sex addicts

Sex Addiction

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Sex Addicts – While Sex Addiction is not officially recognized as a distinct addiction such as alcoholism or heroin addiction, it is quite real and it can be devastating. Experts and treatment professionals generally agree that there are a cluster of symptoms which constitute sexual addiction. Sex addiction, or hypersexuality, is difficult to diagnose largely because the line between a healthy and active libido and problematic sexual behavior is hard to define. Essentially, if one is so preoccupied with sex and engages in sex to the extent that these thoughts and behaviors negatively impact one’s life or get in the way of normal daily activity, then one is in danger of being addicted to sex. The difficulty is that psychologists have been reluctant to use the term “addiction” for this type of issue. Just a few symptoms may help a person decide if they are wrestling with this problem:

If one experiences continual and prolonged sexual fantasies to the exclusion of other thoughts.

Time spent engaging in sexual thoughts and fantasies interferes with regular activities.

If sexual thoughts and urges come as the result of other problematic feelings (anxiety, depression, etc.)

Engaging in sexual behavior without regard for social and legal consequences.

Sex addicts are generally vexed with a constant and unrelenting preoccupation with sex. Their thoughts about sex and engaging in sex persist to the exclusion of nearly every other aspect of their lives. It is normal to have sexual fantasies, but for the sex addict, engaging in sexual fantasies is on the order of an obsession. Their thoughts about sex interfere with other activities.

Another important feature of sex addiction is the problem of engaging in sexual activities without regard for social and legal consequences. Sex addicts, as opposed to those who engage in normal sexual activities, will engage in sex in the work place, in public, and other places and times in which there can be severe social and legal consequences.

Psychological experts generally agree that sex addiction arises from other issues and problems. Depression and severe anxiety issues are just two of the conditions which professionals have linked to what we now call sex addiction. Essentially, sex addicts are driven by deep psychological problems which are by and large untreated and they seek to escape from these difficulties by engaging in sex and endlessly obsessing about sex. Doctors have met with some success in treating sex addiction with antidepressants as these medication alleviate the underlying cause of sex addiction.

An unfortunate consequence of sex addiction is the prevalence of STDs and HIV/AIDS if people who have been diagnose as sex addicts. One of the stand out feature of sex addiction is indiscriminate sexual encounters. Many of these people do not use protection. The result is an tremendous increased risk for STDs and even HIV/AIDS. People who demonstrate the signs of sex addiction should find help as soon as they can. There is Sex Addicts Anonymous, as 12 step recovery program much like AA, which can help people recover for sex addiction. There are also an increasing number of treatment programs which specialize in sex addiction.  

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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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