How Trauma Fuels Sexual Addiction

Category : Sex Addiction Information

How Trauma Fuels Sexual AddictionModern medical and mental health professionals continue to uncover important facts about how trauma affects physiological and psychological health. While attempting to protect itself, the brain shuts down certain emotional functions during or immediately following trauma. This causes a psychological blockage that causes many negative side effects, including compulsive behaviors such as sex addiction.

What Is Trauma?

The term trauma refers to a wide range of experiences that cause extreme, negative reactions in the brain. The following events are all traumatic:

  • Combat violence on the battlefield
  • Being near explosions
  • Exposure to intense violence
  • Being the victim of a violent crime
  • Severe head injuries
  • The sudden loss of a loved one
  • Being victimized by bullying
  • Surviving a natural disaster

These events and others like them can physiologically change the chemistry of the brain, as intense spikes of adrenaline and endorphins are released into the bloodstream. They also cause a wide range of psychological repercussions, as the emotional core of the brain struggles to process all the feelings and thoughts associated with the event.

Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Trauma can cause posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which typically involves the following problems:

  • Panic attacks
  • Flashbacks
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Extreme irritability
  • Emotional or physical abuse of others
  • Anger management problems
  • General emotional instability

PTSD may affect people consistently or intermittently, so symptoms can flare up immediately after the trauma or even years later.

Sex Addiction and Trauma

A traumatized brain desires relief and will crave any behavior that provides comfort. For instance, sex releases trace amounts of natural, pleasurable chemicals into the brain, and this short-term relief functions similarly as drugs and alcohol. The brain then craves sexual activity in a way that is more powerful than rational thought. The result is often a sex addiction with the following characteristics:

  • Frequent and uncontrollable masturbation
  • Obsession with pornography
  • Sex with random partners or prostitutes
  • Abusive sexual behavior with loved ones

The problem is that the brain develops a tolerance to the hormones from sex, so addicts will need increasingly frequent and intense activities to achieve relief. If left untreated, this behavior will often escalate to dangerous sexual activity that can lead to accidental death. Sadly, sex loses its power to connect and bond people, so addicts are left lonely and permanently unsatisfied. They eventually find that no amount of sex comforts them. They may then become addicted to drugs, depressed or even suicidal.

Professional Help for Sex Addiction

If you wrestle with sex addiction and PTSD, please call our toll-free helpline right away, because we offer real help 24 hours a day. Our counselors can confidentially answer your questions about trauma, PTSD and sex addiction, and they can help you decide which recovery option is right for you. Specialized programs are available for these problems, so you need not suffer any longer. Don’t endure this painful disease alone; call us now and let us help you find the healing you crave.