Sex Addiction – How To Keep It From Taking Over Your Life
Sex addiction, or hypersexual disorder, is a disorder in which thoughts that are sexual in nature are ever-increasing, and ever-necessary to the individual dealing it with. So much so, in fact, that the addiction itself, and the thoughts and ideas that go along with it, impact that individual’s life in a negative way. Sex addiction can destroy romantic relationships, and push people away from their families, friends, etc. Like any other addiction, it can completely consume someone’s life, and even though there may not be some kind of substance behind it (like drugs, alcohol, etc.) it is very much a real disorder, and the proper steps need to be taken in order to start the healing and rebuilding process.
Symptoms Of Sex Addiction
Sex addiction can be categorized in many different ways, and can go far beyond just having ‘thoughts’ of sex. Common symptoms include things like:
Excessive viewing of pornography
While there are other symptoms that can occur, these are typically the most common things to look for when it comes to someone dealing with a sex addiction. Many people also are very defensive when they have a sex addiction, whether they’re not willing to admit the addiction itself, or they find other ways of acting out. This includes things like lying about their sexual activities, or having sex with no regard for consequences. If you, or someone you know, may be experiencing any of these things, there is hope, and there is help available.
Sex Addiction Treatment
Like any other addiction, sex addiction treatment can’t really be successful, or even get started until the person suffering from the disease is ready to admit they have a ‘problem,’ and are looking for help. Otherwise, they will fight that help every step of the way. However, also like many other addictions, treatment options tend to include things like therapy, group sessions, and a commitment to stress management. A life coach or therapist can help someone dealing with such issues to get to the bottom of them, and try to figure out where they might stem from – some struggles with sex addiction can actually be linked back as far as childhood. Once the air is clear, the healing process can begin, and the person struggling with the addiction can start to rebuild their lives, reform relationships, and change the way they think about a healthy and active sexual life and experiences.
Sex addiction sometimes gets overlooked because there isn’t necessarily anything tangible to see, like there might be with drugs or alcohol. But it is a strong and dangerous addiction, and more people suffer with it than we might actually realize. Luckily, as long as we recognize the reality that sex addiction is out there, and we may know someone dealing with it, admitting and accepting can be the first step toward actual healing, and a more fulfilling, normal, and happy life.
Drew Tillotson, PsyD., Psychologist, Therapist and counseling for Sexually addicted or compulsive men and women in San Francisco who are straight, gay, and bisexual both Individual and Couples therapy, Consultation and Supervision and specializing in Sex Addiction Therapy San Francisco.