Sex is one of man’s most basic needs. While it may be considered awkward and taboo to talk about it among the younger demographic and in some societies, it is primarily a basic human drive of which the fulfillment is precursor to a happy disposition in life. It is also an activity that keeps the flame alive in romantic relationships and is one vital cog that helps strengthen the bond between couples. But too much anything can be bad for you. And thus, sex addiction can be maladaptive to one’s career, social life, and family relationships. If left untreated for a long time, severe emotional and even physical harm can occur.
The manifestations of sex addiction are varied. The most common behaviors associated with the addiction are as follows:
Uncontrollable compulsion to masturbate Exhibitionism Porn addiction Sexual harassment Stalking and voyeurism Having multiple sex partners Sadomasochism
One characteristic that is telling among many sex addicts is their emotional detachment to the people they have sex with. The urge, more often than not, is uncontrollable, and only when the urge has been sated does the sex addict feel remorse and guilt for what he or she did. It becomes a downward spiral from there, as even the fear of the recurrence of the “episodes” can make one exhibit abnormal behavior when dealing with other people.
The start of sexual addiction takes root in puberty, since it is the time when hormones go on overdrive. The media, with its unhealthy portrayal of sex, is partly to blame as well. Chronic anxieties formed from maladaptive interpersonal relationships also contribute to the corruption of the sex drive. These psychological problems, if not treated, reinforce the growth of the sexual addiction.
Sexual Addiction Treatment Most sex addicts don’t admit they have a problem until it is too late. The realization always occurs in the wake of a marital breakup, the loss of a job, and financial breakdown, among many others. Lucky is the person who makes the realization and decides to alleviate the problem before his or her life goes up in flames.
There are many ways to treat sexual addiction, and the right one will depend on a person’s psychological makeup and receptivity to treatment. Of course, several treatments can be combined for the maximum effect.
Sexual addiction counseling is always a good start. This way, the problem can be identified from all angles. After all, a background check is often necessary to be able to come up with the proper treatment.
Treatment often focuses on the control of the unacceptable sexual behavior and on how the sexual drive can find fulfillment through means that are within societal norms. Educating the patient on healthy sexuality and providing marital counseling (for those who are experiencing marital difficulties due to the abnormal behavior) are exigent in making sure that he or she is on the road to recovery.
There are also numerous support groups that treat sexual addiction, most chief among them being Sex Addicts Anonymous. Medications are also used as treatment at the psychiatrist’s discretion. Most commonly used drugs for sex addiction are Anafranil and Prozac.
Recovering from a sexual addiction is not easy and takes time. But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel if the sufferer steels himself for the challenges and realize that his life will turn out for the better once he has conquered the addiction.