Addicted to Phone Chatlines? Here’s How to Get Help
Calling a chatline can be a entertaining way to spend your free time. Thousands of people use them every day to meet new people, have interesting conversation, and otherwise hang out. But when does an guilty pleasure turn into a full blown addiction? You may not have ever thought that chatline addiction existed, but it’s a real issue. The truth is that any resource or activity can become an addiction if the person is engaging in addictive behavior or has a reliance on what they are addicted to and finds it difficult or impossible to stop of their own free will. Phone chat lines can be the object of a real addiction which can be hard to break free from. If you think you are addicted to chatlines, here’s how you can get help and stop your addiction before it spirals out of control.
Even though phone chat services can be entertaining and fun, using these lines should be done in moderation. If you ever feel yourself craving calling a chatline, coming up with reasons why you “deserve” to use the chatline, or considering using a chatline for the second or third time for that day, it may be time to stop and evaluate. Many addictions that are not drugs or alcohol tend to slip under the radar, especially with the person who is displaying addictive behavior. If you’re just like a gambler in the casino, promising yourself just one more call and then you’ll be done, knowing that you’re giving in to your need to get your fix, it’s likely time to get help.
We understand that chatlines are fun. They’re a recreational activity that almost everyone has tried at least once. Even though these chatlines are fun, that doesn’t mean that they can’t turn addictive. Dating chatlines and phone sex lines both have a lot in common when it comes to their appeal. They are social, and all human beings are social creatures. Although phone sex lines often have a professional worker speaking to you and chatlines are more everyday people, they are still gratifying and even exciting experiences. The human brain has a reward center that lights up when an individual is experiencing something pleasurable. It’s possible for this pleasure center in the brain to crave that same reward, and modify behavior so that the individual is engaging in this feel-good activity more and more.
The consequences of being addicted to chatlines can be severe. Not only can addiction lead to financial hardship, it can lead to you stealing or resorting to illegal means to fund your addiction. At charges of 95 cents a minute or even more, the charges can accumulate quickly– up to thousands of dollars. Such was the case of chat line addict Anthony Brumwell, who stole over fifteen thousand pounds from his 71 year old grandmother’s savings in order to fund his addiction. He was charged with fraud and attempted theft and was sentenced to over three years in jail. His grandmother faced eviction and her life insurance was revoked as a result of nonpayment. Brumwell was spending up to a thousand pounds a month on chat lines that were charging him as much as £2.50 a minute.
You can get help by consulting a psychiatrist or by going to sites such as http://www.slaafws.org and http://www.sa.org. The first is Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, a site affiliated with AA and the twelve step program. The second site is Sexaholics Anonymous, a site that provides information and allows you to search for meetups.
If you think you are suffering from phone chat addiction, it’s never too late to seek help. Try these resources if you are able. If you are not ready for that step, talk to a friend who can be supportive and encourage you and confide in a therapist if you see one. Consider getting a therapist as well, and look for meetings for sex or love addicts or general addiction in your area. With good resources, abstinence, and an increased understanding about your addiction, it is possible to break free and live a healthy life.