Sex Addiction

Sex Addiction Explained

The best way to describe sex addiction is that it is a progressive disorder of intimacy which is characterized by sexual acts and thoughts that are compulsive in nature. A sexual activity can be said to be a result of sex addiction if it feels “out of control”. As with every other addiction, its negative effect on you and your family increases as your addiction progresses. As time goes by, you might find that you need to intensify your sexual behaviours to attain the same effect as before.

Sometimes, sex addiction does not necessarily go beyond compulsive sexual behaviours such as excessive use of pornographic materials. including computer and/or phone sex services, and obsessive masturbation. However, in some cases it can go beyond these behaviours and can be as severe as getting involved in illegal activities such as voyeurism. exhibitionism, and even sexual assault/rape on a child.

You might find that you depend on sexual activities to drown out any negative emotion that you are experiencing. You continually partake in particular sexual behaviours even when it is destroying your relationships and negatively affecting your health and financial status. This can, furthermore, have a negative impact on your quality of life, as well as the quality of life of those close to you.

Top Signs of Sex Addiction

If you are experiencing one or more of these signs, it is an indicator that you have a sex addiction. You will want to then get help and counselling.

  • You Are Living a Double Life

Lying about your whereabouts and what you do with your money does not make you a sex addict. However, if you find yourself making plans on how to spend your holidays with two different women and you end up achieving it, then you need to consider that you may have a sex addiction. If your sexual secrets are likely to have a negative influence on your life, if the people close to you ever find out about it, and you find yourself lying constantly to keep it hidden, then you must consider getting therapy for sex addiction.

  • You See People As Sex Objects

You may be a really good person who helps people in their time of need, and also pay attention to your spouse’s or partner’s needs. However, when it comes to sex, you view people as sexual objects who exist to satisfy your sexual desires. You don’t bother with them after the act is done, nor do you care about how they feel at all. You are ready to do whatever it takes to get them to do what you want.

  • Your Life Is Facing One Crisis After Another

Every aspect of your life is a mess because you give priority to sex. You find it difficult to focus on work because you are constantly thinking of the next co-worker you can get to have sex with you. You plan how to get your boss to have sex with you, and when you succeed with that, you are already thinking about the next employee to get naked with.

Your productivity at your workplace is not what it should be, which could lead to you losing your job. Even when you manage to stay employed, you are always low on money. You keep hiding your daily plans from your partner to enable you enough room to feed your sex addiction. Your relationships always end because of sex-related escapades.

  • You’re Constantly Fantasizing About Sex

You find it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand, for even a short a time as 15 minutes, without going off into a fantasy land in your mind. You are either fantasizing about sex, or you are having it. You feel ashamed after the sex, and to escape this feeling of shame, you go right back to fantasizing about it. You are caught in a constant loop of fantasizing about sex and having sex.

  • Your Desire For Sex Makes You Disregard Potential Consequences

You are having sex with your spouse’s best friend in the kitchen while your spouse is in the shower upstairs. You have spent the money for your rent at a strip club and yet you are making plans on the next woman to take out for sex. If you find yourself doing things that can jeopardize your life, even when you know the potential consequences your actions could have on your future, then you have crossed the line into addiction.

  • You Masturbate Every Chance You Get

You may masturbate up to four times a day, even at your workplace or in the classroom. You might even masturbate immediately after sex, not even minding how many times you’ve had sex that day. You end up masturbating 20 to 30 times a week, even when you don’t want to, and you find yourself feeling guilty when you are done.

  • You Feel Like You Have No Control And You Hate Yourself For It

You want to stop but you still end up doing it. You feel guilty and you may possibly cry at the end of every masturbation or sex session, but you can’t seem to stop, and you hate yourself for it. You hate that you have no regard for people as long as you can get them to have sex with you.

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How to Spot a Sex Addict

You can spot a sex addict by looking out for these tell-tale signs:

  • Constantly Running Late

You will notice a sex addict is constantly running late for appointments because they are preoccupied with sexual thoughts and materials. You are also likely to notice the individual does not have much interest in performing any activity that is not related to sex.

  • Obsession With Online Sex

If you go through the browser history of a sex addict, you will discover they spend most of their online time looking for sites where they can engage in phone sex, watch pornography, and have camsex with online escorts/camgirls.

  • Moving From One Relationship To Another

If you see an individual who rarely spends any time single, chances are they are suffering from sex addiction. A sex addict is a serial dater who will move from one relationship to another. The relationship usually ends because they are caught cheating.

