Experts: Answers Could Be Anything From Addiction To Ego

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The new Anthony Weiner scandal has reignited debate about sexting – why did he do it, even after a similar scandal cost him his job in Congress?

As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported Wednesday, the possible answers range from addiction to ego.

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Experts have opined in particular on Weiner’s much-mocked sobriquet that he used for his sexting escapade that ended last summer, “Carlos Danger.”

“Coming up with a name like ‘Carlos Danger’ is implying that there’s a seeking of danger,” said Dr. Harris Stratyner of the Caron Treatment Center.

Weiner was forced from his seat in Congress in 2011 after a sexting scandal. When lewd pictures first appeared, he claimed his Twitter account had been hacked – only to admit 10 days later that he had, in fact, sent the photos out.

But on Tuesday, the sexting allegations sprang up again, with claims that he had engaged in an online relationship with a 22-year-old woman after he left Congress. The new disclosures included two graphic photos — one pixelated, the other partially censored by the website with a chain of pink hearts.

The world has seen a charmed Weiner who seems to have it all, and a harmed Weiner who brought disgrace on himself. CBS 2 asked experts what’s really going on here.

Stratyner said repeatedly flirting with danger and feeling intense shame afterwards leads some to be diagnosed as sex addicts with obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

He said Weiner could be “needing to expose himself because there’s something that he’s not in touch with.”

Sex addiction therapist Puja Hall explained what sex addiction actually is.

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“Addiction by definition means lack of control,” she said.

Weiner has suggested he has had sufficient soul searching and professional attention, but mental health experts are not so sure. Without examining him they will only say he needs more self-control and self-awareness.

Prolonged therapy could give him that, experts said.

“Can you be a good mayor?” Hall said. “I think If you are in recovery, you can. I do think so.”

“Right now, you need to focus on your treatment, and maybe not have any major changes in your life, and then come back,” added Stratyner.

He said so many lives and careers are ruined by sexting, and hopes the Weiner scandals move others to get help.

Experts said many diagnosed sex addicts use grandiosity to cover their low self-esteem, and may have suffered unresolved traumas in their childhoods.

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