Is A Sex Addiction Similar To Other Addictions
Yes. The addiction feeling is what makes it similar. The craving for sex is similar to cravings felt for alcohol or drugs by those who have addictions to these substances. Its an overwhelming compulsion or temptation thats so strong you feel that you have to have it. Its an out-of-control feeling, never feeling satisfied feeling or a constant battle to take control of something thats on autopilot. You return to the behavior over and over again despite the negative consequences.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms My Wife Or Girlfriend Is Addicted To Sex
If your wife or girlfriend is a sex addict, there are signs and symptoms you should look out for, such as:
- Obsessing over sex, with little time for other activities
- Engaging in multiple affairs outside of your relationship
- Consistently engaging in online sex, phone sex, or sexting
- Lying to cover up her behaviour
- Mood swings or anger when sex isnt available
- Shame or regret surrounding the sexual acts
- Experiencing negative personal and professional consequences
- Inability to stop the compulsive behaviour
As mentioned previously, men can also have these signs present when they develop a sex addiction. There are many similarities even across genders, because at the core they are all experiencing sex addiction.
Dating A Sex Addict: Can It Work
If youre dating or in a relationship with a sex addict, you likely have concerns about whether or not the relationship can work out in the long run.
Despite often having the best intentions, many sex addicts find it hard or even impossible to stay faithful to their partners.
Love addiction and affairs also go hand-in-hand because the individual may engage in frequent unhealthy passion-related behaviors. For that reason, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with someone who has a love and sex addiction without them seeking treatment.
However, its important not to jump to the conclusion that someone youre dating is or will be unfaithful to you.
Many sex addicts will find other outlets and are therefore able to stay committed to their partners without having multiple lovers. Its important to not make assumptions about your husband or partner as every situation is unique.
That doesnt mean that the relationship will be free of other problems, such as lying, neglect, or recklessly spending money to fuel the irresistible need for sex. You need to assess whether you think the relationship is worth continuing.
If you do a quick Google search for partners of sex addicts resources or dating a sex addict relationship advice, youll discover how common it is to be dating a sex addict.
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For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the PsychGuides.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.
We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you.
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For more information on AACs commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page.
If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.
Sex And Drug Addiction Treatment
It may be small comfort, but if you or a loved one is suffering from sexual addiction, change is possible. If it was just a question of someones true character or moral center, there would be little hope of someone becoming a better person. Addiction, on the other hand, is a disease, and treatment can lead to recovery. Most importantly, we must never forget that all addiction, whether it be drugs, sex, alcohol, or something else, is a sign of emotional distress. When people are in distress, they need help, not condemnation. With the support of loved ones and professionals, we can escape the trappings of addiction and begin a happier, healthier life.
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When Does Hypersexuality Develop
Hypersexuality may develop at any point, as research suggests that about 50 percent of those with hypersexuality report that they experienced dysregulated sexual fantasies, urges, and behaviors in childhood and adolescence. About 80 percent report that their symptoms progressed gradually over months or years.
The Case Against Sex Addiction
An important criticism is that the sex addiction concept does not provide enough differentiation between similar conditions that might look like sex addiction, such as hypersexuality related to mania or hypomania in bipolar disorder personality disorders some forms of depression and PTSD.
Critics of the concept of sex addiction argue that it has grown out of a cultural focus which associates sex with danger, powerlessness, and victimization, and is merely a new way of making moral judgments about people who enjoy sex. As such, the concept of sex addiction can be used by people with a political and/or religious agenda.
There is also a risk that the label sex addiction might pathologize normal sexual desire and behavior, making healthy people appear to have an illness that does not exist.
The concept of sex addiction has also been criticized for being based on the idea that some sexual experiences, for example, intimate relationship sex, are better than others. The argument is that these are moral rather than clinical arguments.
At the other end of the spectrum, some people believe that a label like sex addiction can be used as an excuse for irresponsible sexual behavior, such as rape and child molestation. They argue that people who have committed sex crimes can hide behind the label of sex addiction to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.
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The Pros And Cons Of Being With A Sex Addict
If you are still having trouble deciding if a relationship with a sex addict can work, continue reading to compare the pros and cons and see if the positives outweigh the negatives for your situation.