  • Not Concerned About Unsafe Sex

They are not concerned about using a condom, even with someone they barely know or don’t know at all. If they are willing to get straight down to sex without worrying about safety and/or STDs, you have to consider the possibility that they also do the same with every other person they have a sexual encounter with. A sex addict does not think about the potential consequences of their sex-related actions.

  • Financial Secrets

Fetish shops do not normally give receipts, and prostitutes are not known for accepting credit cards. If your partner is hiding random unexplained expenses, or cashes a check and can’t explain where the money went to, these are also tell-tale signs.

The Causes of Sex Addiction

The reasons why you may develop a sexual addiction are not yet fully understood. However, many experts have notions that it is not caused by just one factor. It could be caused by both biological and psychological factors.

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Biological Factors

This school of thought believes that biochemical changes or abnormalities, especially those involving your brain, can affect the pathway of the parts of your brain involved in pleasure and reward. The pleasure and reward pathway has a connection to the judgement and rational thought area of your brain. This area is believed to be involved in telling you that your sexual behaviour is good, the same way it tells you that food is good whenever you are hungry.

Hormones such as dopamine and opioids are produced during sex. These are feel-good hormones that give pleasure and further make sex more appealing. This can lead to sex addiction because you will find yourself craving the feeling these hormones give you during sex.

Psychological Factors

Psychologically speaking, sexual addiction can be more about escapism than intimacy. You may see sex as a means of escaping the stressors in your life, such as work problems and family issues. This is similar to alcohol and drug addiction, where these substances are used for a momentary escape from the stresses you may be facing. However, this is usually followed by feelings of guilt and shame.

Studies have shown that you can have a sex addiction if you were raised in a dysfunctional family. If you suffered abuse early in life, you are more likely than individuals who didn’t suffer any abuse to develop a sex addiction later in life.

The Dangers of Sex Addiction

If your sex addiction is left untreated, it can leave you with a strong sense of guilt and shame which can lead to a number of complications, these include:

  • Development of anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression.
  • Increased chance of catching
  • It can lead to financial problems and the loss of your job.
  • It can negatively affect your relationships, leading to breakups. This can further worsen your feelings of depression.
  • You can find yourself facing lawsuits if your sex addiction involves illegal activities, or is considered disruptive, such as in the cases of voyeurism and exhibitionism.

The Challenges of Defining Sex Addiction

While it is normal for you to think that sex addiction will have a clear-cut definition, the truth is that it is not so easy to define what constitutes it. Addiction is basically defined as a result of a repetitive action or behaviour. This is easy to see if you abuse substances, such as drugs and alcohol, when you consume them several times in a day.

Sex addiction is difficult to define because engaging in sex is a normal human behaviour. The definition of what is considered normal sexual behaviour is changing every day, making it further more difficult to define sex addiction. In the past, fetishes were considered to be abnormal, but today this has changed. It has now been understood that there is nothing inherently wrong in certain sexual preferences.

If you have multiple sexual partners, you enjoy spanking and/or other kinks, it does not mean you have a sex addiction, as long as these behaviours are not compulsive. Sex addiction is not exactly defined by how much you have sex, how you have it, and how many people you have it with. Sex addiction is considered to be a product of a frantic attempt to fill an emptiness you might be feeling, chase a high, or an attempt to escape from yourself.

As you can see, these factors make it difficult to form an exact definition for sex addiction.

Sex Addiction vs. Porn Addiction

Sex addiction and Porn addiction are two completely different things. While it is easy for you to mistake them as being the same, they have their differences.

  1. As a porn addict, you have a higher chance of developing sexual performance issues as a result of chronic sexual overstimulation. This is caused by the constant viewing of pornographic materials. As a sex addict, you are less likely to face these
  1. If you are facing a sex addiction, you will need a partner. This means you will be a social individual, as you are constantly on the hunt for someone to engage in sexual activities with. As a porn addict, you do not need a sexual partner. All you need is to log onto the internet. As a porn addict, you are more likely to be reclusive.
  1. Porn addiction can be likened to gaming addiction. If you are a porn addict, it does not necessarily mean you will be the type of person who enjoys real sex. You can find yourself in the presence of real women and feel no arousal. This can be seen particularly in heavy porn users. However, as a sex addict, you will feel aroused in the presence of real women.
  1. As a porn addict, you may find yourself wishing for a girlfriend or boyfriend to share a sexual relationship with. As a sex addict, you want a variety of partners to have a sex with, and not just one individual.

