Is There a Treatment for Sex Addiction?

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Is There a Treatment for Sex Addiction?

05 November, 2019Articles, News

Sex addiction, also known as “hypersexuality,” is a proposed diagnosis for people who seek out sexual encounters compulsively and engage in activities such as porn, masturbation and prostitution to a degree that is harmful and causes physical, emotional and spiritual unmanageability. Contrary to what many mistakenly believe, sex addiction is a process addiction, rather than a moral dilemma. It can as such be treated with extensive therapy at a sex rehab, followed by after-treatment support and ongoing personal development through a 12-step fellowship or other therapeutic method.

What is Sex Addiction?

The existence of sex addiction and the forms in which it manifests, is a topic of hot debate amongst the scientific and medical communities. Currently, sexual behaviour disorder is listed in the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases. While it may be difficult to define in absolute terms, sex addiction can be loosely defined as the compulsive and uncontrollable need to perform sexual acts as a kind of “fix,” much like a drug addict would compulsively use substances or an alcoholic would consume alcohol.

There are a number of unfortunate misconceptions that surround sex addiction. One such misconception is that sex addicts are “maniacs” who enjoy the act of sex more than the average human being. To the contrary, as in the case of drug and alcohol addiction, sex addicts are compelled to act out sexually as a result of a compulsion, rather than a normal physical desire. The compulsion to achieve the next “high” is overwhelming and all-consuming.

The side effects or symptoms of sex addiction vary from person to person. However, common physical consequences of acting out on this compulsion, include the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases as well as other forms of injury related to sexual behaviour. Other symptoms include extreme feelings of guilt and shame and in some cases, complete isolation and immobilisation.

How is Sex Addiction Treated?

Sex addiction can be treated through sex rehab, in the same way in which other addictions are treated, albeit with specific focus areas like identifying bottom-line behaviours, trauma resolution, learning how to build meaningful and intimate relationships and developing a healthy sense of self-esteem.

Treatment for sex addicts at Crossroad Recovery Centres consists of a sex rehab programme that combines a personalised approach to recovery as well as group therapy in the form of workshops, support groups and group activities.

It is important that sex addicts learn how to maintain their recovery as a lifestyle change that transcends the bounds of the treatment programme. For this reason, it is often recommended that sex addicts are introduced to the Sex Addicts Anonymous programme, which is a 12-step fellowship of men and women who collectively work towards finding a new way to live, free from the destructive patterns of their addiction.

If you or a loved one needs advice on how to find recovery from sex addiction, know that help is readily available. Contact us for a free consultation and we’ll support you in your journey.


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