Is There a Treatment for Sex Addiction?
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.
Stories of Recovery
- The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.Oliver VGRead more
- On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.Johan BRead more
- I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!Carla SRead more
- "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."Angelique JRead more