Types of Sex Addiction

Sexual addiction can come in different forms, depending on what you personally find arousing.

Voyeurism/Exhibitionism

As a voyeur, you get pleasure from watching other people have sex. This is a very common type of sexual addiction in which your victims usually have no idea they are being victimized. You may hide and watch people having sex while you masturbate. In some cases, however, it can be a mutual agreement where you are allowed to watch them having sex.

As an exhibitionist, you derive sexual pleasure from “flashing” your genitals at people. This is usually done in public places. You can get caught and prosecuted for doing this, which in some cases increases the thrill of it and makes it more exciting.

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Paying For Sex/Trading Sex

While these two may sound similar, they are different. Paying for sex means you are paying someone else to have sex with you. In some cases this could be a prostitute. This is exciting as it gives you a steady supply of willing partners. Paying for sex can include paying for webcam or phone sex.

Trading sex is when your sexual addiction involves getting paid to have sex with someone. Payment might not be limited to money alone. It could involve favours such as for shelter, drugs, and food in exchange for sex.

Exploitative Sex

This is when you try to persuade someone into engaging in a sexual activity with you. The pleasure is derived from the feeling of being more powerful than your victim. This type of sex addiction includes paedophilia and rape.

Intrusive Sex

This is when you touch someone without their consent in a sexual manner. This is usually done in a public place so as to allow for a chance to escape if need be. This involves touching the breasts, genitals, thighs, and buttocks of the victim, or rubbing yourself against your victim.

Sadomasochism

In this form of sex addiction, you find yourself linking pain to sexual pleasure and arousal. You get sexual pleasure from inflicting pain on others, or having pain inflicted on you. This can be done with consent, or it may be abusive in which case your victim gives no consent.

Similarities to Other Addictions

Sex addiction is similar to other addictions such as food, gambling, and work addiction. These are called “process addictions”. Process addictions are non-chemical addictions which do not involve drugs or alcohol.

You will find that process addictions are not easy to recover from, because they revolve around the necessary and good things in life. You need food to survive, and gambling involves money which you need to take care of your everyday needs. This makes it a bit difficult considering these are things you have to deal with as a part of your regular life.

Sexual addiction is similar to other addictions, such as alcohol and drug addiction, because it involves the continuation of an activity regardless of its potential negative consequences. You will be uncomfortable and disoriented when the activity or behaviour is not carried out. If you have a process or chemical addiction, you have little or no control over your compulsion to engage in them, no matter how hard you try to stop. You then find yourself feeling guilty and ashamed after engaging in them.

Similarities Between Being Addicted to a Drug and Addicted to Sex

According to a study published by researchers from Cambridge University, Britain, there is a similarity in the brain activity of a drug addict and a sex addict. The study showed that three regions in your brain are more active when you are addicted to drugs or sex, as compared to your brain if you are not addicted. These regions include the dorsal anterior cingulate, ventral striatum, and the amygdala.

The amygdala is involved in the processing of emotions and events, including the significance of these emotions and events. The dorsal anterior cingulate is implicated in drug cravings and anticipation of reward, while the ventral striatum is implicated in motivation and reward processing.

Another similarity is that the pursuit to satisfy the craving for sex, or the desire for drugs, is so strong that you ignore the negative impact it may have on your life. You can find yourself ignoring your family or work just to satisfy a craving. The satisfaction of the craving thereby ends up leaving you feeling depressed and helpless.

Sex Addiction and Substance Abuse

It has been found that there’s a link between sexual addiction and substance abuse. They are both fed by the need to stimulate the brain’s pleasure and reward centre. It is the chemicals released by your brain during and after sex that makes you crave sexual activities. However, after the high is gone, you find yourself filled with feelings of regret, shame, and guilt. These feelings can be unbearable and can lead you to substance abuse as a way of dealing with, and escaping from, these feelings.

It is not uncommon for sexual addiction to lead to substance abuse, and vice versa. These two addictions feed off each other. If you abuse drugs, you may find yourself engaging in sexual behaviours you normally would not want to engage in when you are not high on drugs. This link between substance addiction and sex addiction has also been found to occur if you do not have the necessary tools to deal with trauma or psychological abuse you suffered at some point in your life.

Sex Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

Although sexual addiction has not yet been medically classified as a recognised mental disorder, it is becoming widely recognized as a mental disorder that requires adequate treatment and assessment. Sex addiction can occur alongside other mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, or it can predispose you to developing these mental disorders.

How is Sex Addiction Linked to Mental Illness?

