How D You Know When Sex Becomes an Addiction

Posted in When Sex Becomes an Addiction

Many people take for granted their own healthy sex lives. The importance of maintaining a physical and emotional connection with another person is a crucial part of a fulfilling life. What happens, however, when the physical overwhelms the emotional and sensation seeking overtakes someone’s life?

Sex addiction is defined as an escalating pattern of risky sexual behavior. In the early stages, the addict may become distant with family and friends and appear distracted from activities they formerly enjoyed. Inwardly, the addict may begin to experience extreme stress and anxiety, with a constant fear of discovery. The actions of the addict become increasingly reckless, with no real connection to the people with whom they share sexual encounters. While excessive masturbation and viewing of graphic pornography may not seem dangerous, this is often just the tip of the iceberg for the sex addict. The thrill of pornography leads to the acting out of such fantasies. A married sex addict may begin to engage in multiple extramarital sexual encounters, often in unsafe ways. Cybersex, phone sex, strip clubs and having sex with prostitutes are not uncommon occurrences. The addict may feel extreme guilt, as their actions do not portray their true feelings, morality, values or beliefs. Even in that knowledge, they are unable to stop on their own. Acting out in their addiction often will lead to financial consequences, separation or divorce, the loss of employment, among the potential physical consequences of their actions, such as HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Hitting rock bottom, and having a realization that they are now alone, can lead to their seeking out treatment and healing.

Like other addictions, healing can only come with the acceptance that they are helpless to overcome on their own, and the desire to change is key for success. There are several programs available to the addict, including traditional twelve step programs utilized for alcoholics and drug addicts. Learning how to control compulsions and institute a healthy form of sexuality is the targeted outcome for treatment. Counseling should be ongoing, with not only the addict participating, but also family and close friends. In some people, the use of psychiatric medication can be implemented to help control behavior and to regulate certain important chemicals within the brain of an addict. While there is no simple cure for any addiction, there are effective treatment options available for those who truly seek to change.

Yes its Possible: How to Overcome Sex Addiction

Posted in How to Overcome Sex Addiction

Having a strong desire for sex is a positive, normal part of being a human. However, it is possible to develop a sex addiction. Like other types of addiction, sex addiction features compulsive behavior.

Sex addiction has a negative affect on both the addicted person and those around him. A sex addict feels a rush when participating in a sexual act. Over time, the intensity must be increased to feel the same rush. Sex addicts often engage in unsafe sexual acts, so they are at a high risk for sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. It is also common for a sex addict to engage in illegal sexual practices such as indecent exposure or public sexual activity.

If you suspect that you have a sex addiction, it is vital to seek professional help. You need to realize that your behavior is the result of an addiction and treat this disorder with the same seriousness as a drug or alcohol addiction.

It is much more difficult to overcome a sex addiction if you do not have support. Seek support from others who are dealing with the same issues. Sex Addicts Anonymous is a nationwide recovery program that brings sex addicts together for contemplation and support. These groups normally meet on a weekly basis as part of a 12-step recovery program. It is important to attend meetings regularly for accountability.

You should also make an appointment with a professional psychologist or psychiatrist to discuss your sex addiction. A professional therapist will give you tools to help you fight and overcome your addiction. A sex addiction can be a result of other underlying mental issues such as depression or bipolar disorder. If necessary, the therapist can prescribe prescription drugs to help restore your mental balance.

Although it can be difficult to admit you have a sex addiction, you should be honest with your family and close friends. You will need the support of those closest to you to overcome your addiction. Your sex addiction affects those who care about you, so your loved ones might need professional help in overcoming their issues as well.

Sex addiction is a serious problem, but you do not need to feel hopeless. There are many resources available to help you overcome your addiction and live a healthy lifestyle. Admitting that you need help is the first step to recovery, so do not be afraid to share the truth about your addiction with people who can help you.

Sex Addiction: Symptoms and Treatment

Posted in Symptoms of Sex Addiction

Sex addiction is a progressive disorder defined by compulsive thoughts and acts of a sexual nature. As with all addictions, its destructive impact on the addict grows more severe as the disorder progresses. Although there is no official clinical diagnosis for sex addiction, there are characteristic symptoms that define the disorder.

People suffering from sex addiction may frequently engage in sex more often and with more partners than they intended. They may have a preoccupation with or persistent craving for sex but feel unable to limit their sexual activity. People with sex addiction also generally devote a considerable amount of time to activities related to sex, including finding partners or browsing the Internet for pornography. When the addict is cannot obtain what is desired, he or she may become irritable or frustrated.

