These Natural Consequences Prove You Have an Out-of-Control Addiction

(Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash)

If you have something that is controlling you that you need to get control of, then consequences are usually in the wake of this behavior. Similar to boating, the waves the boat makes are just part of boating. In the same manner, having a behavior that is out of control usually has an ongoing wave of consequences.

Jake is your relatively normal 21-year-old single male. He is in college during the day, does rock climbing on the weekend and has a group of good friends he hangs around with regularly. Jake has an out-of-control behavior that has control of him. He likes to drive fast. When he gets in his Mustang, he is king of the road. Unfortunately, the police don't acknowledge his kingship, as he has received six speeding tickets this year alone and is looking at going to court soon.

Jake is typical of someone who has an out-of-control behavior. He does the behavior and doesn't expect any consequences. When he gets a consequence, he does the behavior again and doesn't expect a consequence and then gets another consequence.

Paula is just like Jake, except her out-of-control behavior is ice cream. She doesn't like just any ice cream; it has to be Ben and Jerry's. Almost every night before bed, she eats a bowl while watching television and then goes to bed. The next morning, she wakes up and gets on the scale. The weirdest thing happens; she has gained weight again. She is now overweight by 40 pounds, and her weight continues to climb.

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Someone with out-of-control behavior expects to do the behavior without consequence even though they keep getting the consequence. In my field, counseling, we define insanity as doing the same thing expecting different results.

Seth was a really sharp young man, and he started his own service company. Seth had an out- of-control behavior of criticism. His friends didn't come around often because of this behavior. He also lost customers repeatedly because of his critical nature. Eventually he put one and one together and sought help for this out-of-control behavior.

Consequences come in many directions due to these behaviors such as finances, relationships, legal problems, weight, debt, feelings of fear, anxiety, shame and many others. If you have a behavior you consider as out of control, think about the possible consequences you have had because of this. Look at the consequences and see if it has repeated itself in your life like that wake from the boat that just seems to keep going. Take a moment and reflect on if you believe the behavior you have is controlling you.

Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, Get A Grip. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at

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