The Connection between Troubled Personal Relationships and Sex Addiction Development

Category : Sex Addiction Information

The Connection between Troubled Personal Relationships and Sex Addiction DevelopmentSex addiction is both a devastating issue and one of the most controversial mental illnesses people can face. The results can be crippling and the causes are often unknown, but certain patterns emerge between addicts: for many people, sexual activity becomes a way to self-medicate underlying emotional pain. For some people that emotional pain comes from troubled personal relationships, so for them sexual activity – an act that is supposed to unify people – actually isolates them further. If you struggle with problems in your relationships and feel compulsions for sex as a result, then seek professional help to begin your recovery.

How Sex Addiction Affects the Brain

Most human behaviors and responses are driven, reinforced and controlled by a system of chemical signals in the central nervous system. Certain experiences release chemicals that promote wellbeing into the endocrine system. The “pleasure center” of the brain recognizes these chemicals and uses its influence to encourage the experience that caused the pleasure. During and after sexual activity, these “feel good” chemicals are released into the bloodstream, so the pleasure center motivates people to continue seeking sexual activity. Similar responses in the brain drive the following behaviors:

  • Spending money
  • Exercise
  • Eating
  • Smoking
  • Lying or stealing
  • Physical pain (cutting, tattoos and etc.)
  • Hard work

Some people are more sensitive to these bursts of feel-good chemicals and become addicted to whichever behavior stimulates them. Some people are born with a biological predisposition toward behaviors like sex, while others become dependent on sex as a way of comforting themselves for the following issues:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Self-esteem problems
  • Personality disorders
  • Suicidal thought or actions
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Loneliness

The problem is that, instead of offering lasting relief, compulsive sexual activity makes people feel much more desperate, ashamed and lonely.

How Relationship Troubles can Cause Sex Addiction

The following relationship problems can increase someone’s risk for sex addiction:

  • Sexual abuse by a loved one
  • Emotional or physical neglect
  • Feeling unable to live up to a parent’s expectations
  • Exposure to sexually explicit materials at a young age
  • General loneliness or isolation

Many sex addicts are unaware of the underlying conditions that drive their behavior, but they do know that, no matter how hard they try, they simply can’t stop seeking sex, regardless of the cost.

Sex Addiction Treatment and Recovery

Many aspects of sex rehab resemble drug or alcohol treatment. Individuals must first “detox” by quitting the compulsive behavior and stopping the chemical reaction in their brains. After this step, which breaks the physical addiction, patients must then learn new coping skills to manage their cravings and temptations. This often involves a combination of counseling and education in an environment that provides accountability and security. This recovery can be accomplished in either residential or outpatient formats depending on each addict’s needs. This means that, if you struggle with compulsive desires for sex, professional treatment can help you recover.

Help Breaking Sex Addiction

If you struggle to control your sexual behavior, or are concerned about sex addiction in a friend or loved one, then please call our confidential helpline today. The admissions coordinators at our toll-free, 24 hour number will answer all of your questions and help you find the best treatment for your particular needs. In the process of breaking sex addiction, many people have also found healing for deep relational hurt or trauma, so call now, because there is hope for you.