Why Can't I Stop? Reclaiming Your Life from a Behavioral Addiction

Jon E. Grant, Brian L Odlaug, Samuel R. Chamberlain

Research output: Book/ReportBook


At some point in our lives, we all engage in behaviors that are risky, irrational, or unwise. We might find it exciting and temporarily rewarding to gamble on the lottery or impulsively buy an expensive gadget. But just as substances like alcohol and narcotics have the potential to become addictive, so do certain behaviors. A person addicted to gambling, shopping, the internet, food, or picking at their skin may suffer shame in the shadows while their behavior consumes time and energy and disrupts their life. Some people with behavioral addictions lose their family, job, savings, and home. With a physical basis in the brain, behavioral addictions are serious illnesses—but simply willing yourself to stop is usually not enough.

Why Can't I Stop? is for anyone who has a behavioral addiction, as well as their supportive families and friends. Examining seven of the most common and serious addictions—gambling, sex, stealing, internet use, shopping and buying, hair pulling and skin picking, and food—the authors bring together cutting-edge research to describe behavioral addiction, its causes, and how it can be diagnosed and treated.

Featuring patient stories of behavioral addiction and recovery, as well as information about treatment centers, this compassionate guide will help readers better understand the complicated issues surrounding these addictions and teach family members how to help the addicted person while helping themselves.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherJohns Hopkins University Press
Number of pages232
ISBN (Print)9781421419664
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


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