Does My Loved One Have a Sex Addiction?
Though many aspects of sex addiction remain mysterious to experts, modern medical and psychological experts understand more about this issue than ever before. While healthy people should have an interest in sex, compulsive sex addicts are not able to control that interest. They will find themselves engaging in increased sexual activity regardless of any negative side effects or risks to physical health or relationships. This is a terrible experience both for the sex addict and his or her family.
How to Identify Sex Addiction
Though there is not an official clinical definition of compulsive sexual obsession, the following are several commonly described symptoms of the disease:
- Constant mental fixation on sex
- An inability to stop thinking about sex
- Hours spent viewing online pornography
- Frequent and uncontrollable masturbation
- Increased sexual activity despite attempts to slow down
- Continued sexual activity despite negative effects on relationships, finances or personal freedom
- Irritability when not able to engage in sexual activity
- Insatiable appetite for sex
- Neglecting responsibilities such as school, career or family in lieu of sex
If three or more of these symptoms describe your loved one, he or she may have a sex addiction. Controlling sex addiction will require professional help.
Treatment for Sex Addiction
The most successful sex addiction treatment centers treat this disorder in a similar way to drug or alcohol abuse. Some of the therapeutic treatments that have proven most effective for long-term recovery include the following:
- Extensive education about sex addiction that can help instill an understanding of the disease, its triggers and its treatability
- Couples therapy to address specific issues related to intimacy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to identify obsession triggers and to change thought patterns
- Support group meetings
- Removal from access to provocative materials
- Increased behavioral accountability
- Talk therapy to help the addict process the disease and its roots
- Medication such as antidepressants can provide relief for some individuals
- Caring and experienced spiritual support in a confidential environment
Sex Addiction and Substance Abuse
Sex addiction is rarely the only issue troubling an individual. Substance abuse and sex addiction often co-occur, and some sex addicts experienced physical or emotional abuse in the past. Some sex addicts turn to substance abuse in order to cope with the anxiety they deal with as a result of their sex addiction. Many of the best substance abuse facilities also offer sex addiction treatment as well. The most effective programs will fully integrate chemical and behavioral addiction treatment into any recovery plan.
Get Help for Your Loved One with a Sex Addiction
If left untreated sex addiction can ruin relationships, careers, personal health and the joy of life. If you are concerned that you or your loved one may struggle with a sex addiction, please call our toll-free helpline any time of day or night. Our expert staff will gladly answer any questions you may have, and all information shared is confidential. Let us help you take the first steps toward physical, sexual and emotional health. Call today.
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