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.


Why Talk Therapy?

Millions of reasons exist for why talk therapy works. If talk therapy wasn’t ass effective as it is, it wouldn’t be a major part of treatment plans for recovering people all over the world. Therapy works for people who are able to get honest, open up and receive the help they need from their therapists. Treatment programs for recovering addicts and alcoholics include a lot of therapy. Individual therapy sessions, group therapy sessions, therapy activities, groups dedicated to specific therapy types like cognitive behavioral therapy- there is a lot of therapeutic work that takes place.

Psychological Bulletin recently published a study of over 200 psychological studies on the changes people experience over time. Self-improvement is a popular subject these days as everyone is on a mission to be happier, healthier, and more productive. Overwhelmingly, the research found, the surest and most time efficient way to achieve personal change is through therapy. Reporting on the study, the lifestyle website Bustle explains that the change in therapy over the course of three months is significant. That same change can be achieved without therapy; however, it would take 30 to 40 years. Left to our own devices, change can help. Self-help books, podcasts, meditations, activities, and retreats, can all help create effective change. However, therapy proves to be the fastest and most profound method for growing.

Finding A Therapist

Treatment is not always an option for people in need of support for mental health. Due to financial strains or personal life responsibilities, any level of treatment might be hard to come by. Finding an hour to two hours a week to work with a therapist is manageable for most people. You can find a therapist by searching for someone local nearby with the specialties you need. If you have insurance, you can call your insurance provider to get information on what your behavioral health benefits are and what local therapists are covered in your area. Referrals from friends is always a great place to look for therapist recommendations as well.

Fighting The Stigma

Mental health and mental health care still face a lot of negative stigma in today’s society. Reaching out and taking time to help yourself grow in positive ways is nothing to be ashamed of. By the time everyone else has changed over a lifetime, you’ll have changed a hundred times more.

Enlightened Solutions offers a variety of partial care day programs with options for customization to meet the needs of each client. If you are ready to make a positive change in your life and are ready to ask for help, call us today at 833-801-5483.