In many ways, sex addiction is like other compulsive behaviors. This type of addiction can potentially destroy an otherwise normal, life-enhancing activity. Consuming patterns of behavior and sexual fantasy causes marked distress in important areas such as family, finances, personal, social and employment. In these cases, sex addiction treatment is necessary.
One common misconception is equating someone with a strong libido or who has multiple sexual partners with being sexually addicted. A person who enjoys sex and has a strong sex drive does not act the same as someone with sex addiction. A sexually addicted person gets little pleasure from the sexual act.
Rather, they have an obsession with the risky pursuit of fulfilling the act. The compulsivity to sexual behaviors is a way of coping with life stress or escaping from emotional pain.
It is not uncommon for a sexually addicted person to deceive or manipulate sexual partners as a way to control. Further, negative repercussions from their behavior do not stop them from finding ways to act out their obsession.
Symptoms of Sex Addiction
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, does not include sex addiction as a diagnosed mental health problem. Nevertheless, there are recognizable symptoms that indicate a person has an addiction to sex.
A preoccupation, to the point of obsession, is a clear indication that a person’s attachment to sexual activity goes beyond pleasure. This obsession can lead to the person losing control over sexual urges and behaviors. Even if they try to stop, it is difficult to cut back or quit.
Despite negative consequences related to their compulsive sexual behaviors, the person continues with their practices. This pattern will repeat itself without appropriate sex addiction treatment.
Types of Sex Addiction
Having an addiction to sex involves engaging in compulsive and harmful sexual behavior, fantasies or thoughts. It can manifest in a range of actions such as:
- Anonymous sex
- Compulsive masturbation
- Multiple affairs
- Obsessive dating
What Causes Sex Addiction?
Just like a person with a compulsive disorder for overeating, or drug and alcohol addiction, the brain urges a person with a sexual addiction with obsessive thoughts about sex. They are unable to stop viewing pornography at work, for example, despite the possibility of losing their job.
Over time, the person feels their survival depends on engaging in the behavior. The brain’s reward system overrules common sense decisions. Brain changes cause the person to become preoccupied with sex to the exclusion of other interests. Only sex addiction treatment can break this preoccupation.
Many factors contribute to sexual addiction. Some may have a history of abuse, trauma or a history of another addiction. Others are attached to biochemical problems that produce rewards for engaging in self-destructive behaviors.
Any reward gained from the sexual experience pursued to avoid unpleasant stress yields the person to feel remorse and guilt. They may also be compelled to make promises to change.
Sex Addiction Treatment
Several kinds of therapies are offered at Santé Center for Healing, tailored to our clients’ individual needs and circumstances. This helps Santé meet the needs of those clients resistant to traditional treatment principles. The Sex Addiction Treatment Program at Santé begins with a comprehensive assessment that identifies individual patient needs. This assessment results in a treatment plan specifically tailored to the patient and his or her circumstances.
Additionally, our sex addiction treatment approach identifies other addictive disorders which are present in the majority of our patients. It is our experience that these co-occurring addictions, as well as other mental health problems, are best addressed simultaneously.
While treatment is strictly voluntary, it is not uncommon for patients to enter treatment with more external pressure than internal motivation. Our staff utilizes stages of change theory and motivational interviewing to meet and work with clients where they currently are in this process.
Clients treated for sexual addiction will participate in:
- Formulation of an abstinence contract
- Psychoeducational sessions specifically focused on sexual issues
- Gender-specific groups
- Sex addiction-specific therapy groups
- Sex addiction-specific 12-step meetings
- Specific skill building (e.g.- acquiring empathy, asking for help, impulse control)
- Relapse prevention
Some of the treatment modalities utilized include:
- Individual counseling
- Group therapy
- Medication management
- EMDR, Psychodrama and other PTSD reducing therapies
- Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
- Yoga therapy
- Music Therapy
Santé Center for Healing Is Here to Help
At Santé Center for Healing, our Sex Addiction Treatment Program is here to help clients struggling through an unhealthy relationship with sex. We believe strongly in therapeutic activities that retrain neural pathways in the brain that activate risky sexual behavior. With more than 20 years’ serving Argyle, TX and surrounding areas, we have the experience to support our promise to clients.
Our center provides educational, therapeutic sessions that include:
Don’t wait any longer to get the sex addiction treatment you or a loved one needs. Call 866-238-3154 to learn more about how Santé Center for Healing can help redirect your path.