Get help for sex addiction
Sex is a basic part of human nature, and it’s perfectly normal — and healthy — to have a vigorous libido. But there’s a tipping point — when sexual desire can go from being healthy to out of control.
How to Spot Sexual Addiction
A sexual addiction can manifest itself in many ways, so you will need to look for a variety of possible warning signs that you or your spouse or partner is a sex addict. Here are the following possibilities: Sex dominates an individual’s life to the exclusion of other activities. The individual engages in phone sex, computer sex, use of prostitutes, pornography, or exhibitionism. The person habitually masturbates. The individual has multiple sexual partners or cheats on partners. In extreme cases, the person engages in criminal activities, including stalking, rape, incest, or child molestation. They give in to their cravings irrespective of the possible consequences, but usually exhibit feelings of guilt and remorse afterwards. Their aim is not only to find pleasure but also to escape unpleasant feelings or to relieve stresses they might be under.
Reasons For Sex Addiction The brain:
It is possible that sex addicts have some biochemical abnormality; this is indicated by the fact that treatment with anti-depressants and psychotropic drugs has proven to be effective in some cases. It appears that, as with other addictions, sexual activity causes sensations that enter the brain’s reward system and cause a sense of satisfaction that is recorded in the memory. This same system is linked with human survival; it provides the memory and stimulus required to make us eat and reproduce. In the case of addiction, however, the system becomes overloaded, causing the sufferer to feel compelled to repeat the activity that has given the pleasure – sex, drugs, alcohol and so on. These cravings become so strong that they must be satiated.
While the brain might be responsible for creating the urges in sex addiction, the initial triggers for addiction can often be found in the background of
the sufferer. Researchers have found that in many cases sex addicts have grown up in dysfunctional families or claim to have been sexually abused as children. Among the factors that have been identified as possible causes of sex addiction are:
Growing up with addiction
– In around 80% of cases, it is believed that the sex addict has grown up in a family where there has been drug or alcohol addiction.
Early exposure to sex
– It is considered possible that early exposure to sex might cause changes to the brain that affect later behaviour. Trauma – A traumatic experience at a young age sometimes leads to drug or alcohol abuse and may also trigger sex addiction. This is especially the case if, at the time of the trauma, the child does not receive the support they need.
– In families where parents enforce strict control over their children leaving them effectively unable to deal with life’s challenges, the children can become addicted to sex.
Poor sex education
– If sex is regarded as a taboo subject or a child is made to feel that it is shameful or something to be regarded as secret, than the child is likely to find it difficult to regard sex as normal and will seek to hide sexual activity.
Poor role models
– Dysfunctional families and uncaring parents create an environment that can confuse a child’s emotions, meaning that in later life they are unable to cope with emotional stress and so try to find ways to help them through. This often manifests itself in the use of alcohol or drugs, or sex addiction.
Sex Addicts Can Be Helped
The endless cycle of sex addiction can be stopped. A firm commitment is the first requirement for change. Having the willingness to develop and follow through on a recovery plan is also necessary. Your plan may include a curative, nurturing, non-judgmental relationship with a therapist experienced in sex addiction, but one-on-one therapy alone isn’t enough. Sex addiction is about hiding and isolation. Coming out of hiding, and getting to know others is crucial to recovery.
Treatment for compulsive sexual behaviour typically involves psychotherapy, medications and self-help groups. A primary goal of treatment is to help you manage urges and reduce excessive behaviours while maintaining healthy sexual activities.
Treatment for compulsive sexual behaviour typically involves y, psychotherap selfmedications and primary help groups. A is to goal of treatment urges help you manage and reduce excessive behaviours while maintaining healthy sexual activities.
If you have compulsive sexual behaviour, you may also need treatment for another mental health condition. People with compulsive sexual behaviour often have alcohol or drug abuse problems or other mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression, which need treatment.
Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, can help you learn how to manage your compulsive sexual behaviour. Types of psychotherapy include:
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT),
which helps you identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviours and replace them with more adaptive ways of coping. You learn strategies to make these behaviours less private and interfere with being able to access sexual content so easily.
Acceptance and commitment therapy,
which is a form of CBT that emphasizes acceptance of thoughts and urges and a commitment to strategies to choose actions that are more consistent with important values.
which is therapy that focuses on increasing your awareness of unconscious thoughts and behaviours, developing new insights into your motivations, and resolving conflicts.
These therapies can be provided in an individual, group, family or couples format.
In addition to psychotherapy, certain medications may help because they act on brain chemicals linked to obsessive thoughts and behaviours, reduce the chemical ‘rewards’ these behaviours provide when you act on them, or reduce sexual urges. Medications used to treat compulsive sexual behaviour are often prescribed primarily for other conditions. Examples include: Antidepressants. Certain types of antidepressants used to treat depression, anxiety or obsessivecompulsive disorder may help with compulsive sexual behaviour. Naltrexone. Naltrexone (Vivitrol) is generally used to treat alcohol and opiate dependence and blocks the part of your brain that feels pleasure with certain addictive behaviours. It may help with behavioural addictions such as compulsive sexual behaviour or gambling disorder. Mood stabilizers. These medications are generally used to treat bipolar disorder, but may reduce compulsive sexual urges. Anti-androgens. These medications reduce the biological effects of sex hormones (androgens) in
Set up boundaries to avoid your unique risk situations. Stay off the computer or install software that blocks pornographic websites.
men. Because they reduce sexual urges, anti-androgens are often used in men whose compulsive sexual behaviour is dangerous to others.
Self-help and support groups can be helpful for people with compulsive sexual behaviour and for dealing with some of the issues it can cause. Many groups are modelled after the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
These groups can help you: Learn about your disorder. Find support and understanding of your condition. Identify additional treatment options, coping behaviours and resources. Help with relapse prevention.
Coping And Support
You can take steps to care for yourself while getting professional treatment:
Stick to your treatment plan. Attend scheduled therapy sessions and take medications as directed. Remember that it´s hard work, and you may have occasional setbacks. Educate yourself. Learn about compulsive sexual behaviour so that you can better understand its causes and your treatment. Discover what drives
you. Identify situations, thoughts and feelings that may trigger sexual compulsions so that you can take steps to manage them. Avoid risky behaviours. Set up boundaries to avoid your unique risk situations. For example, stay away from strip clubs, bars or other areas where it might be tempting to look for a new sexual partner or engage in risky sexual behaviour. Or stay off the computer or install software that blocks pornographic websites. Making these behaviours less private and more difficult to engage in can be helpful in breaking the addictive cycle.
Get treatment for substance abuse or other mental health problems.
Your addictions, depression, anxiety and stress can feed off each other, leading to a cycle of unhealthy behaviour. Find healthy outlets. If you use sexual behaviour as a way to cope with negative emotions, explore healthy ways to cope, such as through exercise and recreational activities.
Practice relaxation and stress management.
Try stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga or tai chi.
Stay focused on your goal.
Recovery from compulsive sexual behaviour can take time. Stay motivated by keeping your recovery goals in mind and reminding yourself that you can repair damaged relationships, friendships and financial problems.
Practice relaxation and stress . management Try stressreduction techniques such as meditation, yoga or tai chi.
The individual engages in phone sex, computer sex, use of prostitutes, pornography, or exhibitionism.