Myths About Sex Addiction

Myths About Sex Addiction

You may believe that people who have too much sex do not have an addiction. The truth is that sex addiction is just as serious as being addicted to drugs and alcohol. By understanding the true facts about sex addiction, you will have a clearer understanding of whether or not you should seek treatment.

Myth: Sex Addiction Is Not Real

Sex addiction happens to be as real as any other addiction, as it carries serious negative consequences. Individuals with a sex addiction want so badly to stop thinking of sex or seeking out sex, but they find it too difficult. There are counselors that receive specialized training for sex addiction to help those who need it. While sex addiction may not be treated as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it is still recognized by other medical organizations worldwide. For example, sex addiction is recognized by the World Health Organization in its International Classification of Diseases.

Myth: People with Sex Addiction Are Always Having Sex

Sex addiction can actually unfold in many ways. While having a sex addiction means spending an unhealthy amount of time thinking about engaging in sexual behaviors, it does not necessarily mean sex itself. While there are those who will have intercourse with different people or sex workers, there are others who engage in sexual behaviors through porn or sexual fantasies. It is considered an addiction when your sexual thoughts are getting in the way of living your daily life. 

Myth: People with Sex Addiction Are Unfaithful

While one characteristic of sex addiction is having multiple sex partners, it is not necessarily representative of every case. There are people with sex addiction who are still faithful to their partner. They can be either married or in a committed relationship and may put pressure on their partner to have a lot of sex or find other ways to fulfill their desires like porn or sexual fantasies. This can lead to problems in your relationship if your partner is not in the mood for sex but you keep guilting them into it.

Myth: Sex Addiction Is Only for Men

It is common to believe that men are the only ones dealing with sex addiction since men are known to have stronger sex drives or are more sexually aggressive. The truth is that both men and women can have sex addiction. Women often get scorned for having too much sex. They may be doing the same things that men with sex addiction do, but people often label them as a “slut” or a “whore” instead of thinking that they may actually have a mental issue. 

Myth: Sex Addiction Treatment Cures You of Sexual Behaviors

Sex addiction treatment is not about judging or condemning you of your sexual behaviors. Treatment is all about addressing compulsive and out of control sexual behavior. Your therapist will not tell you that you need to give up sex forever or to just have a particular kind of sex. It is about trying to keep your sexual urges under control, learning about what it is that makes you have these strong urges, and about developing healthy habits. 

Myth: Sex Addiction Therapists Know Nothing of Mental Illnesses

The truth is that sex addiction therapists are practicing clinicians before they begin their specialty of sex addiction. They have training in psycho-diagnostics and look at the signs and symptoms of other mental illnesses, as well as addictions. Having a sex addiction could be the result of using sex as a way to escape feelings of anxiety or depression. Therapists are aware of the number of factors that can lead to sex addiction and should have no problem addressing them.

Myth: Sex Addiction Treatment Is Anti-Sex

Going into treatment for sex addiction is not for the purpose of turning you against sex. It is about helping people enjoy sex in a healthy way. Many people develop a sex addiction as a means of escape or self-medicating the pain they are in. Sex addiction treatment will teach you how to have sex in a healthy way and slowly bring it back into your life.

Myth: Sex Addiction Is Loving Sex

People who have sex addiction feel shame and guilt after their hypersexual activity. They wish they were not this way, but they feel they cannot help it. They do not have to have a romantic attraction to whoever they are having sex with. It is possible for individuals to have too much sex because they are trying to escape negative feelings, only to discover those feelings are still there. They are hoping these feelings will disappear with more sex. In sex addiction therapy, you will learn about what you like and do not like about sex.

Myth: Sex Addiction Means Having Sex Issues

Having a sex addiction means you have an underlying mental health issue. You are using sex to cope, and it could be a symptom of trauma. If you have suffered from abuse as a child, it can affect the way you view sex, as well as leave you with challenging thoughts and feelings. It can also occur if you have been abused, neglected, manipulated, or did not get enough attachment growing up (resulting in a longing for feelings of love and affection). By getting help for your sex addiction, you can enjoy sexual intimacy and make healthier decisions.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12-step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us today at 833-801-LIVE. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How to Tell If You Are Dating a Sex Addict

How to Tell If You Are Dating a Sex Addict

It may be hard for you to tell or you are living in denial that your romantic partner is a sex addict. You may think that they are simply satisfying their sexual appetite when they watch too much porn, constantly masturbating, or feel like they need to sleep with multiple people to feel fully satisfied. By knowing whether or not your partner has a sex addiction, you can better speak to your partner about getting help.