These symptoms may cause significant consequences for the addict. He or she may neglect obligations like school, work or family while pursuing sex or ignore the health and personal risks of engaging in compulsive sexual behavior. As the disorder progresses, many sex addicts find themselves needing even more frequent sexual activity to satisfy their craving.

There are a number of treatment options available for people struggling with sex addiction. Most programs use an approach similar to that of chemical dependency treatment. Programs may include 12-step meetings where addicts can share their experiences with others suffering from the same disorder. Addicts work the steps in an effort to overcome their dependence on sexual activity.

Many programs also feature individual counseling that helps the addict understand the underlying causes of his or her dependence. Through these sessions, addicts also discover the triggers that spark compulsive behavior and gain the skills they need to deal with these triggers in a healthy way.

Education about addiction and compulsive behavior may also be a component of treatment. Addicts learn how the cycle of addiction works and acquire the skills needed to break that cycle. They may also learn about the health risks associated with sexual addiction, such as unwanted pregnancy and sexual transmitted infections.

Unlike treatment for chemical dependency, the aim of sexual addiction programs is not lifelong chastity. Instead, treatment focuses on expressing sexual desires in a healthy manner. During the initial stages of treatment, patients are advised to restrain from sexual activity as they learn to better manage their compulsions. Following treatment, many patients enroll in aftercare programs that help them stay on track living healthier lives.

How To Know When Sex Becomes An Addiction

Posted in When Sex Becomes an Addiction

The average individual possesses a natural and inherent need for regular intimacy and sexual stimulation. The proliferation of sexual imagery in advertising and via nearly every form of media, however, has served to hyper-sexualize children and adults alike, creating generations of people who often think about sex on a near constant basis. Sex is at the heart of nearly all marketing endeavors and it is what keeps theater seats packed and high-priced fashion items rolling off the shelves. The less than conscious awareness that many people maintain of both the subtle and not-so subtle imagery that is a constant part of living in the modern world can make it difficult to discern when sexual attractions, attentions and actions become problematic. Learning how to identify and address sexual addiction, however, is vital for maintaining a whole and healthy existence in a world filled with sexual distraction.

Damaging Personal Relationships With Impulse Decisions

Acting on sexual impulses is perhaps the defining characteristic of sexual disorder, as this usually means that an individual loses all inhibitions when erotically or otherwise sexually motivated. Acting on impulses of this nature becomes especially dangerous when people feel motivated to harm themselves or harm others in a sexual fashion such as through the pursuit of non-consensual sex acts or the performance of demeaning acts on a known partner whose measure of consent is at best, dubious. These impulses are the basis of many sex crimes and the resulting criminal charges and sentences. When the need to act on harmful impulses overcomes the individual’s self-will, there can be a total lack of control. Each indulgence of this type can result in an even lesser ability to control one’s impulse actions in the future and may ultimately create a need for more aggressive behavior and an increased need for increasingly taboo stimuli.

The Consequences Of Making Sexual Decisions That Are Not In Line With Your Values

Self-preservation is another key consideration that those with sexual addictions must make. Consistently acting on desires or urges that are potentially harmful to self is another sure sign of addictive behavior. Sexually transmitted disease and the likelihood for unwanted pregnancies can both have a very detrimental impact on males and females alike. When impulse actions include the practice of unprotected sex, the risk associated with the and individual’s life choices increases significantly. The harmful effects can be exponential when there are multiple partners involved in the equation, or monogamous relationship commitments that are broken. Thus, partners of sexual addicts will have a much increased likelihood of contracting reproductive diseases, even when they remain personally dedicated to lifestyles of monogamy. While few couples aggressively address individual sexual impulses or addictions until the consequences of these are too glaring to ignore, the potential for contracting disease makes these conversations both urgent and necessary.

How to Overcome Sex Addiction

Posted in How to Overcome Sex Addiction

Sex addiction is a progressive disorder marked by compulsive acts and thoughts of a sexual nature. People with this type of addiction tend to have unusually high sex drives and may be obsessed with sex. The addict’s mind is unusually preoccupied with thoughts of sex, making it difficult to maintain or foster healthy relationships.

The distorted thinking of sex addicts rationalizes or justifies their compulsive behavior. Most addicts deny any problem with their actions and may make excuses for their behavior. People with sex addiction often engage in high levels of sexual activity and may ignore the potential health and personal risks of such behavior.

Sex addicts may compulsively masturbate, have extra-marital affairs, engage in sexual activity with multiple partners outside of a relationship, view pornography often and engage in sex with prostitutes. They may also engage in exhibitionist or voyeuristic behavior. These acts are often done in an effort to satisfy an insatiable sexual craving. The disorder is characterized as progressive because the sex addict is rarely satisfied and must pursue more and more sexual stimulation to achieve the same results.

