A healthy appetite for sex is important for keeping the spark alive in your relationship. However, if your urge becomes uncontrollable and you have an addictive behaviour you could end up with serious problems in your relationship, finances, health and career.
Sexual addiction develops in a way that’s quite similar to drug or alcohol addiction. During sex your body releases powerful feel-good chemicals which give you a “high” that can sometimes becomes addictive.
Just like drug abuse, if left untreated your body becomes resistant to the “highs.” The threshold to achieve a similar level of thrill and excitement constantly increases.
Do You Really Have a Sex Addiction?
Although there are no official criteria to diagnose sex addiction, clinicians and experts have compiled general guidelines based on clinical dependency criteria.
Here are some symptoms which are commonly believed to be indicative of a sex addiction:
- You feel powerless to control your sexual desire.
- Your life is becoming hard to manage because of your sex habits
- Your sexual activity is making you feel embarrassed, ashamed and disgusted
- You aren’t able to keep promises to yourself that you will change
- Your preoccupation with sex has turned into a ritual
If you exhibit one or more of these sexual addiction symptoms, acknowledging the problem and its potential consequences is the first step to overcoming it.
Why You Should Treat Sex Addiction
Left untreated, sex addiction can lead to serious emotional or health problems.
Here are some of them:
Self Esteem and Self-worth:
In the short term, sex addiction can lead to feeling of poor self-respect and self-worth. Eventually you could experience a complete loss of self-worth.
Difficulty in Forming Intimate Relationships:
You will find it difficult to form and maintain relationships and close friendships. This results from your lack of self-esteem caused by shame and guilt.
Risk of Sexual Transmitted Diseases or Infections
: A serious repercussion of a sex addiction is the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. The risk increases significantly if you have unsafe sex with multiple partners and complete strangers.
If your sexual addiction leads to intercourse with a minor or is not consensual, you could be convicted of a crime. As a result your future relations will be affected and you could face social isolation because family and friends may not want to be associated with you.
Sex addicts often go on to develop other addictions, and you could easily find yourself drawn to vices such as gambling, drinking or eating disorders.
How you Can Benefit From Sex Addiction Therapy
Many people who seek the help of a therapist are under the mistaken impression that it is a sign of weakness, when the reality is that it shows courage and strength.
Admitting that you have an addiction problem is difficult and
seeking therapy to overcome it is an important first step in helping you overcome it.
An essential part of therapy requires your trust and an understanding that your therapy sessions provide a safe refuge for open and honest communication. This is an important element of your healing process.
You can be reassured of complete confidentiality and that I will listen to you patiently and without judgement.
We will deconstruct trauma or past experiences to heal emotional wounds which could be triggering your sexual impulses. Core issues around your sex addiction will be uncovered.
The advice I offer will take into account your background and unique situation. We will work on important tasks necessary for your recovery such as:
- Understanding the addiction process
- Breaking through your denial mindset
- Abstaining from your compulsive sexual activity
- Developing healthy intimacy
The sex addiction therapy sessions will help you modify thought patterns which justify your hypersexual behaviour.
At the end of each session you will feel more in control of your emotions and experience a decline in the urge to perform the activity which led to the addiction.
Once you have taken steps to overcome sexual thoughts and obsessions, you will learn strategies for building and maintaining a healthy sexual relationship with your partner.
Both your partner and you will feel loved, connected and respected.
You will also learn how to communicate better with loved ones, begin interacting socially start to slowly build healthier relationships.
If you are open to seeking therapy for your sex addiction and are willing to commit to a healing process, I look forward to helping you in your recovery process.