The Hidden Shame and Guilt Of Sex Addiction
Sex addiction is a disorder that is caused by the misuse of a person’s natural sex drive. This addiction usually starts in puberty, although it can develop even later in life. Once it develops, it leads to a compulsive addiction and even if the person tries to avoid it he cannot. Sex and the thought of sex dominate his thinking, making it difficult for him to work or engage in healthy personal relationships. Intimate relationships, self-respect, associations with friends and family, career and finances – they all get second priority after his sexual addiction. Sexually addictive behavior, like other addictions, provides short-term thrills but long-term misery.
Symptoms of sexual addiction are diverse, and may include:
- Multiple sexual partners
- Cybersex or phone sex
- Excessive masturbation
- Visiting prostitutes
- Extramarital affairs
Problem of Acceptance
Most sex addicts are not ready to accept their addiction. To treat the addiction it is very important for the person to accept and admit that he has a problem. In many sex addiction cases, it takes an important event, like the break-up of a marriage, loss of a job, a health crisis or an arrest, to force the addict to admit his problem. Taking some steps to get over this addiction is the most vital decision the sex-addicted person can make in his life.
Mental health professionals who are trained in sex addiction therapy (CSAT) can help the sex addict overcome the addiction. Treatment primarily focuses on how to control the addictive behavior and help the addict develop a healthy sexuality. The treatment sessions by therapist are done on individual basis as well as in groups. There are also various support groups for people with sexual addictions available that can be of great help. In some cases medications are also used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder.
Issues to be Dealt With
Treatment usually focuses on two main issues. The first issue is the logistical concerns of separating the addict from harmful sexual behavior. The sex addiction counselors in Orange County help the person with addiction understand everything about healthy sexual behavior. Lifelong abstinence, which is the most effective treatment option for treating alcohol or drug addiction, is not the motive for the person who is sex addicted. The second issue, which is the most difficult involves facing the shame, depression and guilt attached with this illness. It takes time and trust with a therapist to overcome these emotions.
If you or your family member is suffering from sexual addiction we can help you. Call Olga Wingood, a licensed MFT, at (949)231-8778.
Providing Counseling Services in Orange County: Irvine, Tustin, Orange, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Laguna, Santa Ana, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Corona Del Mar, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita, Ladero Ranch, Dana Point and San Clemente, California