Sex Addiction Sounds Intriguing. The Reality Is Very Different

Articles, Australia, International, Understanding Addiction

Mention the topic of sex addiction and it will generally produce sniggers, lewd comments and a strong desire by wags to spend ‘’just a short, regular time’’ in the company of a sex addict.

The reality for those suffering from this compulsive condition is very, very different.

Just what is sex addiction?

Quite the opposite to what many think. It is a condition that has men and women suffering from a compulsive need to perform continuous sexual acts.

This desire and need is very similar to the ‘hit’ an alcoholic gets from constant drinking or the high a drug addict chases.

It is a disorder that affects your physical and mental health, in the main it will eventually doom one-on-one personal relationships, and due to the risky situations those addicted to sex are putting themselves into it can be highly dangerous.

Similar to those addicted to substances a sex addict cannot control their behaviour. This is despite the fact they understand the negative consequences attached to it.

When put into such a perspective it should be clear that this condition really is no fun whatsoever.

Another disturbing fact is that many addiction professionals believe this is a far more common problem than is ever acknowledged.

Uncontrollable need = Potentially serious consequences:

Adults suffering from this condition will seek out multiple sex partners. While this may not be seen as such a serious issue, for many addicted to sex it also means that anything will do. This includes relationships with children or animals.

They are prepared to use a wide variety of objects for satisfaction, often use pornographic material excessively and feel the need to masturbate constantly.

This insatiable behaviour will shape the everyday routine of a sex addict to ensure they are getting as much sex as possible.

Experts at hiding this addiction:

Those with this condition come from the complete range of backgrounds, they can be single, have live-in lovers or be married with a family, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to hide this addiction from others.

This is often achieved through lying or ensuring their sex schedule is fulfilled in places and at times that will not raise suspicion.

Enjoying a healthy sex life does NOT indicate an addiction to sex:

Please do not think that enjoying a healthy, active and varied sex life means you are addicted to sex.

Quite the opposite, those who enjoy a whole variety of sexual acts with willing and consensual partners are simply adding to their enjoyment of life.

The line sex addicts cross is that they have a constant and compulsive need to engage in sexual acts. Their sexual appetite cannot be fully satisfied.

Indeed, they appear to have no control over immensely strong sexual impulses. These draw them on a very regular basis to whoever or whatever will meet their needs before moving on to the next conquest.

This sexual merry-go-round continues on a non-stop basis and the only hope a person has of slowing it down and eventually stepping off is to seek professional, qualified rehab assistance.

Rehab and treatment methods:

Like other dependencies, sex addiction offers no restrictions on entry, it is a disease and changes a person in many ways. But, there is one very important difference to other addictions; it is much harder to treat.

This is because unlike drink or drug addiction the sex addict cannot be expected to give up sex for the rest of their life. As we have clearly stated above, sex is a normal, healthy part of a person’s life.

Treatment for sex addiction must centre around educating the addict about what is and what is not healthy sexual behaviour. Treatment and healing is a slow, steady process that needs effort, support and understanding from all concerned.

While such treatment and counselling may take months or even years, it should be made very clear that recovery is certainly achievable, and it is a must for anyone currently struggling with this addiction.

An excellent place to begin treatment:

There are several organisations and outpatient treatment facilities available to help, but it is agreed by many that an extended stay at a quality rehab establishment is the most positive way to get the healing process fully underway.

In many cases a sex addict needs to be taken away from their daily routine and regular environment for a minimum of one month, and in all truth, the longer the better.

Quality rehab establishments provide the perfect background for healing. Experienced counsellors will work with clients to initially help them understand the damaging effects their impulses are having on themselves and those around them.

These seeds will be sown through in-depth one-to-one counselling sessions as well as honest and open group therapy discussions

From this solid base healing can continue. An extended stay at a quality rehab establishment is the perfect springboard in helping overcome this addiction.

It is also vital to remember that aftercare is an absolute, continuous, must, and that revisits to the rehab establishment should be considered on a regular basis to reinforce and continue the healing process.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.
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