Sexual addiction refers to a range of behaviors that involve an ongoing obsession with sexual fantasies and activity. For those affected, sexual thoughts and activity preoccupies many areas of their lives and becomes their primary focus. Like people who abuse drugs and alcohol, sex addicts can experience a “high” through compulsive sexual behaviors, develop a dependence on this feeling, and suffer withdrawal symptoms without sex.
Causes of Sexual Addiction
Sexual addiction can develop due to several factors throughout an individual’s life. Sex addiction is not driven by a person’s desire for sexual enjoyment, rather sex addicts use their addition to escape from the emotional discomforts they face in life.
If you or someone you love suffers from a sexual addiction, you might find yourself unable to maintain healthy personal boundaries. Those closest to sexual addicts often describe feeling isolated, angry and ashamed. If you yourself are addicted to sex or sexually based activity you may feel that you life is out of control. You may not understand why you are unable to maintain health intimate relationships.
Sex addiction is not a “made up” disorder…an excuse for sexual promiscuity. There are very real biological, psychological, and social factors that can cause a person to be struggle with sexual addiction. Environmental influences from childhood can contribute to hypersexual behavior. Anxiety, depression, lack of impulse control, and performance anxiety can also trigger sexual addiction. The manic state of those diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder has also been linked to risky sexual behavior or an increase in sexual engagement. Rejection in relationships and social isolation are additional risk factors that can lead to unhealthy sexual behaviors.
Signs and Symptoms of Sexual Addiction
There are several signs that can indicate someone is struggling with sexual addiction. The symptoms of sexual addiction can be both emotional and physical. The symptoms of sexual addiction include:
- Frequently engaging in sex
- Engaging in sex with more partners than intended
- Being preoccupied with or persistently craving sex
- Consistently visiting strip clubs, adult bookstores, or other sexual environments
- Engaging in multiple affairs or relationships
- Repeatedly engaging in unprotected sex
- Neglecting obligations in the pursuit of sex or to engage in activities related to sex
- Feeling irritable when unable to engage in sexual activity
- Relationship jumping
Treatment of Sexual Addiction
Because sexual addiction is not “formally” diagnosable, it is difficult to calculate exactly how many people suffer from this disorder. But, the adverse consequences of sexual addiction like high levels of distress, guilt, and emotional turmoil can have a serious impact on one’s life. A Thriveworks Henrico, VA addiction counselor can help treat the underlying factors that can cause sexual addiction and help create effective coping skills to change the unhealthy behaviors.
If you can related to the symptoms mentioned above, or know somebody who does do not hesitate to call. We are here to help. Call Thriveworks Short Pump for a discrete and confidential evaluation today.