By Floyd Godfrey, LPC, CSAT candidate
When I’m working with men addicted to pornography in Mesa Arizona, it’s common to discover they have more going on. They often have other addictive processes that interact with their pornography problems. Thomas Tullos said that “83% of those diagnosed with addiction have more than one manifestation of addictive behavior over the lifespan.”
If you are the addict have you felt like a failure because your problems have extended beyond pornography? Have you ever struggled with rage and anger problems? Have you also struggled with alcohol or substance abuse? Have you wrestled with food issues or eating disorders? How about excessive video gaming, shopping, or gambling?
If this is your case then do not despair. This is something we see regularly in our programs. The interaction between different addictive behaviors happens when the brain is frantically searching for ways to cope. Your brain is searching for ways to change your biochemistry and emotional states. In other words, it’s trying to help you feel better by decreasing discomfort and increasing pleasure. It doesn’t matter whether this includes multiple behaviors or addictions. The brain’s goal is simple.
As you are establishing yourself in recovery, make sure to assess with a therapist the highest priority for sobriety. In other words, if you are addicted to alcohol, cocaine, and pornography, then your highest priority will be to get the substances under control. Another example might include a sexual addiction pattern that involves anonymous sexual encounters, while also struggling with excessive shopping or eating. In this case the anonymous sexual contact takes a very high priority over the shopping and eating. Sobriety and treatment planning always needs to take highest priority for those issues which directly impact your safety or the safety of those around you.
Once you establish a hierarchy of priority for the recovery process, then you can more effectively begin your personal work. Be patient through the process. Sexual addiction takes 3-5 years for solid recovery and for the brain to rewire. When you have other compounding issues, it may be frustrating but will go more quickly if you’ve addressed the issues systematically.
If you’re struggling with more than just pornography addiction in Mesa Arizona, then please call us for a free 15-minute consultation. We can help: (480) 668-3801.
 Thomas Tullos, LPC, CSAT-S, presentation at CSAT Module 2 Training, Phoenix, AZ January 17, 2015.
 “Facing the Shadow,” by Patrick Canrnes.