Sexual addiction is a condition that means intrusive participation in sex and neglecting its negative consequences. This kind of behavior is emotionally frustrating rather than satisfying. The notion of sexual addiction has been treated in different ways.
Sexual addiction shares many signs of clinical dependence. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about sex addiction.
1. Symptoms Of Sex Addiction
The most common sign of addiction is that a person is not able to control his or her behavior, even if the negative consequences are obvious. This means that people with sexual addiction can’t stop to behave this way if no intervention occurs.
The reality is the people who suffer from sex addiction require attention and even treatment.
Unlike a person with a healthy sexual desire, a person with sexual addiction will spend a lot of time searching or participating in sex. It may result in a worsening of personal and professional relationships.
Moreover, people that can’t curb their sexual impulses have an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
Sexual addicts usually try to get rid of other emotional and psychological problems like stress, anxiety, depression, and social isolation through sexual intercourse.
2. Defining Features Of Sex Addiction
Sexual addiction is a quite controversial condition and the medical community still has not formed a consensus on this matter. This means that the diagnostic criteria for sexual dependence are questionable. Despite this fact, there are a few features that are common to people with sexual addiction:
- Sex prevails over other activities
- An addict frequently masturbates
- An addict has other forms of sex when alone (phone sex, pornography, etc.)
- An addict has sex with several partners
- Sexual activities are inappropriate or risky (exhibitionism, public sex, sex with prostitutes, etc.)
- A constant desire for sex is usually accompanied by feelings of regret, anxiety, or shame
Sex addicts usually experience both hypersexuality and low self-esteem. Despite the fact that sex can bring short-term relief, a person’s psychological well-being worsens over time.
However, a person doesn’t need to engage in extreme sex in order to be addicted. Sex addicts simply cannot stop even if they realize that their behavior is inappropriate.
3. Causes Of Sex Addiction
There are no certain causes of sexual addiction. However, some theories are considering sexual addiction as a form of impulsive control, obsessive-compulsive or related disorder.
One more possible cause of sex addiction is the way some people react to the consequence of certain sex-related trauma.
It is important to understand that hypersexuality can be a symptom of certain mental diseases.
Moreover, neurological disorders like epilepsy, head injury, or dementia can also lead to hypersexual behavior. Some medications that influence dopamine can also have the same consequences.
4. Treatment Options For Sex Addiction
You should know the sex addiction treatment can be provided only by a medical professional like a psychologist, psychiatrist, or sex therapist that has vast experience in this field.
Treatment options may vary depending on the underlying cause but are usually performed on an outpatient basis that is followed by behavioral therapy.
Sex addiction that is accompanied by anxiety or mood disorder can be treated with the help of medications.
However, there are no strict recommendations for the proper use of medications for sexual addiction treatment outside the scope of these clinically classified conditions.
If you decided to treat your sex addiction, you can make an appointment with your family doctor or local psychiatric association that may refer you to the appropriate specialist.
There is also a great number of support groups for sex addicts. Some of them also deal with related addictions like substance abuse, while others are based on a 12-step recovery program.