How Does Rejection Contribute to Sex Addiction?

Category : Sex Addiction Information

How Does Rejection Contribute to Sex Addiction?The brain controls a wide range of critical functions through a system of chemical signals and responses throughout the central nervous system. Behaviors and experiences that cause the release of certain “feel-good” chemicals in the brain also mask underlying symptoms of emotional pain or distress. For some individuals this chemical reaction works like drug or alcohol dependence in the following ways:

  • The pleasurable behavior causes a euphoric “high”
  • That euphoria masks underlying pain (depression, anxiety, loneliness, boredom, etc)
  • The brain craves that relief on a constant basis
  • The individual develops a tolerance to the chemical changes in his brain, requiring increasing frequency and intensity in order to feel the relief he craves
  • The habitual behavior causes additional pain, stress, isolation, shame, and loneliness
  • Eventually no amount or intensity of response is enough to satisfy the addict
  • Behavioral addictions often lead to chemical dependency

Sexual activity is driven and controlled by this system. During and after sex the brain releases a combination of chemicals that cause relaxation, comfort, and relational bonding. In healthy adults this system encourages and supports emotional intimacy and fidelity. For some people, however, sex becomes like a drug that can quickly ruin their lives.

Rejection and Sex Addiction

Sex addiction therapists have identified the following cycle of sexual behavior that has much in common with any other chemical dependency:

  • A moment of pain, or “trigger”
  • The process of contemplating a comforting behavior begins
  • The addict engages in sexual behavior
  • The addict feels remorse, shame, and pain – triggering the cycle again

A number of experiences can provide the initial pain or trigger. One of the most common sources of compulsive sexual behavior is a feeling of rejection, isolation, or loneliness. Individuals who have experienced childhood rejection, abandonment, or abuse may face an increased risk of future sexual addiction as they seek that feeling of connection and comfort through pornography, prostitution, or compulsive masturbation. While their behavior may provide relief in the short-term, it usually leads to increased feelings of isolation and rejection, and the cycle repeats itself.

Treating Sex Addiction Effectively

Many aspects of sex addiction rehabilitation are similar to the treatment of drug or alcohol dependence. Addicts first abstain from sexual behavior through counseling and accountability long enough for their brain to re-establish a normal chemical balance. The more challenging aspect of recovery is the process of re-programming the brain’s pleasure center to function properly. This is accomplished through individual and group counseling, education, and the cultivation of healthy coping skills. Sex addicts must and can learn new ways to feel good about themselves. The process can take some time, but with the right help you can end the cycle of rejection, pain, and compulsive sex in your life.

24 Hour Sex Addiction Helpline

If you feel trapped in a cycle of addictive sexual behavior call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline right now. Our staff members are available any time of day or night to confidentially answer any questions you have and to connect you with the most effective recovery program for your unique needs. You have nothing to lose by calling. Don’t continue to endure this cycle of rejection and pain. Find the freedom you crave. Call now.