Addictive Personalities and Sex Addiction Development

Category : Sex Addiction Information

Addictive Personalities and Sex Addiction DevelopmentThe word “addiction” was originally used to describe an individual’s unhealthy psychological and physiological dependence on a chemical. As addiction has been studied and treatment strategies have developed, some experts have come to understand addiction as being, in essence, less about the chemical and more about the patterns of behavior that surround it. With this concept of addiction, sex can be the focus of an addiction as easily as a drug. The relationship with sex becomes an addiction when someone pursues sexual activities despite the following patterns:

  • Detriment to interpersonal relationships
  • Risk to health
  • Financial or professional loss
  • Inability to stop
  • A need to continually increase the amount in order to achieve the same effect

The patterns of behavior that can develop around sexual behavior can be similar to those that develop around alcohol, cocaine or heroin, and the effects can be similarly destructive.

What Is an Addictive Personality?

Some of the traits that comprise addictive personality include the following:

  • Difficulty with delaying gratification
  • Inability to control impulses
  • Tendency to abandon goals easily
  • Low tolerance for stress

An addictive personality is not a disorder, and having an addictive personality does not guarantee someone will develop an addiction. Addictive personality simply describes a collection of personality traits that are common among people who develop addiction. Carrying these traits makes someone more likely to develop an addiction in the same way that having fair skin makes someone more likely to develop skin cancer.

Personality and Addiction Development

All of these traits relate to what psychologists call the brain’s reward system. Rooted in the basic need of survival, this reward system pushes each of us toward activities that make us safer or healthier or help our group survive. This reward system in the brain makes it feel good to do good. Having sex, eating and even taking care of others all help further survival. Because of the brain’s reward system, they also feel good.

Shortcuts to Feeling Good

Most people’s lives proceed in harmony with the brain’s reward system. Alternating between working and rewarding the brain helps drive a life forward. Work is followed by pleasure, then work again and then pleasure.

Addictive personality traits, however, lead people to try to break the work/pleasure cycle. Instead, they try to find ways to bring in more pleasure and tear down barriers to it.

With drug addiction, the drug becomes the shortcut to the good feelings of the brain’s reward system. If these shortcuts are sexual activities instead, then the foundation of a sex addiction is in place. If the sexual activities start to interfere with normal life activities, a sex addiction is beginning to develop.

Sex Addiction Can Be Treated

Call our toll-free helpline to learn more about sex addiction. Whatever your personality, it is a problem you do not have to face alone. Our line is available 24 hours a day.