Overcoming sex addiction is similar to breaking a chemical dependency. Treatment focuses on helping the addict learn to control his or her impulses and develop a healthy sexuality. During treatment, addicts may attend individual counseling sessions that uncover the underlying causes of the sexual dependence. These sessions also help the addict identify triggers that may lead to unhealthy and compulsive behavior. The addict then works with a professional counselor to develop alternative and healthy reactions to these triggers.

Group therapy is another common component of treatment for sex addiction. Through group counseling sessions, addicts learn that they are not alone in their struggle to overcome sexual dependency. Group members share their experiences in a safe environment and learn from the stories of other addicts.

12-step programs may also be beneficial to people struggling with sex addiction. Throughout the steps, addicts learn the skills they need to overcome their addiction and lead healthier lives. A sponsor guides the addict through the recovery process so he or she may in turn help others in the future.

Different Symptoms of Sex Addiction

Posted in Symptoms of Sex Addiction

Sex is an activity that most people find enjoyable, but for some, sex can become an addiction. Sex addiction can affect men and women alike, consuming their thoughts and making them exhibit compulsive and often unhealthy behaviors. This addiction can lead to issues in an addict’s personal relationships, in their work life, and even with the law. How do you know if you are a sex addict?

There are numerous habits and behaviors that are associated with sex addiction. An addict may have a few symptoms or numerous symptoms, and these include:

- a compulsive desire to masturbate
- having multiple sex partners, including participating in marital infidelity and sex with strangers
- hiring prostitutes for sex
- regular use of pornography
- participating in acts of sexual harassment, rape, molestation, voyeurism, or exhibitionism

Those who are sex addicts often think about sex constantly, and they get very little satisfaction from participating in various sexual acts. They may also feel that they participate in these acts unwillingly, and as if they were compelled to perform the acts.

Sex addicts do not just always want sex from their partner, which is a common complaint that those in a relationship have of their partner. Instead, they seek out sexual contact in ways that can be harmful to themselves as well as to others. They may participate in risky or unsafe sex acts with unknown partners. They may leave work early to pursue a sexual lead from an online personal ad. They may act inappropriately toward others in a sexual way. Such acts may be illegal, may put their job or personal relationships in jeopardy, or may risk their own health and well-being.

If you believe you may be a sex addict, reaching out for help is the first step toward overcoming your addiction. It can take a long time for a sex addict to realize he or she has a problem with sex; acknowledging the issue is a great first step toward overcoming the addiction. There are numerous ways to treat the addiction, but in most cases, treatment involves promoting a healthy sex life in the individual. This may be achieved through couples or marital counseling, individual counseling, joining Sex Addicts Anonymous, and other forms of treatment. If the sex addiction is determined to be related to an underlying obsessive compulsive disorder, prescription medications may be prescribed as part of the treatment plan.

When Sex Becomes An Addiction

Posted in When Sex Becomes an Addiction

As harmful to a person’s mental and physical health as any chemical or alcohol addiction, sexual addiction wille eventually destroy family relationships, marriages and lifelong friendships unless recognized and successfully treated. Addiction to sex is also frequently co-morbid with drug and/or alcohol addiction and presents an array of complex and deep-seated psychological issues requiring intensive cognitive behavioral counseling with trained therapists.

Signs of Sexual Addiction

Certain behaviorial patterns exist in the life of someone who may be addicted to sex. These include:

Preoccupation with sexual fantasies and masturbation to the point of alienating family and friends
Engaging in frequent and inappropriate seductive behavior
Repeated infections with STDs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis
Engaging in voyeurism to feel sexually aroused (viewing pornography, secretly videotaping someone in the act of having sex)
Participating in simultaneous multiple sexual relationships without regard for partners’ feelings
Frequent sexual activity involving anonymous partners
Spending large amounts of money for sex (prostitutes, phone sex) or trading drugs for sex

People who are suffering from sexual addiction experience problems remaining employed because they feel compelled to pursue sexually addictive behaviors that preclude any other responsibilities. Additionally, many sex addicts possess criminal records due to repeated arrests for solicitation, indecent exposure or drug possession, which makes it harder for them to find jobs. As a result, sexual addicts often find themselves homeless, ostracized by family members and living on the fringes of society.

