Sexual addiction is difficult to diagnose, especially when many people don’t even realize that this type of addiction exists.
Those with sexual addiction tend to feel intense shame and are often in denial of their problem. But there should be no humiliation in investigating sexual addiction treatment. Whatever addiction or other battle you experience in life, having the desire to overcome it is nothing to feel ashamed about. The road to recovery may have its challenges, but the healing that ensues is worth the fight.
What is Sexual Addiction?
In a nutshell, if you have a sexual addiction, you participate in sexual behaviors that are detrimental to you and/or others. Such behaviors include (but are not limited to):
- Multiple extramarital affairs
- Frequent one-night stands or anonymous sexual partners
- Unprotected sex
- Compulsive masturbation
- Consistent pornography use
- Compulsive phone or cybersex
- Sexual harassment
- Prostitution/hiring prostitutes
- among others
Those struggling with sexual addiction may not gain pleasure from their sexual behaviors, or may find that these behaviors are followed by guilt.
Rory Reid, PhD, LCSW, is a research psychologist at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. As cited in a WebMD article about sexual addiction, Reid explains that this type of addiction appears to be very similar to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). He also says that it may involve abnormal levels of dopamine or serotonin. It may even involve attention, impulse control, or emotional regulation problems.
When Should You Seek Sexual Addiction Treatment?
There is no rule of thumb for when to seek sexual addiction treatment.
There are many ways sexual addiction can negatively affect your life. Some have found that they are spending an inordinate amount of money on pornography and prostitutes. This could obviously lead to serious psychological and financial strain.
Sex addicts may hurt or lose loved ones, such as spouses, children, friends, etc. Other sexual compulsions, such as rape, are clearly categorized as criminal activity and are punishable by the law.
However, even if you feel that the consequences of your sexual behaviors are nowhere near the extremity as the examples cited, it does not necessarily mean that you do not need assistance.
You don’t have to meet any criteria or fit into some category. If you either recognize that your sexual behaviors are problematic, and/or they are causing you or others pain, sexual addiction treatment will be of great benefit to you.
LifeStar has offered intensive outpatient treatment to those in need of pornography or sexual addiction treatment for over 20 years in the US and Canada. We have helped countless patients reach successful recovery with our services.
Please contact us. We would love to talk to you and address any inquiries you have.