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CLINICAL BREAKDOWN: Binge-Purge Cycle

Uncategorized May 19, 2021

This is a common pattern observed in addictions. The binge-purge cycle is binging on the substance or behavior (in this case viewing pornography) and purging after. In a faith-context, this might look like asking for forgiveness, repenting, spending time with God, etc. The purging part is where you remove yourself of anything that had to do with the binge.

This is useful to know because sometimes we observe our "purge" responses as signs that we are progressing and making changes, when in reality it could be that it is actually part of the cycle. If you really want to recover from a slip, ask yourself two questions:
1) What need did it meet?
2) What would I do differently next time?

This is a much better way to combat the 'purge' component. If you want to eliminate the cycle altogether, you'll have to resolve the underlying roots that are causing you to binge in the first place. This is where your answer to question 1 can become super helpful. In our group coaching calls, if someone has a slip we will often ensure they can answer question 1. Relapse is a part of recovery so long as you are leveraging those opportunities to grow, learn and make changes as needed.

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