Some people think sex addiction isn’t even a real condition, however, 10% of men and 7% of women report that their sexual thoughts and impulses negatively affect their daily life. That signifies a dysfunctional condition.
Unfortunately, sex addiction is not a common topic of discussion. As a result, those suffering from the condition often feel alone.
To find out more about treating this condition, check out the guide below.
What Is Sex Addiction?
Any addiction is identified as a dependency on something, and this dependency has a negative impact on normal life functions. For sex addiction, this may be a dependency on:
- The hiring of sex workers
- Accumulation of partners
- The sense of pleasure from sex acts
Sex addiction is often diagnosed with another condition, like obsessive-compulsive disorder or bipolar disorder.
The Recovery Process
The recovery process typically occurs in stages, although healing is not linear and the stages may occur out of order. The general model involves:
- Preparing for recovery
- Possibility of relapse
This process can by cyclical, or some stages can be repeated individually.
For some addicts, holistic treatments work best. They focus on the whole body rather than just individual symptoms. Some examples of these treatments are:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
For example, stress management therapy can involve things like journaling or spending time in nature. All of these options can help program healthy coping mechanisms to employ in difficult times instead of the destructive actions sex addiction encourages.
In film and TV, 12-step programs are often the method of recovery for characters experiencing addiction. S-Anon, at sanon.org, is one of the most well-known 12-step programs for sex addiction.
All 12-step programs generally follow the same steps, which involve admitting powerlessness over the addiction and giving oneself over to a higher power. You can read more about it here.
Severe cases of sex addiction, especially ones posing a risk of harm to oneself or others, may require an in-patient program.
These programs can be expensive as they usually last for one month or more and involve the patient living in a facility. Typically, the facility will provide daily enrichment activities, group therapy, and individual therapy.
Some sex addicts may benefit from the use of medication. Since sex addiction is often comorbid with other conditions, treating the accompanying condition with medication can help alleviate the sex addiction.
Anti-depressants, for example, often lower libido and can help lessen the urges of sex addiction.
Getting Started on Recovery
The first step on the road to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Sex addiction may not be a common condition, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Identify someone you trust to share your struggle with and ask them to support you as you enter a treatment program that aligns with you.
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