When you think of sex addiction, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Is it a man with a ton of money and power? Is it a woman who’s just looking for love in all the wrong places? Is it a celebrity whose bad behavior has been splashed across the tabloids for years?
If you’re thinking about any of these things, chances are you don’t know much about sex addiction.
This addiction is a serious problem that can destroy lives and relationships. It affects men and women from all walks of life, but it’s often misunderstood. If you’re interested in learning more about how to recognize the signs of sex addiction and how to get help if you think someone you know might be struggling with this disorder, check out this guide for detailed information on what sex addiction is and how it can be treated at TBI.
Sex addiction is a condition where a person has an uncontrollable desire for sex, despite their negative consequences. These consequences can include relationship damage, financial problems, and even legal trouble. Sex addicts experience intense cravings for sexual activity and may engage in risky behavior to fulfill these desires.
Sex addiction typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood. It’s often fueled by childhood traumas and experiences with sexual abuse or other types of trauma that cause the person to have difficulty regulating their emotions and impulses. The condition is also more common among men than women—about four times as many men are diagnosed with sex addiction than women.
The symptoms of sex addiction include:
With the basics out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the sex addiction treatment options we offer. There are many different types of treatment available, including psychotherapy and medications. Although there is no official cure for sex addiction, treatment can help you manage your symptoms and prevent them from interfering with your life.
Inpatient treatment programs are a great option for those who have already tried outpatient treatment and want to try something more intensive. Inpatient programs can be found at places like residential treatment centers and hospitals, but they’re also available in specialty facilities dedicated to treating sex addiction. The goal of this kind of program is to help you learn how to manage your sexual impulses so you can live a healthy life free from sexual compulsions and behaviors. You’ll have plenty of time during the day to talk with therapists, attend classes on topics like stress management, learn about healthy relationships, and work through any other issues that may be contributing to your addiction.
Inpatient treatment programs typically last between 30 and 90 days—depending on the severity of your addiction—and some may even be longer. During your stay in an inpatient program, you’ll receive individual therapy sessions as well as group counseling sessions intended to help you build skills that will help keep you from acting out sexually again once you leave the facility. You’ll also likely participate in activities designed specifically for treating sex addiction such as art therapy or meditation sessions where talking about what triggers your urges might feel too difficult or painful at first glance.
12-step programs are a central part of the recovery process for sex addiction and other compulsive behaviors. They’re designed to help you develop a spiritual connection with a higher power and work with others who are going through the same thing. Here’s how they work:
You attend meetings regularly—often several times per week—and after each meeting, you spend time reflecting on what happened in your life that day and how you can apply what you learned at the meeting to your recovery process. The meetings are led by a sponsor, who is someone who has been in recovery for several years and has worked their way through the 12 steps themselves. They act as a guide for newcomers and support them through their journey.
In addition to attending meetings, people in 12-step programs often participate in activities outside of meetings that help strengthen their recovery. Examples include volunteering, reading books about addiction and recovery, meditating, or attending therapy sessions. These activities provide additional opportunities for reflection on one’s progress toward becoming sober and healthy again.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a great treatment for sex addiction, because it focuses on changing behaviors and thought patterns.
In cognitive behavioral therapy, you learn how to recognize the thoughts and feelings that lead you to act out sexually and then replace those thoughts with healthier ones. For example, if you find yourself thinking that no one will love you unless they have sex with you, then your therapist might encourage you to replace that thought with “I can be loved without having sex.” You’ll practice recognizing these kinds of thoughts when they come up in real life as well as during therapy sessions.
In addition to replacing negative beliefs with positive ones, cognitive behavioral therapy also teaches healthy coping skills for dealing with stress and anxiety. These skills are especially useful for people who have difficulty controlling their sexual impulses because they’re often triggered by stress or anxiety.
Medication is a treatment option for sex addiction. Medication is not the first line of defense, but it can be used in conjunction with other treatments to help a person overcome their addiction.
There are many different medications that can be prescribed for sex addiction. Some of these medications are antidepressants, which can help reduce urges, as well as mood stabilizers and antipsychotics. Antidepressants are often prescribed because they can also help with low moods and anxiety, which are common in people with sex addiction. Antidepressants are typically taken daily for about 8 weeks before the full effects become apparent, so it’s important to stick with the medication during this time period if you’re considering taking an antidepressant for your sex addiction.
If you have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorders before your diagnosis of sex addiction, it’s possible that your doctor will prescribe an antidepressant without suggesting other treatments as well. However, if you’re not experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety at the same time as your sexual urges or behaviors (or if those symptoms aren’t severe enough), then you may want to consider using another type of medication instead.
It’s important to remember that no one treatment is right for everyone. If you’re suffering from a sex addiction and feel like you need to seek out help, please contact us today. The Blanchard Institute has experience in sex addiction treatment and we want to help you achieve a healthy life free of addiction and substance abuse.
Many people ask why they are addicted to sex and how did they become a sex addict. This question comes up when they realize that sex has more control over their lives than it should have. It is important to understand the why and how before you try fighting a sex addiction. The first step is understanding what type of sex addict you are. Sex addiction is formed from a wide range of experiences that take place in an individual’s life and can vary from patient to patient. Consult with a therapist at TBI today.
For many sex addicts, pornography combined with regular masturbation is the cornerstone. Many sex addicts have great difficulty getting sober from this combination of behaviors. The pornography with accompanying fantasy creates an unreal world that the sex addict visits throughout their adolescence and other developmental stages and creates an object relationship that conditions their emotional and sexual self to depend upon these objects and fantasies to meet their emotional and sexual needs hundreds of times before having sex with a real person.
How can you tell if you have a sex addiction or if you simply have a sex drive that is higher than most other people? If you have a high sex drive then you are happy with your sex life and partner, and do not take a sexual refusal as a personal rejection. You understand that your partner may not always be in the mood or that other issues may prevent sexual activity from occurring. If you have a sexual addiction then you will take a refusal as a personal rejection, and will react inappropriately. You may leave and find sex elsewhere to punish your partner, start a big fight, or otherwise react in an extreme way. It’s wise to seek out sex addiction treatment if you think you have a problem, contact us today!