Sex is a Crucial Need

You may notice in your partner that sex is an important need for them. It could be that they request sex from you every night or at inappropriate times. You may feel uncomfortable with your partner when you feel pressured to have sex when you do not feel in the mood. You could be looking to talk to your partner after a long day of work, but your partner is more interested in immediately having sexual intercourse with you. People with a sexual addiction are always in the mood and may make you feel like a villain for refusing something that they are in real need of. 

Sex Without Protection

People who have a real need for sex will not think about the serious consequences that can occur from unsafe sex. This can mean that they will not think about putting on a condom or taking birth control pills. They will immediately just want to follow their sexual impulses. Even if they run out of condoms or birth control pills, that will not be a barrier stopping them from attaining their sexual needs. The problem with not trying to be safe while having sex shows that they do not care enough about your safety or their own. A lot of people with a sexual addiction tend to sleep with many people and have a better chance of spreading STDs because they are in too much of a rush to have sex to be careful. 

Lying

Sex addicts tend to lead double lives. You may think that your partner has gotten their sexual impulses under control because they have stopped pressuring you to have sex. The truth is that people who have a strong need for sex are going to do whatever it takes to acquire sex, just like when a drug addict will do whatever they can to get more drugs. Your partner could be going on online hookup sites to find anyone to have sex with without getting to know them first. They could be lying to you about where they are, what they are doing, and who they are with. They have to keep up with these lies to avoid losing any opportunity to fulfill their hyperactive sexual needs. 

Depression

People with sex addiction end up hating themselves. They feel ashamed that they cannot control their sexual urges like other people can. They also feel like they have to hold their addiction inside in fear that others will hate them as well. Remember that the The National Council on Sexual Addiction Compulsivity said 18 million to 24 million are sex addicts. You are not alone in your pain and it should be shared. Having a sex addiction can cause you to lose everything such as your relationship, your job, and your finances because you are too preoccupied with doing whatever it takes to fulfill your sexual needs. It is important to know that people with a sexual addiction do not want to do the things they are doing or hurting people, but it cannot be helped if they are not in treatment. 

Masturbation

You may think that if you and your partner have already had sex, your partner should be satisfied. The truth is that it may still not be enough if they have a sex addiction. While you go to sleep, your partner could be masterbating in the bathroom or in another room. Whenever you are not home or there is no else available for intercourse, they masturbate as they do not need to depend on anyone for that.

Always Near Technology

You may notice that your partner is always with their phone or they act on guard when you go near their computer. This can mean that they have photos, videos, or websites on their screens that they would be ashamed of you seeing. When you come into the room, your partner automatically minimizes the windows open on their screen or turn off their computer completely. You might think that they are cheating on you, when they are really just hiding the pornographic videos, pictures, and webchats used as devices to make them feel sexy.

Follow Your Instincts

You may have felt like nothing is going on with your partner until you take a real good look at them. Do not keep telling yourself that your partner is not going through anything as it will only let their addiction grow worse. Talk to your partner about what you have noticed. Do not give your partner a judgmental tone, but a concerned tone in that you want to help them. You can join them at Sex Addicts Anonymous or find a good therapist for them that specializes in this. Whether your partner is a man or a woman, seeing the signs of a sex addict will open your eyes to how serious the condition can be and showing your partner resources to a healthy sex life. 

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center using evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Healing from Sex Addiction

Healing from Sex Addiction

Recovering from sex addiction, just like other addictions, can involve abstinence while you’re working to heal. Unlike with other addictions where we will often choose to abstain permanently, sex and relationships are something we plan to engage in again. Taking a break from our drug or behavior of choice, sex included, doesn’t guarantee our recovery. If we haven’t healed from our underlying root issues, abstinence will not solve our problems for us, and we’ll be confronted by them all over again. The same cycles and patterns will still affect us even if we’ve taken a break from the drug or behavior in question. Abstinence, therefore, is an important element in healing but only part of the equation.

An often overlooked factor in our addictions is the physical imbalance of our energies. Our sexuality is associated with the sacral chakra, or second chakra, which also governs creativity, emotion and manifestation. When we are experiencing sexual urges or addiction, our sacral chakra’s energy can be imbalanced and unhealthy. To balance this energy, we can express our creativity in healthy ways, through art, music, writing, dance or other kind of self-expression. We can go swimming, spend time near a body of water, or perform a water ritual, as water is the element associated with this chakra.

Our emotional health is the foundation for the rest of our wellness, and to heal from addiction, we have to identify and examine the emotions that are unresolved within us that are causing the disturbances to our well-being. Are there fears we’ve been refusing to look at? Are we clinging to shame from past mistakes? Are we holding onto the grief of a loss, or the sadness from a particular traumatic experience? Whatever emotions we have yet to process will try to get our attention any way they can, in the form of conflict, pain and addiction, until we finally take heed and work to heal them. We can work to heal our wounded emotions by working with a therapist, joining a support group, using journaling and creative arts therapy, and seeking out a spiritual guide. We can talk about our feelings with people we trust, this sometimes being the hardest step for us but one of the most important in learning to process how we feel in healthy ways. Rather than continuing our patterns of denial, avoidance, distraction and suppression, we can start to really face our emotions. Getting a handle on our emotional health is perhaps the most crucial element in healing from sex addiction.

