Compulsive Buying-Avoiding That Which Leads You to Act

Compulsive buying is a psychological and a spiritual disorder that is symptomatic of a distorted and dysfunctional view of self, others, and the world around us.  The real danger in this disorder, besides the obvious social and financial ruin it can wreak, is the compulsivity with which it is practiced.  Compulsivity can easily become a way of living, a modus operandi for daily life if not checked and dealt with effectively.  In the next few posts, I will offer practical steps in dealing with compulsion. For the fathers, passions and compulsions are related concepts that distort reality and … [Read more...]

Thought Stopping or Saying “Get Thee Behind Me Satan”

Disputing thoughts that make us angry require some reflection and composure that is sometimes hard to find when anger flares. There is another method proposed by the manual authors called “thought stopping,” which incidentally is not the same as thought suppression that is not really possible or even advisable. In a therapy setting, the person would be instructed to think about something that makes him or her angry and then suddenly and unexpectedly, the therapist shouts “STOP.” Eventually, the patient learns to shout “STOP” when engaged in such thoughts and even to shout “STOP” mentally. … [Read more...]

Patristic Experience Concerning Bad Thoughts and Demonic Influences

Saint Peter once wrote, “Be sober [watchful], be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” It is a curious saying, because it’s hard to miss a roaring lion, but without watchfulness and wakefulness, when we are distracted and sleepy, we don’t see or sense that roaring lion. But when we become aware of the ravaged landscape of our minds and lives or the minds and lives of others, we can’t help but wonder how such devastation could have taken place. Part of the answer is carelessness; another part of the answer is mistakes; still … [Read more...]

Being Impulsive: A Problem for Moderns and Ancients

A number of psychological disorders that cause people a good deal of distress, such as addictions of all stripes, have to deal with the problem of acting imprudently on impulse. One contemporary definition of impulsivity is "... a predisposition toward rapid, unplanned reactions to internal or external stimuli without regard to the negative consequences of these reactions to oneself or others" (Moeller FG, ES Barratt, DM Dougherty, JM Schmitz and AC Swann (2001) Psychiatry aspects of impulsivity. Am. J. Psychiatry 158, 1783-1793). The ancient fathers of the Church had their own theory of … [Read more...]