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While psychologists have not been able to arrive at a clear definition of sex addiction, the term is believed to refer to an inability to manage one’s sexual behavior. Sex addiction can be just as unbearable as drug addiction. At the best sex addiction treatment centers, clients receive treatment that is focused on solving any underlying problems that cause them to resort to sexual urges as a coping mechanism. In these treatment programs, clients are also counseled on how to achieve and nurture healthy, loving relationships.
Unlike drug or alcohol addiction treatment and rehab center, clients in the best sex addiction treatment centers and treatment for addiction are not encouraged to abstain from having sex entirely, but instead, they are advised to develop healthier ways of associating sex with relationships. In some cases, some clients will receive a combination of psychiatric medications and a 12-step support in their programs to ensure that the recovery is comprehensive.
Sex addiction, what is it?
According to the National Council on Sex Addiction and Compulsivity, sex addiction can be defined as the urge to engage in escalating and unrelenting patterns of sexual behavior without regard of the negative effects the behaviors have to self and others. In other words, an individual with sexual compulsion will continue engaging in weird patterns of sexual behaviors despite the negative effects such as divorce, health concerns, and financial constraints. Although sexual compulsivity is not recognized officially as a mental disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it is a real problem for quite some people. For many people with sex addiction problem, sex is a way of numbing certain painful feelings or avoiding boredom and feeling less lonely rather than a source of pleasure. When such compulsive behaviors start becoming part of an individual’s lifestyle, it is vital to seek professional help immediately from the best sex addiction treatment centers before the situation escalates.
What causes sex addiction?
It is believed that sexual addiction has a correlation with certain chemical changes that happen in the brain. Also, some researchers have suggested that lesions located in a particular area of the brain can cause compulsive sexual behaviors. Most people who suffer from compulsive sexual behaviors come from dysfunctional families or have a history of sexual abuse. Interestingly, most people with compulsive sexual behaviors have been found to have family members who suffer from other forms of addictions. According to a report released by CNN, 80 percent of people with compulsive sexual behaviors have experienced sexual abuse or emotional trauma in the past.
Signs and symptoms of sexual addiction
- Weird sexual behaviors brought about by financial and personal problems
- Frequent visits to sex-oriented environments such as strip clubs and adult bookstores or easily accessible online sex chat groups
- Engaging in frequent casual sex with or without the help of online porn platforms
- Masturbating compulsively with or without watching pornographic materials
- Spending several hours watching porn shows or other traditional forms of pornography
- Being involved in risky behaviors to obtain sex
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Having frequent one-night stands
- Inability to resist the urge to engage in weird or extreme sexual acts
- Prostituting or benefiting from the services of prostitution
- Developing feelings of guilt and shame
- Engaging in unsafe sexual activities
- Engaging in cybersex
In most cases, individuals who are struggling with compulsive sexual behaviors have made several attempts to control or manage their sexual addiction without success. People who are addicted to such sexual activities can spend a lot of their time trying to obtain sex. When sexual addiction becomes intense, it can interfere with the affected individuals’ social, work, and recreational activities. In worst case scenarios, the affected individuals can experience abnormal sexual rage disorder or get anxious, distressed and violent whenever they are unable to obtain sex.
Sex addiction and love addiction
Interestingly, it is easy to view sex addiction and love addiction as different expressions of the same misguided urge for a perfect sexual relationship. Just like other forms of addiction, sex addiction and love addiction center on recurring and compulsive actions that are initially meant to bring a satisfying, pleasurable reward. Biologically, the reward for a sexual activity is the result of increased levels of brain substances called dopamine and norepinephrine that occur naturally. Likewise, the emotional feelings of love are caused by increased levels of a brain substance called phenylethylamine that also increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. Therefore, people who are addicted to sex can eventually increase levels of these brain substances to the extent that their brain chemistry experiences devastating changes.
Similarities to other forms of addictions
Research has shown that sex addiction has certain similarities to other forms of addictions such as binge eating, heroin, or alcohol addictions. In other words, compulsively engaging in masturbation, sex, and other associated behaviors such as pornographic activities can eventually affect the brain’s reward center. Like people with substance abuse disorders, individuals with sex addiction disorders can develop tolerance to the effects of their sexual behaviors and develop a habit of wanting to engage in more sexual activities in order to produce pleasurable feelings.
Meaning, like people with substance abuse disorders, sex addicts may also use compulsive sexual behaviors as a way of coping with past mental health complications, traumatic symptoms, and life stressors. Furthermore, some sex addicts can use these sexual activities as a way of self-protection against vulnerable or close relationships with people close to them. This often happens to individuals who have experienced physical or traumatic sexual abuse in their past sexual relationships.
Best Sex Addiction Treatment Centers
While there is no sure-fire-way cure for sex addiction, it can be treated and managed effectively. In fact, if sex addiction is not treated or managed immediately, the affected individual will develop intense guilt and low self-esteem. This can also result in depression which can cause problems with family members and even become fatal in the end. In addition, one can experience other issues such as unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
Therapies for people addicted to sex
There is no need to struggle with sex addiction alone or to be shameful of the disorder when you can seek help and continue with your life normally. The therapies for individual addicted to sex are simply focused on controlling or managing the impulse to engage in sex. This can be challenging because sex is largely considered an important part of life. The therapy aims to control the compulsion of an individual to engage in unhealthy sexual activities that have consumed his or her life. Therapies such as cognitive behavioral, educational, and medication can help the individual heal completely.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is centered on helping the victims of sex addiction shift the focus of their thoughts. The best sex addiction rehab center will also provide the individual with tools and techniques to help them resist the unusual urge to have sex. These tools and techniques can help you or your loved one learn to control the impulse to have sex.
In cognitive therapy, individuals who have recovered from sexual addiction will be protected from relapse. This therapy addresses various underlying issues to help the individual avoid situations and triggers that elevate the sexual urges. And the healed individual can easily regulate or control those urges. This therapy program on sex addiction will also help the treated individual develop healthy and normal relationships.
The Holistic Sanctuary’s approach to best sex addiction treatment centers is based on different traditional and alternative therapies. We are the best sex addiction treatment centers and our treatment methods are designed to help individuals who cannot control sexual compulsion even when they want to, regardless of the underlying issues. We use treatment groups to help our clients heal from possible childhood physical and sexual trauma and individual psychotherapy for easing the feelings of loneliness, depression, and perhaps low self-esteem that may all aggravate compulsive sexual behaviors.
We at the Holistic Sanctuary have experienced therapists who have years of experience and skills in treating intimacy disorders and sex addiction issues and can help you or your loved one develop new or better coping strategies to alter the compulsive sexual behaviors. If sex addiction is hijacking your life, call our compassionate recovery experts to give you help today.