- Treatment is available for sex addicts and recovery is possible
- You and your partner will both change and grow in the recovery process
- If you are still in love and both willing to work on it, you can salvage your relationship
- Your partner, once in recovery, may become very aware and respectful of situations that could be uncomfortable for you
- Your relationship has the potential to become stronger in the end
- It can be hard to regain trust in your partner
- You may experience lingering effects of the trauma
- The road to recovery from sex addiction is ongoing
- Sexually transmitted infections may be a concern if there is infidelity
- Sexual intimacy may need to be taken off the table for a while altogether for your safety and to help them recover
- Without treatment and recovery, you and your partner may both be at risk
Help And Treatment For Sex Addiction
The most widely available and accessible treatment for CSBD involves 12-Step support groups. These groups provide a 12 step recovery programme for anyone suffering from an addiction to sex. Groups such as Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous can be accessed on the internet and through face-to-face meetings.
In addition to joining a relevant support group, counselling and psychotherapy are also recommended as part of the recovery process. Professional therapy can help to unearth and heal the underlying causes and contributing factors of a sex addiction.
Therapy and support groups can also assist in helping to learn healthy sexual behaviours, boundaries, relapse prevention, and how to form healthy intimacy.
This is so important, as sex addictions tend to involve a lot of deception, violation of trust, lack of boundaries, and an unhealthy perception of sex.
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Effects Of Sex Addiction
The effects of a sex addiction can be severe.
- According to Departmental Management of the USDA, about 38% of men and 45% of women with sex addictions have a venereal disease as a result of their behavior.
- Pregnancy is also a common side effect that can occur due to risky behavior. In one survey, nearly 70% of women with sex addictions reported theyd experienced at least one unwanted pregnancy as a result of their addiction.
Additionally, sex addiction likely has a negative impact on several areas of ones life. It can lead to:
- A in personal relationships, social, and family engagement.
- Physical consequences like sexual dysfunction or sexually transmitted diseases .
It can have profound psychological effects, like generating feelings of shame, inadequacy, and emotional distress. It can lead to, or stem from, comorbid psychological disorders like:
- Obsessive-Compulsive type symptoms.
It is important to know that addressing co-occurring problems in ones life, like depression, social anxiety, or social isolation, can make it easier to recover from sexual addiction.
What Factors Contribute To Sex Addiction
People who believe they are “addicted” to sex often have feelings of shame around sex they may believe that sexual thoughts, fantasies, masturbation, and are wrong, harmful, or evil. Many of these individuals were raised in a deeply religious household, which may have contributed to their beliefs about sex and sex addiction.
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Criteria To Diagnose Compulsive Sexual Behavior
Diagnosing sex addiction and compulsive sexual behavior can be challenging. For one, theres no consensus within the scientific community.
The diagnosis of sex addiction has also been excluded from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition . This is the most used diagnostic handbook among mental health professionals in the United States.
Despite sex addiction not being included as a stand-alone diagnosis, hypersexuality can be diagnosed using the manual by referring to the category of Other specified sexual dysfunction.
The condition can also be diagnosed using other diagnostic manuals, such as the ICD-11. Hypersexuality appears as a condition under impulse-control disorders. Its not classified as an addiction.
The ICD-11 is a diagnostic book published by the World Health Organization. Its purpose is to provide a global language for reporting and diagnosing diseases.
Not everyone will experience the same symptoms or with the same intensity.
In fact, a 2015 literature review suggested there are significant variations among individuals when it comes to early signs and symptoms of compulsive sexual behavior.
Despite this, there are no reports that indicate symptoms of sex addiction in females are different from those experienced by males.
What some research does suggest is that symptoms of what many refer to as sex addiction are more prevalent among males.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sex Addiction
Since sex addiction isnt outlined in the DSM-5, theres considerable controversy about what criteria constitute an addiction.
One characteristic may be secrecy of behaviors, in which the person with the disorder becomes skilled at hiding their behavior and can even keep the condition secret from spouses, partners, and family members. They may lie about their activities or engage in them at times and places where they wont be found out.
But sometimes symptoms are present and noticeable. A person may have a sex addiction if they show some or all of the following signs:
- chronic, obsessive sexual thoughts and fantasies
- compulsive relations with multiple partners, including strangers
- lying to cover behaviors
- preoccupation with having sex, even when it interferes with daily life, productivity, work performance, and so on
- inability to stop or control the behaviors
- putting oneself or others in danger due to sexual behavior
- feeling remorse or guilt after sex
- experiencing other negative personal or professional consequences
Compulsive behaviors can strain relationships, for example, with the stress of infidelity although some people may claim to have a sex addiction as a way to explain infidelity in a relationship.