Enlightened Solutions will work with you to heal not only from your primary addiction but also from any other co-occurring conditions you might be experiencing, including sex addiction. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.


Sex Addiction and Relationships

Sex Addiction and Relationships

Sex addiction can take over our entire lives in devastating ways, one of the most painful being our relationships. When we are addicted to love and sex, it can affect our personal relationships in various ways. Having a healthy relationship can feel next to impossible when we are coming from a place of dependence, neediness and attachment. When our relationships are filled with addiction of any kind, they don’t have the solid foundation they need to survive. Relationships with sex addiction as a factor can be destructive and explosive, in drastically unhealthy ways.

Very often we are attracting relationships into our lives based on the energy of our addiction. We enter relationships simply to satisfy physical urges. We don’t choose our partners based on compatibility, mutual interests or love. Sometimes we’re not even physically attracted to our partners. We are so driven by the compulsive need to get our sexual fix, to feel our high again, that sometimes we don’t care who it is we’re sleeping with. We might be so desperate for connection, intimacy and company that we choose partners we might never have chosen if we were in a healthier place. Many of us are painfully afraid of being alone or lonely, and this fear drives us to make unhealthy choices that we later regret.

Sometimes we attract other addicts who are themselves struggling with sex addiction or another kind of addiction. When we’re in relationships with other addicts, we can feed off of each other’s destructive habits and exacerbate them. We can pull each other into relentless cycles of breaking up, making up, ending and restarting the relationship countless times. The toxicity of these kinds of patterns can worsen our addictive urges and make us more likely to use addictive substances or engage in other addictive behaviors to cope. We can also feel heightened compulsiveness with our sexual urges as well, making us even more likely to stay in the toxic situation or find other unhealthy outlets for our energy. Any time we’re in destructive patterns such as these, we can experience worsened depression and anxiety.

With addiction in general, but sex addiction in particular, we can find ourselves engaging in dangerous behaviors, having casual sex with multiple partners we don’t know well, staying in abusive relationships, risking our health and wellness to get our fix. Sex addiction can put us at higher risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections and/or having unwanted pregnancies. We may put ourselves in grave danger staying with partners who are abusive, because we feel we love them, when sometimes we’ve simply become addicted to them and to what they represent for us – someone who can fill our needs, make us feel less lonely or give us the attention we crave. Coming to an understanding about sex addiction involves looking at the ways in which it functions in our relationships.

The treatment programs at Enlightened Solutions work with co-occurring conditions, including sex addiction. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.


Stigmas Around Sex Addiction

Stigmas Around Sex Addiction

The stigmas surrounding addiction have become a dominant part of our mainstream cultural dialogue but were generated from a place of fear and lack of understanding from people who aren’t addicts themselves. Without having experienced it firsthand, addiction can be a complicated and difficult thing to comprehend. Just as all addictions carry specific stigmas and stereotypes associated with them, sex addiction has come to be viewed a certain way that is unique to it. Since sex itself is still taboo in so many ways, and since sex is such a powerful force in our lives, there is a great deal of fear, trepidation, misunderstanding and misinformation when it comes to sex addiction.

A common misconception about sex addiction is that it is an excuse for promiscuity and reckless, dangerous sexuality. Addiction as a whole carries the weight of shame with it for many people, and with sex addiction, this can be even more true. Sex addicts can be drowning in shame for the compulsive acts they’re engaging in. We can feel as though we’re totally out of control, like our actions and our bodies are not within our control but being driven by a compulsive force. Many of us don’t want to be promiscuous. We want loving, healthy, monogamous relationships but feel as though we can’t stop ourselves from having casual sex, cheating or otherwise acting out. We feel ashamed of our sexual history, of the partners we’ve been with, of our choices and behaviors. We feel sadness, regret and remorse after our sexual encounters. Just as alcoholics are not using their addiction as an excuse for destructive behavior, sex addicts are not using their addiction as an excuse for promiscuity.

Another stigma surrounding sex addiction is that sex addicts are immoral, deviant people. This belief is based on the larger belief that sex is wrong, that having sex for pleasure is an immoral thing to do, and that our sexuality is a source of shame. Addiction can impact and taint every area of our lives, but it doesn’t rob of us of our inherent goodness. We can be suffering from addiction and still have compassion and kindness. Addicts are not necessarily bad people, and sex can be a beautiful thing when treated with the respect it deserves. Sex addiction is not a badge of immorality just as alcoholism isn’t. Understanding sex addiction and how it affects people’s lives involves looking at some of the stigmas that addicts have to live with on a constant basis.

