Sex Addiction and Sexual Addiction Rehab Centers
Sexual addiction is just as deadly as many drug addiction and alcohol addiction in that it can destroy the life of the individual sex addict as well as the lives of those around them. Sexual addiction causes individuals to behave in extremely promiscuous ways that place the sex addict in danger. Individuals who struggle with sex addiction were often previously mentally, sexually, or physically abused.
Sexual addiction can be defined as, “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual beahvior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.” Sexual addiction is a compulsive behavior characterized increased desire and likelihood to act upon sexual thoughts. Like other addictions such as drug addiction or alcohol addiction, sexual addiction is a progressive disorder which results in the sex addict finding ways to intensify the compulsive behavior over time in order to achieve the same results.
Sex Addiction Signs
There are numerous signs and symptoms associated with sex addiction and many sex addicts will combine a sexual addiction with a drug or alcohol addiction. In fact, most individuals who suffer from sex addiction also suffer from a co-occuring illness or condition such as a drug addiction or a mental disorder. Some sex addicts say that their sexual addiction was noticeably progressive and began with excessive masturbation, constant viewing of pornography, or multiple relationships, while others will not find such a progression to be noticeable.
Ultimately, sex addiction is a compulsive behavior that involves excessive sexual encounters which become self-destructive getting the sex addict in trouble with relationships, marriage, the law or their own health. The sexual encounters that a sex addict takes part in may be physical, emotional or fantasized but the bottom line is they are excessive and compulsive. Sexual acts performed by a sex addict lack emotional fulfillment, cause feelings of shame and are difficult or impossible on the addicts’ part to stop.
The individual suffering from sex addiction will make sex the primary way of alleviating stress, having fun, or otherwise manifesting emotional or psychological pain. It is highly common for sex addicts to have been the victim of sexual abuse or some other type of abuse as children. Research also concludes that many sex addicts have a pre-disposition for sexual addiction based on previous family addictions to sex, drugs or alcohol.
For sexual addiction sufferers, sex is a repair mechanism for all things – anxiety, pain, stress, etc. Like drug addicts, sex addicts will often use sex as a pain relief to eliminate emotional, psychological, or physical pain. Sex will dominate the sex addicts’ life, they will spend countless hours on sexual activities, may not be able to commit to a relationship due to feelings of powerlessness or inability lack of self-confidence, and they will lack satisfaction emotionally from sexual encounters despite the frequency of such occurrences.
Sex Addiction Rehab and Sexual Addiction Treatment
Sex addiction rehab centers will provide treatment for the behavioral aspects of sexual addiction including the compulsive activity. In order for sexual addiction treatment to be most successful, psychoanalysis will be performed by a medical professional at a sex addiction rehab center to determine the cause of the sexual addiction. Additional considerations based on the sex addicts’ life status and problems the sexual addiction has caused for the individual will also be looked at in developing a treatment plan for sexual addiction.
Sexual addiction treatment is a two step process. Initially, the sex addict must be removed from the sexual behavior in order to “detox” from sex. This is similar to the detoxification process that drug addicts will endure before beginning treatment for addiction. Many sex addicts will endure treatment for several days, weeks or even months in an inpatient sexual addiction rehab center where sexual encounters can be eliminated completely from the environment.
Following the sex detox phase, the sex addict must face the guilt and emotional shame or depression that can be attributed to the sex addiction. Sexual addiction treatment at a sex addiction rehab center is usually provided by a therapist who specializes in helping individuals to work through the emotions that plague them and ultimately cause the sexual addiction. For patients who suffer from depression as a result of their sexual addiction, inpatient therapy may be the best case scenario at a sex addiction rehab center.