However, some individuals may develop unhealthy sexual habits, which with time, can turn into compulsive sexual behavior that can ruin their life and the lives of their loved ones, just like substance abuse would. But how exactly can you know if you're a sex addict, and what steps should you take to break free from these unhealthy sexual impulses?
These are the questions we will answer in this article, among many others.
What is Sex Addiction?
In simplest terms, it can be understood as a compulsive drive toward sexual behaviors that provide a release, "fix," or a high that one would normally associate with substance addiction. Sex addicts often struggle to maintain healthy personal relationships, and in the long term, their compulsive behaviors can lead to a severe deterioration of their mental health.
Unfortunately, due to its murky status in psychiatry, many cases of sex addiction remain undiagnosed, with those addicted to sex unable to get the help they need. However, if you suspect yourself or a loved one of this addiction, you should know that help is still available, including inpatient sex addiction treatment. This phenomenon is widely discussed in psychological and psychiatric circles, and plenty of specialists have devoted their lives to studying it and helping sex addicts.
What's the Difference Between Porn and Sex Addiction?
Sex addiction comprises a wide set of behaviors and compulsions, and porn addiction is one of them. However, you don't need to be addicted to porn to be considered a sex addict. Lumping these disorders in the same bag is a dangerous oversimplification, and it may result in negative consequences, despite being borne out of good intentions.
Porn addicts are sex addicts, that's for sure, but not all sex addicts are necessarily addicted to porn. Sexual urges come in different forms, and how you act upon them determines the type of sex addiction you're dealing with.
How to Figure Out If You're a Sex Addict?
Personal Relationships and Professional Life
Shame and Embarrassment
Desire for Change
One thing that most sexual addictions have in common is the fact that the addict's mind is constantly preoccupied with sexual thoughts and fantasies, making it difficult to focus on anything else, at least until their desires are acted upon.
Symptoms of Sexual Addiction
While most sex addicts are reportedly men, a fair share of women struggle with this disorder, too. The sex addiction symptoms in females are largely similar to those identified in males, though, as there is nothing gender-specific about them.
People addicted to sex often engage in risky behaviors such as engaging with prostitutes or having sexual encounters with strangers, which carries the risk of getting infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Harmful Effects of Sex Addiction
STDs and unwanted pregnancies are some of the most obvious short-term effects of sex addiction. Still, there are also long-term repercussions you should be aware of, and they include:
Sex addiction affects the partners, friends, or family as much as the addicts themselves. You may isolate yourself from the people close to you to the point where they might choose to stop being involved with you altogether.
Obsessive sexual thoughts and compulsive behaviors will inevitably lead to your performance at work dropping off a lot below the expected levels. It is not unheard of for sex addicts to get fired due to addiction derailing their productivity.
The strong feelings of shame and guilt, coupled with the fear of abandonment and getting exposed, can lead to the development of serious mental health conditions, including clinical depression.
You may feel anxious more often than usual due to your sex addiction. This is because of the constant need for a sexual release and the negative emotions mentioned above contributing to your increased anxiety levels.
Sex addicts often turn to alcohol abuse and recreational drugs to deal with the negative emotions and strained relationships resulting from their destructive behavior.
How to Treat Sex Addiction?
Get the Help You Need and Deserve From Miracles Asia
At Miracles Asia, we specialize in treating all sorts of processes and substance addictions at our residential facilities in Phuket, Thailand. With the help of our mental health professional & support staff that will attend to your every need, you'll have everything you need to begin living a life free of addiction.
We won't leave you hanging after you return home, either. Through our comprehensive Aftercare and Relapse Prevention program, you'll be kept in touch with a mental health professional for two months after leaving Thailand and other Miracles Asia alumni for as long as you need.
If you're ready to take the next step toward recovery, contact us, and we will provide you with more detailed information about your potential treatment plan and our residential facilities.