Sex addiction can affect your quality of life by negatively affecting your relationships, financial status, and job. This can in turn lead to the development of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and substance abuse. Therefore, it is quite common to experience sexual addiction alongside one or more mental illnesses.

Mental illnesses on the other hand can also lead to sex addiction. If you are suffering from feelings of depression and anxiety, you may turn to sex as a way to make yourself feel good and escape these negative feelings. This will eventually lead to compulsive sexual behaviour.

Cognitive impairments, such as autism and ADHD/ADD can lead to sexual addiction. They can reduce your ability to understand, respond to, and create normal emotional connections, and this can lead to compulsive sexual behaviour. If you have a sex addiction, you do not care about having an emotional connection with the people you engage in sexual activities with. It is easy, therefore, to see how cognitive impairments that affect emotional understanding can lead to sex addiction.

Sexual Addiction or Advanced Libido?

It can be challenging to distinguish between having a sex addiction and having a high libido. However, these features can help you figure out if you have a sex addiction or just a high libido:

  • If you are consistently failing to control your sexual behaviour, that means you have a sex addiction. This lack of self-control can lead to feelings of shame and guilt. Having a high libido, on the other hand, means you feel fulfilled after engaging in sexual activity, without the feeling of guilt and shame.
  • If you find yourself continuing with a particular sexual behaviour even when it is causing you harm or negatively affecting your life, this shows you have a sex addiction.
  • If you have a sexual addiction, you will see people as sex objects needed to fulfil your sexual desire and fantasies. However, if you have a high libido, you see people as individuals with rights and boundaries, and not sex objects.
  • If you have a high libido, you will have a normal or fulfilling life where sex is just one part of it. Having a sexual addiction means your thoughts and desires revolve mostly around sex to the detriment of other areas of your life.

Emotional Symptoms of Sex Addiction

If you find that you, or someone you love, has a sex addiction, you might notice the following emotional symptoms or behaviours:

  • There may be detachment, in which you find that sexual activity gives you no emotional satisfaction.
  • You will have an obsession for attention. You will constantly seek to attract others, to be in love, and to have new romantic This can cause you to become easily involved with people emotionally or sexually, leading to serial dating. You may find yourself staying in unhealthy relationships for fear of being abandoned, or you might jump from one relationship to another for the same reason.
  • Feelings of shame, guilt, and low self-esteem
  • You may experience a sexual rage disorder, in which you become restless, anxious and distressed if you do not partake in your sexual addiction.
  • Feelings of emptiness or being incomplete when you are alone.

Physical Symptoms of Sex Addiction

Sexual addiction has many physical side effects. However, the physical symptoms of this disorder are quite few. The most common physical symptom you might experience as a result of sexual addiction is a feeling of weakness, laziness, or immobilization as a result of constant sexual thoughts and obsession.

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Effects of Sex Addiction On The Brain

Sex addiction has been found to have a pronounced effect on three regions of your brain, these are the dorsal anterior cingulate, ventral striatum, and the amygdala. These areas are concerned with behavioural cravings and reward anticipation, motivation and learning, and emotion processing, respectively.

The neurotransmitter known as dopamine is dominant in your brain if you are addicted to sex. This neurotransmitter is associated with motivation and reward feedbacks. This reinforces the desire to engage in compulsive sexual activities in order to feel a sense of pleasure and reward. This leads to a lack of control over sexual impulses.

Sex Addiction Treatment

Rehabs for sex addiction treatment can take weeks to months. They are similar to programs for the treatment and management of substance addictions. You will first be treated for any physical complications of your sex addiction, such as infections and diseases. This is then followed by counselling to help you identify the root cause of your sex addiction. Our specialists aim to help you abstain from any irresponsible sexual activities, in order to make it easier for you to form healthy relationships.

Sex addiction treatment services will often involve you facing any repressed memories of guilt, shame, and unpleasant life or sexual experiences that may have contributed to the development of your sex addiction. You will then be educated on the health risks and potential negative consequences of compulsive sexual behaviours. This is to help you know why working through your addiction is important. At this point you will be helped in deciding on a treatment plan to follow.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Following treatment, you will start experiencing withdrawal symptoms in about 4-7 days. These symptoms may be emotional, mental, physical, or a combination of all three at once. It is important to be strong through this period and avoid engaging in your addiction, otherwise you will find yourself experiencing the “abstinence violation effect”. This can lead to binging and addiction intensification which will leave you feeling worse than before. Withdrawal symptoms you may experience include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Sleeplessness
  • Boredom
  • Emotional and physical discomfort
  • Loss of interest in things around you
  • Hyperactivity
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Fatigue
  • Despair

These symptoms can vary in intensity. You might find yourself feeling hyperactive one day, and the next day you feel fatigued and unwilling to do anything.

