What is sexual addiction and how it becomes a problem?
Sexual addiction has become a condition where an individual cannot control their sexual thoughts and behavior. By definition, it refers to persistent preoccupation with sexual behavior or thoughts to such extents that even though it ends up causing serious harm.
Persistent sexual behavior affects an individual’s ability to maintain relationships, focus on work, and other daily activities. The harm which is caused by sex addiction may include: 1) avoidance from meaningful intimate affairs; 2) risky, unhealthy, or dangerous sexual thoughts; 3) legal consequences; 4) financial consequences; 5) failing to manage other responsibilities as a parent, student, employee, friend, etc.
In some cases, an individual with a healthy sex life may slowly develop an obsession from it. There are chances where they may be stimulated by fantasies and acts which society may not accept. Sexual addiction in men is known as satyriasis and nymphomania in females. Sexual addiction (hypersexuality) has not been yet fully established as a disorder or medical condition. It’s difficult to find out in a person as everyone has a different level of libido or sex drive. A person may have high sex drives that do not even they are an addict.
Sex Addiction Causes
Sex addiction causes are still unclear, but its roots are in the reward system of the midbrain. It occurs when the brain by mistake take pleasurable responses in the rewarding category. The midbrain in the brain is a section which manages the body’s reward center. Any sexual activity or thought releases “good’’ chemical in the reward system, which triggers the pleasurable response. Sexual addiction can develop due to various factors which encompass each and every aspect of a person’s life which includes:
- Atmosphere influences: before certain age sex aspects, including adverse happenings or events such as exposure or abuse to sexual content.
- Metal state of mind: Depression, anxiety, poor impulse, personality disorders, and physical performance anxiety issues which an individual struggles from along sex addiction.
- Hormones: in a person hormones keep changing higher or more the sex hormones such as estrogen or testosterone in the body can increase the sex desires.
- Genes: A person’s genes play an important role. If someone is genetically blessed with impulsivity or, emotional dysregulation, or sensation-seeking type of behavior. The chances of having other traits which are commonly associated with addiction are more.
- Social ignorance: people who are not treated well or face social isolation end up looking for sexual ways of being gratified, which also leads problems such as physical maladies and depression that further contributes in unhealthy sexual activities.
- Social learning: Regularly watching sexual content or someone else’s sexual behavior develops higher sexual desires.
Sex Addiction Symptoms
Sexual addiction shares the same substance addition reward center in the brain. However, those who suffer from sexual addiction may have different addiction. Some common activities which are linked with sexual addiction are:
- Multiple sexual partners, one-night stands, and affairs
- habitual masturbation
- excessive use of pornography
- participating in an unsafe way of sex
- practicing prostitution or frequently visiting prostitutes
Sex Addiction Treatments
Treating a person can be a tough task, as a person who suffers from any type of addiction will justify and rationalize their activities and behaviors patterns. They may deny their problem. It can be brought into control by attending several self-help activities. There are some sex addiction treatment options which aim to come down excessive desires in sexual activities. Below are some of the treatment options which are available:
- Residential treatment: it is a program for individuals who suffer from addictive disorders. It is a live on-site where an individual is at the facility which works to provide care to the affected individual with the help of specialized doctors and therapists.
- Cognitive therapy: it is a behavioral therapy that provides different techniques which help individual change and improve their behavior.
- Prescription medications: consuming prescribed medicine like Prozac may work to reduce sexual desires and Everything Health.
If a person has sex addition, he/she should be supported by family and friends during the recovery period. Sex addiction because of its different nature can be tough for other people to tolerate and understand, especially in cases where it causes damage in a relationship. However, constant support to an addict helps reduce the level of destructive sexual behavior and the chances of relapse.