Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Give Me That Old Time Religion: A Guide to the Self-Righteous

Are there people who are truly dedicated to their religion?  I'm not speaking of any religion in particular, but all sects.  Where is character formed:  inside or outside the church?  I remember attending services as a youngster.  No sooner had the preaching ceased were sisters such-and-so gossiping about another church member inside the vestibule. 

I had a strange situation with a person of faith who had been picking up someone I know to take them to church every Sunday.  I had doubts about this young man from the start as he had the "look" of someone untrustworthy, though he expounded the word with great conviction.  He had previous run-ins with law enforcement, and claimed he was a changed man.  He started out well enough, but eventually picked my guy up later and later (or not at all).  Well, this Sunday he called to tell me he wouldn't be taking him any more; that he was working with another group of folks, etc., and that he would tell my guy when he picked him up later in the afternoon.   I said okay, but knowing that this was yet another fabrication.  Lo and behold, brother never showed up:  even after two phones calls asking if he was coming.  He hasn't called back yet, and it's Tuesday morning. 

This brings up our troubled Tiger Woods.  He says that he hasn't followed his Buddhist upbringing, and that's why he strayed.  Jimmy Swaggart strayed.  Tammy Faye Baker strayed (so did her husband...big time).  There are innumerous members of the religious community who have strayed:  turned to the dark side, no less.  There is a common theme with all these folks in that they were held to a higher standard than most of us.  To behave in a manner that many of us can't (or won't).  I have to wonder whether they are standards that any one of us can uphold.  It's almost as if these folks were set to fail, maybe by their own doing.  Their self-righteousness being used to shield their untowardly ways from public view. 

Can people really change their ungodly behaviors when they've strayed from their beliefs?  Did they ever change in the first place? 

rainwriter jones

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sex Addiction 101

There's been lots of discussion regarding Tiger Woods and his recently publicized antics.  His infidelities have brought to the forefront a disturbing disorder:  sex addiction.  What is it, and how is it treated? 

The symptoms for sexual addiction are as follows: 

- Compulsive masturbation (self-stimulation)

- Multiple affairs (extra-marital affairs)
- Multiple or anonymous sexual partners and/or one-night stands
- Consistent use of pornography
- Unsafe sex
- Phone or computer sex (cybersex)
- Prostitution or use of prostitutes
- Exhibitionism
- Obsessive dating through personal ads
- Voyeurism (watching others) and/or stalking
 -Sexual harassment

Like any addict, he/she places their needs in front of all else:  their daily routine revolves around how to obtain what they desire without care of consequences.  I know a few addicts, and have worked with some in a clinical setting.  I have watched them relentlessly pursue their drug of choice.  It is not unusual for them to have multiple addictions.  In the case of sexual addiction, sex is their "monkey on the back," causing them to put themselves and their family in precarious positions, risking everything for that next "hit."  Satisfaction is always out of reach.

The treatment for sex addiction may include:

- Controlling addictive behavior
- Helping the person develop a healthy sexuality
- Education about healthy sexuality, individual counseling, and marital and/or family therapy
- Support groups and 12 step recovery programs for people with sexual addictions
- Medications like Prozac or Anafranil which treat obsessive-compulsive aspect of this disorder

Sexual addiction is extremely hard to treat effectively, if not impossible.  And like with all addictions, there is no cure.  Relapses can be a possibility with any addiction.

I believe sex addiction exists, but for those to use it as an excuse for his/her infidelity is appalling!  It's easy to hide behind a diagnosis rather than to admit one's human fragility.

Check yourself, Mr. Woods.

rainwriter jones

*information from http://www.medicine.net/*