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Beating an Addiction to Sex

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 4 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Sex; Pornography; Childhood Trauma;

Sex addiction can involve all or just some of the following symptoms; an increased desire for sexual activity either with the same partner, multiple partners, one-night stands or frequent affairs. The sexual activity normally becomes more spontaneous, rough and experimental when addiction has developed and sexual appetite becomes more difficult to fulfill.

Sexual images, pornography and an increase in pornographic films and magazines often accompany sex addiction with material of a more hardcore nature being sought to satisfy the addiction. Along with this, masturbation will usually become more frequent and more spontaneous.

Why Does Sex Addiction Occur?

Experts believe that most cases of sex addiction occur as a result of unexposed or concealed abuse rooted in the childhood years.

It develops as do most addictions as the ‘more you have the more you need’. As sex causes the release of endorphins, the feel good chemicals, sex addicts believe they experience frequent ‘highs’ from their addiction; the truth is that once an addiction has developed, it becomes more and more difficult to satisfy the craving.

Treatment for Sex Addiction

Like other addictions, the sufferer must first admit they actually have a problem with sex addiction and must want to address the reasons and overcome them. Once this is achieved a course of counseling is most often the most beneficial treatment, either on a one-to-one basis, within a group setting or a combination of both.

Psychotherapy can also prove to be useful, combining cognitive and behavioral therapies. These therapies seek to discover the underlying reasons for the addiction, and sufferers may discover parts of their past that they previously had not address in their consciousness; this can be quite upsetting and the therapist should prepare the individual for this. Once these reasons have been explored and explained, coping mechanisms for dealing with these issues will be developed.

Along with this, finding out the triggers for wanting to indulge in their addiction is normal and discovering ways of avoiding these triggers and developing coping mechanisms for the cravings will be investigated.

Hypnosis is recommended by some experts into discovering the roots and triggers for sex addiction and sexual behaviours and the hypnosis techniques can be practiced at home once fully developed (self-help techniques) and used for managing cravings and anxieties caused by the addiction.

Help can be found online, via a telephone directory from the GP, from Citizens Advice or from the social services. These agencies will be able to help discover and refer the sufferer for help if they want it.

Risks of Sex Addiction

As with all addictions there are a great many risks accompanying the addiction including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, the chance of losing employment from inappropriate comments to other staff members, abusing internet access or from frequent masturbation, along with problems with existing relationships, legal issues and the chance of developing a sexually transmitted infection.

People who are addicted to sex are often judged very quickly by others in a negative way; those around them should try to remember that the reasons for the addiction are usually caused by childhood traumas that the individual may be unable to remember. It is these reasons that need to be addressed.

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