Sexual Addiction

Sex addiction is defined as any sexually-related actions connected with compulsivity and obsession. Creating a healthy relationship would be quite hard for a person inflicted with this kind of addiction. The behaviors associated with this addiction interfere with a person’s normal living. Sexual addiction is quite dissimilar from having high sexual drive. A sex addict is dependent on sex. You look for sexual pleasure even from non-sexual objects. A high sexual drive is only associated with aggressive behavior when it comes to sex. People with high sexual drive do not necessarily depend on sex and are able to build a healthy sexual or personal relationship with other people. Sexual addicts make sex a priority over their family, friends, and work. With these, they destroy important relationships with the people who really care for them.

There is no known cause of sexual addiction. Nevertheless, certain factors have been studied to have possibly caused the addiction. the abnormal levels of sex hormones and chemicals in our brain such as androgens, dopamine, norepinephrine, or serotonin. Moreover, abnormalities in the brain caused by neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, dementia, and seizures, and medications such as dopamine agonists could really be a possible cause of sexual addiction. Changes in nerve circuits in the brain may also result in abnormal physical reactions to sexual activity. In a psychological perspective, sexual, physical, and mental abuse during childhood could increase the risk for sex addiction during adulthood. Sex addiction might be caused by the harsh incidents of our early years that lead to an increased risk for developing addictions, specifically sexual addiction. Studies have shown that victims of abuse, trauma, and neglect may have low levels of certain chemicals in the brain that affect how they experience pleasure. Furthermore, according to mental health professionals, sexual addiction could be related to other psychological disorders such as impulse control and eating disorders.

Sexual addiction does not distinguish. Anyone could be a sexual addict. It could be a minister, physician, factory worker or an executive. It could happen to any person from all walks of life. According to studies, people who are sexually addicted have come from families where there is already a history of addiction. This can be in forms of alcoholism, compulsive eating, and compulsive gambling. As for gender, there has no known difference between men and women. However, studies have found that sexually addicted women is increasing in number.

Actions associated with sexual addiction includes, compulsive masturbation, multiple affairs, consistent use of pornography, unsafe sex, cybersex, prostitution or use of prostitutes, exhibitionism, stalking, sexual harassment, and molestation. People inflicted with sexual addiction experiences little or no satisfaction at all from their sexual activities. Sexual addicts find it hard form emotional bond with his or her partner. Sex is thought to be their means of escape from stress, boredom, anxiety, and emotional strain. Sex is a means of power and desirability for a sex addict.

Usually, a sexual addict is in denial that he/she is an addict. These people typically feel tremendous guilt and shame about their out-of-control behavior. These people exist in constant fear of discovery. So, they deny their state and make believe that there is nothing wrong with them. As a result, we can say that the the first step to treat sexual addiction, just like any other addiction, is to admit that there is something wrong with them. Then professional help would come at hand. Curing is done with a therapist. As it is more of a behavioral and cognitive problem, cognitive-behavioral therapy is best to be used as treatment. To determine the causing factor of the abnormal behavior, a full history so to be conducted on the patient. As part of this cognitive/behavioral task-oriented approach, a sexual abstinence plan is constructed wherein the patient is going to abstain from sex for a period of time. After abstaining, people often report a sense of well-being, a restored sense of dignity and hope for a future without any sexual compulsive behaviors. Once, the positive emotions and cognitions are achieved, group therapy is recommended.

Sex addiction involves any type of out of control sexual activity which may have been caused by past traumatic experiences during childhood. For an individual to recover, an individual should admit and identify the problem before the help of a professional.

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