Depression, Loneliness and Sex Addiction

Category : Sex Addiction Information

Depression, Loneliness and Sex AddictionWhen experts take a deeper look into the behavior of a sex addict, they find that the addiction typically is triggered by past emotional pain or trauma such as the following:

  • Prior physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  • Feelings of shame throughout childhood
  • Obsessive or controlling tendencies
  • History of mood disorders like depression or anxiety
  • Poor self-esteem and self-worth
  • Lack of healthy relationships

These lasting emotional issues can make an individual more susceptible to sex addiction, and will resurface when triggered by present stressors such as anger, sadness, frustration, stress, loneliness and depression.

When an individual is unable to resolve these issues in a healthy manner, he or she looks for an escape. Sex can provide a temporary feeling of gratification or reward for the individual who is feeling depressed or lonely. The individual not only experiences the chemical rewards of sexual intercourse, but he is able to feel intimate and connected with another person, allowing the emotional pain to temporarily subside.

Because the sexual encounter provides a euphoric escape, an individual will continue this pattern of behavior the next time he experiences emotional pain. The sought out sexual encounters become the source of an individual’s happiness or wellbeing. If this behavior continues, sex addicts often disassociate themselves from their real emotions and relationships and concentrate solely on satisfying their sexual “needs” in order to justify their behavior.

How Sex Can Lead to Increased Feelings of Depression and Loneliness

Over time, one’s sexual encounters may escalate and become more risky in order to “top” the past experience. Because the underlying issues of depression, loneliness and shame still exist, the individual is unknowingly driven to self-medicate with sex. As a sex addiction progresses, an individual comes to find his feelings of depression, anger, sadness and loneliness have only become greater due the serious, harmful consequences of the addiction. The negative effects of sex addiction on an individual’s life include the following:

  • Risk-escalating sexual behavior – Having sex with multiple partners, anonymous sex, unprotected sex, and prostituting; increasing the likeliness of disease, sexual abuse, rape and unplanned pregnancy.
  • Remorse – Feeling shame, guilt and despair after a sexual encounter causing lower self-esteem and self-worth to the point of self-hatred, even self-harm.
  • Damaged relationships – A sex addiction can tear apart marriages, families, friendships and leave the individual even lonelier than before.
  • Poor quality of life – A sex addict can face severe legal punishments, poor health, financial problems, job loss and many other consequences that lead to an overall poor quality of life.

How to End a Sexual Addiction

It should be obvious that treating a sex addiction involves much more than just ending the compulsive sexual behavior. Quitting the addiction is certainly one goal, but addressing the underlying issues that have contributed to the addiction is just as important. In the simplest of terms, an individual must learn to make themselves happy and fulfilled without having to self-medicate with sex, drugs, alcohol or any other coping mechanism.

There are many treatment options available for sex addiction and its underlying causes, like depression and loneliness, including: education, counseling, marital or family therapy, psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, support groups, medications, alternative therapies and more.

Get Treatment for Sex Addiction and Depression

To speak with a professional about sex addiction treatment programs that are right for you, please call our toll-free number now. We’ll help you find the help you need to recover from sex addiction and related emotional and psychological issues. Our trained addiction counselors are ready to assist you with all your questions, concerns and needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.