Addiction is a complex medical condition that can affect a person in many ways. Smoking, drinking, and watching an excessive amount of porn are all types of addiction. Is there a cure for sex addiction?
Sex addiction causes an individual to become preoccupied with sexual thoughts and behaviors that disrupt or negatively impact their daily function. There is no cure for sex addiction, but it is treatable with medicine and psychotherapy.
Below we will look at what sex addiction is and the treatment options available.
Sex addiction is another name for compulsive sexual behavior. It can also be called hypersexuality or hypersexuality disorder. Sex addiction will cause a person to become preoccupied with sexual thoughts and behaviors. It can disrupt their lives and continue despite the negative consequences they experience from it.
A person who is affected by a sex addiction will spend most of their time trying to fill their sexual urges. This may include watching excessive amounts of pornographic material, hiring escorts, cheating on their partners, and getting a body rub or sensual massage.
Many individuals do not seek treatment for their sex addiction because they think they can manage their symptoms or that it will go away.
Sex Addiction Warning Signs
Sex addiction is not listed as a mental condition under The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This could make the signs of a sex addiction difficult to diagnose and treat.
Some indications of sex addiction include:
Not being able to stop engaging in sexual behaviors
Feeling stressed if you are unable to engage in sexual behaviors and activities
Neglecting work or relationships to engage in sexual behaviors
Continuing to engage in risky sexual behaviors despite negative consequences
What causes Sex Addiction
There is no single cause that is found to be the cause of sex addiction. It is linked to a chemical imbalance in the brain but this has not been linked to a cause of sex addiction. Some medications containing dopamine may trigger sexual addictions.
Before treatment can begin, a medical professional will need to diagnose an individual with sex addiction. They will need to determine the cause of the sex addiction before they are able to begin a treatment plan. Most sexual addictions are treated with psychotherapy and medication.
Treatments can be done at home or with the use of a treatment center. Using a treatment center will allow someone seeking treatment to focus on their recovery without distractions.
The most common psychotherapy treatment used to treat a sex addiction is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT can be used to treat many different health conditions. It will help a person with sex addiction learn what triggers their addiction and how to control these triggers.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy will enable a therapist to work directly with an individual to find the best treatment for the symptoms. It will also focus on using the affected person's motivation to change their behaviors to the positive.
There has not been a medication developed specifically to treat sex addiction. However, some medication has been proven to help with the symptoms of sex addiction.
Mood Stabilizers are used to treat bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In the treatment of sexual addiction, they can help decrease the affected individuals' compulsive urges. Lamictal and Tegretol mood stabilizers are used to treat sex addiction.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) was developed as a treatment for depression and anxiety. They can be prescribed to a person with sex addiction to help control their compulsive behaviors. Common SSRIs include Zoloft, Celexa, Prozac, and Paxil
Entering a Treatment Program
Treatment programs for sex addiction will use both psychotherapy and medication. They can be done at an outpatient or inpatient treatment center.
The outpatient treatment center will be able to give those seeking treatment more flexibility to dictate the speed of their treatment options.
Inpatient treatment centers offer the best environment for an individual to get treatment free from the stresses and triggers of their disease. Inpatient treatment also allows them to meet and listen to others that are affected by the same sex addiction they experience.
When picking a treatment center ensure they specialize in the treatment of sex addiction.
Learning To Cope with Sex Addiction
The first step to treating an addiction is to admit there is a problem. This will enable you to seek treatment and learn to cope with your sexual addiction. After you have been diagnosed, and begun treatment you may need help coping to prevent a relapse.
Joining a support group can be a big step to helping you cope with your sexual addiction. Sex Addicts Anonymous will help you meet and interact with individuals that have the same condition. These interactions can help keep you on the path to recovery.
Minimizing your triggers, or getting rid of them completely will help keep you from the temptation to engage in the dangerous behaviors of the past.
Lastly, find a healthy distraction or hobby that will keep you busy and occupy you when you do get the urge to engage in unhealthy sexual behavior.
Sex addiction is not defined as a mental condition, but there are treatment options for someone suffering from this condition. Psychotherapy and medical treatment are available to help them begin the road to recovery. Support groups and learning to cope with their addiction will keep them on the road to recovery.