Sex addiction, sometimes referred to as hypersexual disorder, is an issue that impacts many people in the United States and all over the world. While a healthy sex life is important for most adults, individuals dealing with sex addiction are not able to have entirely normal interactions with sexual fantasy or situations. That’s why many need to turn to sex addiction treatment programs to change the way they think about sex and interact with others.
Admitting to being a sex addict is difficult for many people, but it is a problem that is no different than any other type of addiction. Of course, how it is treated is often quite different, and the underlying reasons you have developed a sex addiction may be different.
In some cases, individuals who develop a sex addiction over time may also have other addictive behaviors or patterns in their life. In many cases, you’ll need to sort those out alongside sex addition treatment.
It can be scary to change your life, but beating a sex addiction is possible. Use this guide to learn more about hypersexual disorder and how the right treatment programs can help you regain a healthy day to day life and relationship with sex.
What is Sex Addiction?
understanding sex addiction can be difficult for many people since it takes on a variety of forms. The most common form of sex addiction is seeking out multiple sexual encounters in a short period of time. While it’s a highly personal issue, sex addicts all spend a great deal of time in their lives devoted to sex, finding sex, or having sex. Some addicts may also use fantasy or pornography instead of having sex with a partner.
While sex is a pleasurable thing for many people, and an important part of intimacy for couples, addicts can suffer greatly when they’re in the throes of addiction. Many may also put themselves in harm’s way to find or have sex, risking their health or personal safety to satisfy an addiction.
Are All Sex Addicts Having Sex?
It’s a common belief that to be a sex addict you must be having sex on a regular basis. While some sex addicts do have frequent sexual encounters with one or more individuals in their lives, this is not always the way sex addiction manifests itself. For some people, sexual fantasies play just as big of a role in addiction and problematic before.
For example, an individual may be focused primarily one on fantasy or sexual idea that makes it hard to have functional encounters with a spouse or partner. This can lead to problems in relationships and make sex a sticking point in both people’s lives. Some people may not be able to have sexual encounters because of idealized versions of sex they’ve developed in their minds on a fantasy basis.
Pornography is also a growing part of sex addiction for many people. The use of pornographic images may not be a problem for everyone, but addicts tend to take this behavior to the extreme. Many individuals who develop a sex addiction to pornography neglect real-life sexual encounters or spend an inordinate amount of time looking at it.
If sexual fantasies or ideas are taking hold of your life, it is possible to change your thoughts and behavior. You can obtain a normal sex life again and go back to have a healthy relationship with yourself and partner.
Treatment Options for Sex Addiction
Talk therapy is a common form of treatment for addiction. Other inpatient programs and outpatient programs may be used to help addicts stop their behavior once and for all, especially if their health is at risk.
If you think you’re a sex addict, talking to a professional counselor about your treatment options is the first step on the road to recovery.
Seeking treatment for sexual addiction can be embarrassing and frightening for a lot of people. While it can seem like the journey to a healthy sex life is going to be long and arduous, many people see significant changes in thoughts and moods shortly after starting treatment. As you change your behavior, you may find your new life more rewarding, which drives you further away from past thoughts or ideas about sex.
If you’re struggling with any type of sex addiction, reaching out for help is a smart thing to do. Professionals who understand the nature of sex addiction can guide you toward a path to a healthier life starting today.