Sex Addiction and Treatment
If you are suffering from sexual, drug or alcohol addiction Recovery Connection can help you find an appropriate treatment program. Call 800-993-3869 to get the help you need.
Sex addiction is the inability to control sexual impulses, even when they become self-harming. A sex addict may try to curb sexual activity but fail, even in the face of public humiliation. Feelings of shame, sadness, and self-loathing can follow. Sex addicts often have other addictions such as eating disorders, or drug addiction and/or alcoholism as a result of trying to cope with these feelings. There is also a strong link between mental health disorders and an addiction to sex.
Sex addiction changes brain chemistry in a process much like drug or alcohol addiction. Neurotransmitter activity increases and the brain's reward center is stimulated with dopamine. Dopamine gives a sex addict a sense of euphoria that is quickly associated with finding sexual partners and having sex. The brain gets “rewired” to crave dopamine. Without the extra stimulation, the brain and body go into withdrawal. Sex cravings increase dramatically and become all consuming over time.
This all-consuming need to have sex puts addicts at risk for personal, health, financial, and legal problems. Sex addicts are more likely to:
- Get HIV and AIDS, Hepatitis C, and other STIs
- Experience sexual and other violence
- Think about and commit suicide
- Have financial and legal troubles
- Be involved in criminal activities
- Lose significant relationships
- Have a pornography addiction
Some risk factors for sex addiction are:
- Drug or alcohol addiction
- Mental health disorders
- Sexual abuse or trauma
- Physical abuse
- Compulsive masturbation
- Frequenting prostitutes and/or call girls
- Anonymous sex with multiple partners
- Repeated voyeurism or exhibitionism
- Inappropriate sexual touching
- Multiple affairs outside of a committed relationship
- Repeated unsafe sex
Look at our sex addiction quiz for more signs and symptoms of addiction. Or, better yet, print it out and talk about your concerns with a doctor or therapist.
Sex addiction treatment seeks to get to the root of the disorder. Quality treatment explores the underlying origins, mistaken beliefs, and destructive behaviors that contribute to compulsive sexual behavior. Treatment will also address other addictions such as drug addiction and alcoholism. Addiction and substance abuse education, 12-step meetings, and a variety of other therapies with trained addiction counselors will be included in the rehab program.
24/7 all conversations are confidential