If you’re living with sex addiction and struggling to feel understood, you’re not alone. Sex addiction is one of the most common co-occurring conditions we address in our treatment programs at Enlightened Solutions. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.


Understanding Sex Addiction

Understanding Sex Addiction

One of the many conditions that can both accompany other addictions and function as an addiction on its own is sex addiction. Whereas we usually associate addiction with substances such as drugs and alcohol, there are many behaviors that can become similarly addictive and destructive in a person’s life. Gambling, gaming, spending, shoplifting and overeating are all examples. Sex addiction, often referred to as love and sex addiction, is when a person’s relationship with sex and romance has become unhealthy, obsessive, impulsive and compulsive. When we struggle with sex addiction, our natural impulses for love and sex are overtaken by a neediness, a desperation, a compulsive need to return to a feeling of being high. Our thoughts are dominated by our sexual relationships, and we find it hard to focus on anything else. Our lives can become totally consumed by our reckless and dangerous behaviors. Our health can be derailed by our sexual patterns.

Very often our addictions stem from the trauma we haven’t resolved within ourselves. Sex addiction is no different. Sometimes our traumatic experiences were sexual in nature, causing us to have a dysfunctional relationship with sex based on fear, mistrust, shame and sadness. Sometimes our trauma can be totally unrelated, but our unresolved pain manifests in a sexual way. For example, the abandonment we felt at the loss of a loved one can cause us to compulsively try to relieve that pain through having sex.

With sex addiction, we often confuse sex for love and vice versa. In a healthy relationship, sex can be a mutual expression of our love and a reflection of it. In unhealthy relationships based on addiction, we have a hard time processing or clarifying our thoughts and feelings, including our definitions of love, respect and trust. We don’t know how to define, let alone embody, a healthy partnership. Often what results is a lot of confusion and turmoil. We’re filled with neediness and longing. Our relationships are based on codependence. We form attachments rather than unions. We feel as though there is a void within us that we try to fill through being loved, needed and wanted by another person. We can become just as addicted to the euphoric feelings of love as we are to the physical act of sex, and both can become the driving forces behind our behavior.

Sex addiction is one of the many co-occurring conditions we treat at Enlightened Solutions. You’re not alone. There is help available to you. Call us today: (833) 801-LIVE.


Pornography Addiction

Sexual compulsion is not regarded as a mental illness by many. Shamed and stigmatized by mass culture, sexual addictions are swept under the rug and made a joke of. For someone suffering from an addiction to sex, sexual activity, or pornography, their illness is no laughing matter. Money, relationships, careers, and even physical health, are compromised by a compulsive need for sex.

Pornography addiction

is categorized as a process addiction. Process addictions do not necessarily include an end result, as opposed to getting high or drunk on drugs and alcohol. Instead, they involve the compulsivity and impulsivity of an entire process, like watching pornography. Process addictions can cause equal damage to one’s life as drug and alcohol abuse can. Most affected is the individual themselves and their mental health.

Obsessive and impulsive behavior surrounding pornography causes a disruption in the mental health of the individual as well as their family. Recently, celebrity Teri Crews disclosed his addiction to pornography. In multiple interviews, he explained that hours upon hours of his daily life was being lost to compulsively watching pornographic videos, viewing pictures, and more.

Pornography addiction can include chat rooms, forums, “sexting”, and webcam viewing. Because of the sexual nature of pornography addiction it is often confused with sex addiction. As a result, many assumptions are made about the details. Pornography addiction does not necessarily include any actual sexual acts. For example, someone addicted to pornography is not necessarily addicted to masturbation, which commonly accompanies pornography watching.

Where it is involved, however, the pleasure affiliated with viewing pornography gets hardwired. When it comes to real life affection, intimacy, and sexual relation, someone addicted to pornography feels that it falls short. The brain has programmed itself to be turned on by the extremes and detached reality of pornography.

Human relationships suffer. Feeling isolated, ashamed, and alone, someone might go deeper into their pornography addiction looking for solace. Online subscriptions and memberships can cost a lot of money, bringing on financial strain.

Recovering from addiction to pornography is possible with treatment and therapy. Discovering the underlying causes for the compulsion to watch pornography usually reveals unresolved issues. Assessing those issues and working through them therapeutically, along with creating a program of recovery, helps to relieve the obsession to engage in pornography.

Enlightened Solutions treats dual-diagnosis patients of substance abuse and mental disorders. If you or a loved one are suffering from mental illness and are seeking treatment call us today 833-801-5483.