Developing healthy relationships is the goal for sex and love addiction recovery, and so programs that utilize approaches similar to the Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12-Step program have been highly successful. However, those who need more help work with professional mental health therapists that specializing in this field. By employing behavioral and cognitive behavioral therapy approaches, these therapists can help addicts understand the causes of their behavior and frame treatment programs that redirect behavior in healthy ways that lead to an understanding of how to develop healthy and fulfilling relationships.
If you feel you or your loved one must be placed in a rehabilitation treatment center for sex and love addiction, please call 888-373-5963 or fill out a patient placement form and The Way Out Recovery will aid in placement.
Sex Addiction Overview
Sex addiction has been called many things, like compulsive sexual behavior or sexual impulsivity. Because this addiction is characterized by a preoccupation with sex, and a strong desire for sex or to be in love, a sense of shame exists due to the inability to control sexual impulses. One major goal in recovery treatment is to examine and understand the underlying sources of addictive thoughts and behaviors so the patient can rediscover natural love and sexual expression, and transform their lives.
Mental health professionals have studied sexual disorders for many years, and have come to recognize the use of love and sexual activity as a means of avoiding or escaping personal problems, social stresses and other unpleasant emotions.
Signs and Symptoms of Sex Addiction
While some healthcare professionals are yet to describe some specific diagnostic criteria for various non-paraphilic sexual addictions, some researchers have suggested the signs and symptoms to be quite similar to other addictions. Researchers claim that the signs and symptoms of both non-paraphilic and paraphilic sexual addictions are similar to some other severe addictions.
To be precise, most sex addicts are considered to be suffering from a negative and unstable pattern of sexual behavior. This leads to some major problems, stress or depression. Certain signs and symptoms may include:
- A desperate need for more intensity or amount of behavior to achieve desired tolerance or effect.
- Psychological or physical feelings of withdrawn when the person suffering is unable to engage in addictive behavior.
- The person engaging in, making plans or recovering from this behavior for a longer term than planned.
- Unsuccessful or undesirable attempts to stop or decrease the behavior.
- Neglecting important work, school or social activities because of the sexual behavior.
- Continuing the sexual behavior despite suffering from psychological or physical problems because of the person’s unstable sexual behavior.
Effects of Sex and Love Addiction
There are many different number of serious consequences and complications of sex addiction. Some possible medical complications include sexually transmitted diseases, including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, Herpes and more. Some sexually transmitted diseases can be fatal, and cause severe suffering.
Some good examples of occupational consequences include decreased attendance and work performance because of the preoccupation and waste of time with the sexual addiction. If this kind of behavior results in unwanted sexual advances on other people, legal problems like rape perpetration or sexual harassment can cause problems. People whose sex addiction involves some kind of attraction to minors might even engage in child molestation.
Depending on the various financial demands of the sex addiction, the sufferer of a sex addiction may incur a huge debt or even engage in an illegal or unsafe activity associated with this behavior. Emotionally, people suffering from sexual addiction are always at a risk for terrible shame and guilt at their actions. They are also concerned about the secrecy involved. They are even more likely to experience separation, broken relationships, divorce and other challenges involved.
Abstinence is an obstacle in Sex Addiction
One major obstacle to treatment is that abstinence, a key component of most addiction therapies, is not a very realistic concept. Unlike the substance abuser who must stop using, or the compulsive hoarder whose goal it is to stop hoarding, expecting sex addicts to stop partaking in an essentially natural act is like to asking the overeater to stop eating. While in treatment, therapy must employ an approach that emphasizes redirection of these impulses towards expression in healthy ways in order to bring about feelings of well-being and increased self-esteem.
Sex Addiction Statistics
According to reports, more than 40 million people in the United States are affected by this condition. Reports state that over 25% of all major search engine requests are related to pornography. For a long time, sex has been the number one topic searched on major search engines. More than 15% of people who watch online porn develop sexual behavior disrupting their lives. Around 40% adults believe it’s more acceptable to look at pictures depicting explicit sexual behavior or nudity.