How Sex Addiction Limits Self Expression

Category : Sex Addiction Information

How Sex Addiction Limits Self ExpressionThe communication of thoughts, feelings and needs is of foundational importance to a person’s overall psychological health. The ability to externalize one’s deepest desires, fears, dreams and ideas is so important, in fact, that when that ability is stifled, it can lead to a variety of crippling effects, including depression, anxiety disorders, compulsive behaviors, substance abuse or even suicide.

The Psychological Impact of Sex Addiction

Self expression can happen through any of the following avenues:

  • Conversation
  • Confrontation
  • Intimacy
  • Creativity
  • Learning
  • Building community
  • Spirituality

Sexuality is a critical component of self expression that involves intricate chemical changes in the brain. Sexual activity causes the release of naturally occurring neurotransmitters in the brain that bring about feelings of belonging and comfort. Some people become chemically dependent on the spike of endorphins and other “feel good” chemicals brought on by sex. These people need increasingly frequent and intense sexual experiences as they build the same kind of tolerance to these chemicals as an alcoholic builds to alcohol. The following are some examples of the behavior exhibited by sex addicts:

  • Constant masturbation
  • Uncontrollable use of pornography
  • Dishonesty with loved ones about sexual activity
  • A need for increasingly intense sexual experiences that can be dangerous or even fatal
  • Use of prostitutes
  • Sexual abuse of others

Eventually, constant, uncontrollable sexual activity fails to satisfy the cravings of the sex addict, and he or she is left lonely, desperate, depressed and ashamed. Sex addicts often turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of self-medicating the intense anxiety and depression the disease causes. Ultimately, sex addicts find that their ability to express themselves in any meaningful way has been completely overrun by their need for sexual gratification. The resulting isolation and depression can be deadly.

Finding Freedom from Sex Addiction

Sex addiction can be effectively treated through a rehabilitative process that is not dissimilar to the process of treating drug or alcohol addiction. Specialized programs help patients to detox from their compulsive behavior and to learn new, healthy ways of stimulating feelings of comfort and peace of mind. Exploring alternative forms of self expression can be an important part of this process. Many recovering sex addicts benefit from the therapeutic application of creative expression in the following forms:

  • Arts therapy
  • Adventure therapy
  • The development of healthy communication skills
  • The formation of new friendships with others who understand the struggle
  • Opportunities to serve others
  • Exercise and nutritional support

If you are wrestling with sex addiction or if you are concerned about the sexual behavior of a spouse or loved one, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer questions about the relationship between self expression and sex addiction. They can also connect you with specialized treatment programs designed to help people find freedom from this crippling disease.