Since the diagnosis is controversial, evidence-based treatment options are lacking.
Those who describe treating sex addiction may recommend one or more of the following methods.
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Get In Touch With Us Today To Begin The Journey To Recovery
Even though finding out youre in a relationship with a sex addict can be devastating, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. By seeking treatment, the sex addict can learn healthier coping mechanisms and begin to leave the compulsive behavior behind.
If you or someone you love is suffering from this condition, get in touch with our qualified professionals at Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres today.
Finding Addiction Treatment Near Peru Indiana
Peru residents are only an hour from addiction treatment that can help them recover from substance use disorder.
If you are considering traveling for addiction treatment, be sure to view our list of the best rehab centers in the US.
Find addiction treatment near Peru, IN:
Written by the Addiction Resource Editorial Staff
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- Indiana State Department of Health- County Profiles of Opioid Use
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Is There A Link Between Sexual Addiction And Depression
There may be. There may be an increase in hypersexual behavior during periods of depressed moods. Symptoms of depression may respond to antidepressant medications.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
If your sexual appetite and activities are causing you distress, consuming your life and causing harm to your personal, professional and/or family life, its time to have a talk with your healthcare professional. Many people dont seek care because theyre ashamed or feel guilty. Your healthcare team makes no judgment about your sexual behavior. Theyre here to help you. The best outcome will be reached if youre honest and open with everyone your family, your partner, your medical team and most importantly, yourself. Many treatment options are available to help you.
Sex Addiction And Substance Abuse
There is a significant correlation between sexual addiction and substance use disorders:
- According to some research, an estimated 40-64% of sex addicts also have a substance abuse disorder.
- Alcohol abuse is most common, present in 30-40%, followed by
Treating co-occurring addictions is a complex process. Medical professionals must assess the pattern of drug use and sexual behaviors and how they relate to each other. Research indicates that there are two important things to consider when evaluating the relation:
- Whether the addictions are alternating or parallel.
- Whether they interact in an escalating manner.
Once the interaction of multiple addictions is assessed, then proper treatment can be administered.
While some sex addicts use substances in order to cope with the pain and guilt caused by their sexual behaviors, others use them to enhance the sexual experience. If you think that you have issues with both sex addiction and substance addiction, it is critical to your recovery that you find a treatment center that can cater to both of these addictions.
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How Do You Deal With Sex Addiction As An Addict And As A Lover
The number one thing that we recommend is to help your partner or yourself get into sex addiction treatment. The issues caused can be a deal breaker for most relationships, but not all is lost. You can find assistance at Makin Wellness with an entire team of highly rated providers that specialize in sex addiction. Just visit www.makinwellness.com or call
Tips For Processing Your Partners Sex Addiction
Upon discovering your partners addiction, its common to go through a period of shock, followed by stages of grief or ambivalence. The range of emotions you feel is completely normal, however, always try your best to not become hostile.
Many partners of sex addicts experience ongoing symptoms of PTSD, such as flashbacks or re-experiencing the trauma, inability to concentrate at work, numbing their own sexuality, and being hypervigilant or constantly on edge with their partners behaviour. Thats why PTSD treatment and partner of sex addict help can be an incredible step to healing.
Also, joining a support group, speaking to a therapist, and confiding in a trusted friend or family member can also help you process your emotions in a healthy way.
When dealing with a sex addict partner, remember that they use sex as an outlet for them to cope with other issues in their life. Co-occuring depression and anxiety are very commonly seen among sex addicts, as well as other forms of substance abuse.
Their behaviour is in no way a reflection of you or of something lacking in your relationship its a coping mechanism to suppress emotions.
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Would You Like To Know More
Hopefully, this information will help you to survive loving someone with sexual addiction. If you have any questions or you are struggling in a relationship with someone who has a sexual addiction, get started with Pennsylvania online therapy. We serve the Greater Pittsburgh, PA area, the Philidelphia, PA region, and the entire state of Pennsylvania. To learn more about how we can help you, start your healing journey now.
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Sara Makin MSEd, LPC, NCC
All articles are written in conjunction with the Makin Wellness Research Team.