I read with amusement that actor David Duchovny has entered treatment for “sex addiction.” My amusement is not that a man is seeking help with a situation in his life that has caused pain to his wife and children and others, but it is in response to a body of learned people who sat around and put a label on this behavior and called it an addiction. On second thought, it’s really not amusing; it’s downright sad.
This business of attaching labels to patterns of behavior and then putting them in a category called addiction does two counter-productive things:
- It puts an imaginary limitation of the person with the problem.
- It restricts those who offer assistance to help these people change behaviors.
The tacit, underlying belief system with the word “addiction” is this: “I am not responsible.” “I didn’t do it; my addiction did it.” Please stop. Let’s stop enabling people who have patterns of behavior that they refuse to take responsibility for.
There’s a reason there are so many attorney and psychiatrist jokes. A few practitioners taint the entire field of hard working, noble lawyers, doctors and counselors by proffering the “I didn’t do it” defense. The worst part is a portion of society starts to believe it.
“Your honor, the fact that my client drove his car into another and killed 4 people while addicted to alcohol merits special consideration because he couldn’t help himself. He needs treatment your honor, not jail time.” If you just laughed at the absurdity of that statement, hang out in a few court rooms or check in with a few attorney friends and you’ll find that defenses like these are uttered more than you can imagine.
Yes, address your personal situation and seek the help you need. Do not hide behind the word addiction. It doesn’t serve you and it doesn’t serve your loved ones or society.
The spin is that David Duchovny doesn’t “sleep around” because he wants to; he just can’t help himself because he’s addicted. Where does it end? “I’m addicted to robbing people at ATM machines” isn’t too far off if we continue with this absurdity.
What is your initial response when hearing a lie from another person when you both know they are lying? That’s the response that comes up for me when someone hides a jackass by sending out a scapegoat.
All the best,
Be Sociable, Share!