It is rather a hush-hush topic when you discuss it with your parents, siblings, or someone close in the family.
On the other hand, it is distressing when you try to discuss it with your friends and they laugh it off. “You’ll quite enjoy your life more than we do.” “How about sharing some tips for being a pro like you.”
A lot of people will shrug in disbelief if you tell them that there exists a problem called ‘Sex addiction.’ You might be termed a nut too. Not too surprising.
What is sex addiction or porn addiction?
Sex and porn addiction or sexual addiction is the emotional dependency on the need for a partner for sex or pornography. Having physical needs is okay but if it turns into an obsession and disrupts mental peace, it is called addiction.
Symptoms of sex addiction
I learned a lot about sex addiction symptoms when my ex confessed to having a constant urge to get physical. Initially, I called it passion. Well, we all do, huh- given the lack of knowledge and information.
We definitely had some memorable times, but with time, I discovered 7 signs of sex addiction.
- The frequency always seemed abnormal
- He was mostly concerned about his needs being met
- His overindulgence in pornography to the extent of disruption of the daily routine
- Inappropriate frequency of masturbation, lacking a sense of place and time.
- Fits of anxiety and anger when we are not discussing or engaging in intercourse
- I often suspected him of being disloyal due to his busy schedules with his female colleagues and friends
- He often talked about his low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety, not really understanding what could be the reason
I would want to put forth the similarities between being addicted to the drug and traits of a sex addict.
The study draws a similarity between the compulsive behaviors in both cases where certain brain activities for the person addicted to sex and the one addicted to drugs or gambling are similar. In a way, the reward system in both situations works in the same way.
The truth is that having a compulsive desire for sex and engagement in drug abuse are correlative too. One addiction will lead to another unless the person suffers from irreparable physical and mental damage.
What are the complications of sexual addiction?
There are various complications and effects of sex addiction. It not only affects the person but also their near and dear ones. However, what the person goes through is a lot more internal than external.
Some of the mental effects of sex addiction are:
- Increased suicidal thoughts
- Distorted thinking process
- Feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness
- Fear of abandonment
- Fear of victimization
- Mood swings
- Shame & guilt
Some of the physical effects of sex addiction are:
- Risk of increased STDs
- HIV infection
- Sleep deprivation or insomnia
- Self-inflicted pain/damage
What are the types of sex addiction?
To diagnose someone with uncontrolled sexual impulses is a difficult process as there are no universally defined consensus to consider it as a separate disorder. However, based on the common symptoms and effects and treatment therapies, here are a few types of sex addiction that will help you understand the problem better:
1. Psychological sexual addiction
Most of the sexual addiction falls under the psychological condition. Here, past trauma or suffering results in obsession, and the sexual fantasy acts as a relieving agent in the head. This leads to physical implications.
2. Intimacy anorexia sex addiction
Intimacy anorexia (Ia) Is a term coined by Dr. Douglas Weiss, a clinical psychologist and president of the American Association for sex addiction therapy. This type of addiction means withholding intimacy from the partner such that the spouses live like roommates. Such partners suffer from an inability to share their feelings and open up to their partners.
3. Trauma-based sex addiction
This is another type of sexual addiction where your fantasies and desires crop from the trauma faced in childhood or adolescence. The predominance of childhood trauma leads to the repetitive behavior of compulsive sexual desires, and unmet needs.
4. Biological sex addiction
Biological addiction is related to pornography and masturbation where increased endorphins are a result of excessive acts of attaching to images and fantasy.
5. Spiritual sex addiction
Such an addiction is a result of past neglect where a person tries to find self-worth and value through sexual satisfaction. To fill the internal void and build a positive self-image, such a person takes the route of sexual behavior.
6. Mood disorder sex addiction
The sex addicts under this category are suffering from depression. And to alter the chemical imbalances in their brain, they resort to sexual behaviors to shift their focus from the current mood. In a way, sex becomes a process of medication.
What are the causes of sex addiction?
Sex and porn addiction can have various causes, which once identified, can be a great step towards treatment:
- Biological causes
There could be biological causes of such a disorder, that is, repeated chemical imbalances of the brain. With exposure to pornography or sexual fantasies, a person can take them as a reward and continue it causing it to be a repeated pattern.
- Cultural ideologies
Certain false or wrong cultural ideologies of a certain section of the society can lead the person to find an unhealthy outlet. Such societal norms dictate a person to behave in a certain way.
- Relationship issues
Relationship issues and dissatisfaction, frustration, and unfulfilled desires can lead to addiction.
- Mental health
If there are some psychological issues and distress, sexual activities can act as a way of medication or reward.
Is it possible to prevent sexual addiction?
Compulsive sexual behavior can be cured with proper medical treatment and therapy. Once you understand the signs and symptoms, it is advisable to not wait further but seek professional help for sex addiction treatment as soon as possible.
Sexual addiction treatment
Sexual addiction treatment can be done by expert sex therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. They will try to detect the underlying cause of the disorder and work on behavioral therapy and counseling accordingly for sexual addiction recovery.
Apart from these, there could also be certain medications to treat the problem. Lifestyle changes are also recommended and necessary to come out of this abyss.
Last but not the least, you can also get in touch with various support groups to discuss the problem and eliminate the issue with their specific sex addiction help.