Treatment Methods

Treating sexual addiction involves methods similar to other addiction recovery programs. Addicts will need to realize the addiction exists, participate in support groups comprised of other sexual addicts, regularly attend counseling sessions with a professional addiction therapist and take antidepressants to help relieve the depression, anxiety and overwhelming compulsion to seek sexual attention and gratification. Couples who have been affected by one member developing a sex addiction should attend counseling sessions together in order to re-establish and strengthen the relationship.

Residential treatment centers specializing in sexual addiction are also available for those who may need to participate in a more structured environment. Intense therapy is often required to determine the underlying cause of the sexual addiction so that the person affected can fully comprehend and learn to cope with these self-destructive impulses.

How to Overcome Sex Addiction

Posted in How to Overcome Sex Addiction

Sex addiction may be the source of a lot of jokes, but for people affected by it, this condition is no laughing matter. It causes tremendous guilt and shame, not to mention it can result in failed relationships and marriages. Fortunately, there are ways to successfully treat sex addiction. Knowing the warning signs and getting help early can make a big difference.

Sexual addiction is the term that describes a person with an unusually strong sex drive or an unhealthy obsession with sex. Thoughts about sex will control the person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. As with other addictions, sex addicts often do not understand that they have a problem. They will blame others for their condition or create elaborate explanations to rationalize and justify their behavior.

Sexual addiction is very risky. Sex addicts engage in dangerous sexual behaviors, regardless of the potential consequences. It puts them at risk for physical injury or illness, as well as emotional injury. For some people with sex addiction, it results in them participating in illegal activities such as soliciting a prostitute or exhibitionism. Not all sex addicts become sex offenders, however.

The symptoms of sex addiction include: multiple partners, frequent sexual encounters, compulsive masturbation, phone and cyber sex, frequent and consistent use of pornography, participating in unsafe sex, sexual harassment, rape or molestation, voyeurism, and exhibitionism. Not every sex addict will have the same symptoms, or even all the symptoms, but will usually display more than one.

The first step for a sex addict to receive treatment is they must admit that they have a problem. Often this does not occur until a traumatic event, such as loss of a job or breakup of a relationship, forces the addict to admit there is a problem. Once the person can admit there is an addiction, treatment can begin and he or she is on the path to recovery.

Treatment for sex addiction focuses on helping the person control the addictive behavior and develop healthy sexual attitudes. Treatment begins with sexual education about healthy behaviors. The person will also receive individual counseling and martial counseling if applicable. Family therapy may also be used if the addict has a strong, supportive family environment. There are also support groups and recovery programs such as Sex Addicts Anonymous. A doctor may prescribe medications used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorders, such as Paxil or Prozac, to help in the recovery process.

More on Symptoms of Sex Addiction

Posted in Symptoms of Sex Addiction

For most people, sex is an intimate activity to be enjoyed as one part of a healthy lifestyle. For sex addicts, however, sex dominates their thoughts and actions to the detriment of their life and the lives of those around them. The question for many people is, where is the line? Here are some of the signs of sex addiction along with information on how to overcome it.

Sex addicts spend much of every day thinking about sex and how to get more of it. It’s normal to think about sex regularly, but it is a problem when sex becomes the focal point of a person’s existence. Often, this obsession results in compulsive porn viewing and masturbation to the exclusion of healthy activities. No matter how much porn the sex addict views, a craving for more remains.

To obtain sex, addicts will go to extraordinary lengths and take surprising risks to satisfy their urges. It is not unusual for sex addicts to spend much of their time looking for new sex partners at bars, clubs and anywhere else an opportunity presents itself. Even with strangers, the sex addict may be totally unconcerned with using protection to avoid STDs and pregnancy.

Severe cases of sex addiction frequently involve participation in unusual fetishistic sexual behaviors that are outside of social norms. These interests may rest at the fringes of what is considered acceptable behavior, but they are not so taboo that the addict can’t openly satisfy these cravings with plenty of like-minded sexual partners. At its very worst, however, completely uncontrolled sex addiction may involve taking part in criminal sexual behavior that results in prison sentences and alienation from society.

It is unusual for sex addiction to be the only pathological behavior exhibited by these individuals. Many sex addicts also deal with compulsive gambling and abuse of drugs and alcohol. This illustrates the fact that these compulsions share a common root inside the individual. The addictive behaviors are simply the visible manifestations of deeper problems.

When they are ready to change, addicts can benefit from therapy designed to help them better understand their behavior. In situations involving a spouse or partner affected by the addiction, couples therapy can be beneficial to help save the relationship and formulate a plan for long-lasting positive changes to the addict’s coping mechanisms. These opportunities mean there is still hope for individuals struggling with sex addiction.