Sex Ca­pers

Get help for sex ad­dic­tion

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

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.

En­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors:

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.

Parental dom­i­na­tion

– 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

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

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.

Psy­cho­dy­namic psy­chother­apy,

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.

Med­i­ca­tions

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 groups

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.

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