Do I Have to Become Celibate to Recover from Sex Addiction?

Category : Getting Help

Do I Have to Become Celibate to Recover from Sex Addiction?Sex addiction is a process addiction, which is characterized by unhealthy compulsive behaviors. Other process addictions include shopping, internet, exercise and food addictions. The behaviors associated with these addictions are similar to drug addiction, including psychological withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Process addictions may escalate and begin to control behavior, leading to risky and unhealthy actions. When the behavior is stopped, individuals may experience anxiety, mood swings or depression that can keep them from functioning normally. Without treatment, these effects may escalate to the point of suicide ideation or drug addiction. Treatment for process addiction involves management of compulsive behaviors and emotions and education about new ways to deal with stress.

Sex addiction involves an unhealthy obsession with sex to the detriment of a healthy sex life and emotional relationships. Addicted individuals compulsively engage in sexual activities and often feel guilt and shame afterward. Treatment can help individuals regain control over their lives and sexual activity.

Sex Addiction Treatment May Require Temporary Celibacy

In the initial stages of sex addiction recovery, a period of celibacy may be required for treatment. This period is for patients to reflect and reconnect with their emotional needs without distractions. For many patients, this temporary celibacy forces them to face uncomfortable thoughts and emotions without using sex as a way to cope.

Treatment may not require celibacy for those who are married or in committed relationships. Depending on the situation, sex between partners may be encouraged with open communication. Counselors can advise patients on whether or not celibacy is right for them.

What Happens in Sex Addiction Treatment

The goal of sex addiction treatment is not to force individuals to go without sex, but rather to enable them to have healthy sexual activities. Sex can be a natural and healthy part of life when not abused. Patients learn to communicate emotionally without using sex. Past trauma or sexual abuse is often present in sex addicts, and dealing with these issues is a large part of treatment. Treatment for co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety may also help patients deal with stress and other problems without using sexual activity as an escape.

Find Treatment for Sex Addiction

If you think you might be addicted to sex, call our toll-free 24 hour helpline to speak with one of our counselors. We can answer your questions about celibacy and sex addiction and help you find the best treatment option for you. You can have a healthy sexual life again. Please call now.