictive habit from 37 percent in 1980 to 74 percent in 2002. The fact that smoking cigarettes are addictive led to it becoming difficult to Big Tobacco to defend their methods.

in 1998 Big Tobacco lost an appeal which led to the company paying millions in dollars to the states to pay for the health risks associated with smoking. The court ruled that they must disclose secret documents that proved they concealed the harmful product’s addictive and unhealthy nature. Furthermore, the ruling put a number of limitations on their ability to sell their products, particularly for youth.

Since 1980 since 1980, the consumption of cigarettes in the U.S. drastically diminished which is a major achievement for public health.

Foods processed with ultra-processing are screened with the same boxes.
Ultra-processed foods satisfy all the same requirements that were used to classify smoking tobacco to be addictive.

Tobacco and ultra-processed food items affect mood in the same way, by stimulating pleasurable emotions and decreasing those that are negative. The excessive amounts of sugars, refined carbohydrates and fats in foods that are processed effectively activate the reward system within the brain.

Ultra-processed food items are extremely rehabilitative They can alter your behaviour and keep you returning for more. For instance, teachers and parents rely on ultra-processed food to encourage good behavior in youngsters so that they increase the probability that children will continue be a good sport. In the case of rats studies, researchers have discovered that sweet flavors are more motivating than extremely addictive substances, such as cocaine.

The high rates of failure in diets makes it clear that foods processed in a high-fat, highly-processed manner can cause powerful, often insanity-inducing cravings for addiction, despite an intention to leave. Contrast this with healthy food items that are minimally processed like vegetables, fruits and legumes don’t satisfy the criteria in the case of addiction.

Since the 1980s The amount of processed, unhealthy foods consumed in the U.S. exploded. The same time, major tobacco manufacturers Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds were purchasing the most processed food and beverage companies such as General Foods, Kraft, Nabisco and Kool-Aid. Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds used their research, marketing and industrial expertise in the creation and sale of highly addictive and profitable product lines made of tobacco and applied that knowledge in their food portfolios that were ultra-processed. While these tobacco companies ultimately sold their brands of food to multinational food and beverage giants in the late 2000s, they had put their mark on the current food and beverage environment.

The current narrative of society about the processed food products that are the norm in our food culture is that those who struggle to consume them in moderate amounts and in moderation – many Americans have a belief that they are weak-willed. The same narrative is that’s used to explain the reason why smokers can’t quit. It doesn’t consider that the company that developed cigarettes also developed and sold several of these food items intentionally to increase “craveability” and create “heavy users.”

The addicting nature of these highly processed food products impedes consumers’ liberty and their health, all in the name of profit. There is however a significant distinction between ultra-processed and tobacco products. Everyone must consume food. Everyone is obliged to eat.

As in the case cigarettes, it’s likely to require regulations in the food industry to reduce the adulation for ultra-processed food as well as the health issues that go with these foods.