Treatment Options

Treatment options depend on what you are comfortable with, and what your sex addiction is about. It can vary from drugs to counselling. Some treatment options include:

  • Individual Therapy

This is a 30 to 60 minute private session with certified specialists aimed at getting an understanding of your compulsive sexual behaviour, and identifying any disorders that may be occurring alongside your compulsive sexual behaviour.

  • Psychodynamic Therapy

This is a technique which uses the concept that unconscious conflicts and memories have an effect on our behaviour. This therapy tries to discover childhood memories and experiences that may be playing a role in your current sexual behaviour.

  • Group Therapy

This is led by certified specialists and is aimed at letting you know you are not alone in your addiction. It is encouraging when you go through treatment with a group of other people who are experiencing the same things you are. It is designed to help you replace destructive behaviours with positive ones.

  • 12 Step Recovery

This is a Sex Addicts Anonymous program designed to follow the Alcohol Anonymous 12 step program template. It is also a group-based treatment program designed to help you face your feeling of helplessness and live a life that is addiction free.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

This is also known as CBT. This is a school of thought that believes human emotion, behaviour, and thoughts are interconnected. Treatment using this technique is aimed at identifying and changing negative thoughts and behaviours into positive ones, through self-talks and other methods. It focuses on your current problem, rather than focusing on your past issues. This helps you shift the focus of your thoughts and behaviour, thereby reducing your impulse to have sex.

CBT sessions are usually carried out once a week, or once every two weeks with our specialists. Each session lasts about 30 to 60 minutes. The aim of this treatment method is to help you apply what you’ve learnt in your everyday life, enabling you to live a more fulfilling life.

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Sex Addiction Drug Options

Drugs used in the treatment of sex addiction are drugs that can reduce the impulse to engage in sex. Treatment with drugs can also involve treating co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant which act with neurotransmitters and are used in the treatment of depression. However, they can also be used in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorders, and can decrease the desire and impulse for sex.

Family Therapy

If you are married, sex addiction can have a serious detrimental effect on your marriage. You and your partner will, therefore, need to go through family therapy. At the beginning of therapy, it is advisable to go through individual therapy before engaging in couples’ therapy. This will give both of you the space and time to work through your personal emotions and issues, which may include anger, grief, sexual issues, intimacy issues, relief, and hope.

Family therapy can help you two support each other through the process. If you intend to do well as a couple during family therapy, you will have to both prioritize individual recovery, work towards connecting with each other by attending 12 step meetings, respect the commitment you two have made to each other, and accept that couple recovery will be challenging and will require commitment.

Inpatient and Outpatient Programs

Sometimes it might be necessary for you to go through an inpatient program. This program involves taking you away from your everyday life for a set period of time. It could be for a period of a month or more depending on what will help you recover faster. It is overseen by medical professionals and specialists, and involves both group, and individual therapy/counselling sessions.

Outpatient programs do not require removing you from your daily life. You can go about your normal daily routines while making time to attend therapy sessions.

Aftercare and Support Groups

After care and support groups are groups that support you after you’ve completed treatment. These groups help keep you from sliding back into addiction. There are recovery groups for men and women, where you can find support and encourage each other.

Support groups include:

  • Sex Addicts Anonymous
  • Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
  • Sexaholics Anonymous
  • COSA

FAQs

What Is Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction is a progressive disorder of intimacy which is characterized by sexual acts and thoughts that are compulsive in nature. Obsessive sexual thoughts have a negative influence on your ability to carry out routine activities, ability to work, and ability to maintain relationships.

What Causes Sex Addiction?

It may be caused by a result of the brain confusing pleasure responses for survival mechanisms. Sexual activity causes an increase in dopamine levels in the brain which triggers a feeling of pleasure. The midbrain, which is a part of the brain involved in behaviour, confuses this feeling of pleasure as a necessity for survival.

Another possibility is that the frontal cortex, which is the brain’s centre for morality and logic, is hindered by the midbrain.

Am I a Sex Addict?

To answer this question you will need the help of a professional. However, you can look out for these signs which will help you know if you are a sex addict:

  • You feel powerless over your sexual behaviour.
  • Your sexual choices are having a negative impact on your life.
  • You feel guilt, shame, and depression over your sexual behaviour.
  • You are so obsessed with sex, and thoughts of sex, that it is taking precedence over everything else in your life.
  • You keep telling yourself you will change, that this will be the last time, but you always fail to keep your word.

Is Sex Addiction Real?

Yes, sex addiction is real. It is now recognized as a legitimate medical condition, which can have serious life-threatening consequences.

Will My Insurance Pay for Rehab?

Yes, your insurance can pay for your rehab, although this may vary depending on your insurance provider. You need to speak to a professional to help you figure out how much your health insurance can cover in rehab and how to apply for it.

What Are The Types Of Sex Addiction?

  • Voyeurism/Exhibitionism

As a voyeur, you get pleasure from watching other people have sex. This is a very common type of sexual addiction, in which your victims usually have no idea they are being victimized. You may hide and watch people having sex while you masturbate.

As an exhibitionist, you derive sexual pleasure from “flashing” your genitals at people. This is usually done in public places. The prospect of getting caught increases the thrill of it and makes it more exciting.

  • Paying For Sex/Trading Sex

Paying for sex means you are paying someone else to have sex with you. In some cases this could be a prostitute. Paying for sex also includes paying for webcam or phone sex.

Trading sex is when your sexual addiction involves getting paid to have sex with someone. Payment might not be limited to money alone. It can involve favours such as receiving shelter, drugs and food in exchange for sex.

  • Exploitative Sex

This is when you try to persuade someone to engage in a sexual activity with you. The pleasure is derived from the feeling of being more powerful than your victim. This type of sex addiction includes paedophilia and rape.

  • Intrusive Sex

This is when you touch someone without their consent in a sexual manner. This is usually done in a public place so as to allow for a chance to escape if need be. This involves touching the breasts, genitals, thighs, and buttocks of the victim, or rubbing yourself against your victim.

  • Sadomasochism

In this form of sex addiction, you find yourself linking pain to sexual pleasure and arousal. You get sexual pleasure from inflicting pain on others or having pain inflicted on you. This can be done with consent, or it may be abusive in which case your victim gives no consent.

What are The Risk Factors for Sex Addiction?

While the exact causes are unknown, possible risk factors include:

  • Low levels of certain neurotransmitters(dopamine) in the brain
  • Psychological disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorders
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia nervosa

What are Sex Addiction Symptoms and Signs?

There are emotional and physical symptoms of sex. The emotional symptoms include depression, anger, shame, guilt, and an obsessive need for attention. Physical symptoms include laziness and immobilization as a result of unwillingness to do anything following sexual thoughts and fantasies.

Signs of sex addiction include an obsession with online sex, serial dating, no desire to form emotional connections with others, and a high secretiveness about sex life.

How Is Sex Addiction Diagnosed?

It is diagnosed by using the following questions:

  • Do you have a recurring inability to resist the impulse to engage in certain sexual behaviours?
  • Do you engage in a certain sexual behaviours longer than you intended over a period of time?
  • Do you spend an excessive amount of time seeking out sex, to the detriment of other aspects of your life?
  • Do you get angry, restless or upset when you don’t engage in a certain sexual behaviours?

If your answer to some of those questions is yes, then you have a sex addiction.

What Is The Treatment For Sex Addiction?

Treatment for sex addiction can be with drugs or therapy. Drugs used include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors which are a type of antidepressant that can reduce sexual impulses.

Therapy includes cognitive behavioural therapy, group therapy, individual therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. These therapies each have different goals, and they are used depending on which is best suited for you.

What Is The Prognosis For Sex Addiction?

It has a good prognosis. There can be total recovery if you are committed to your therapy and support group.

Can Sex Addiction Be Prevented?

It is possible to prevent sex addiction by avoiding the risk factors, such drug and alcohol abuse, and going for treatment when you experience anxiety attacks or depression.

What Are The Complications Of Sex Addiction?

Complications include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Getting STIs
  • Developing financial problems
  • Relationship and family breakups/problems

Are Support Groups Available For Sex Addicts?

Yes, there are support groups available for sex addicts. Rehab/treatment centres can easily help locate one for you.

What Research Is Being Done On Sex Addiction?

Research, such as the one carried out by the Cambridge University, Britain, are being done to understand the way sex addiction affects the human brain, and the emotions which are involved. Research on more effective therapies are also being carried out to enhance the effectiveness of treatment to better handle the symptoms and complications of this disorder.

The research has, so far, shown that the midbrain is affected in sex addiction and that chemical substances such as dopamine are involved in sex addiction.

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