Sex Addiction Symptoms & Treatment
Many people underestimate how destructive a sex addiction can be. Compulsive sexual behaviors often lead to affairs and illegal activities that can ruin a person’s life.
Millions of Americans struggle with sex addiction. This condition often accompanies other mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.
Typically, sex addicts seek out multiple partners to sustain their addiction. However, these urges may lead to unhealthy or even unlawful sexual practices. Fortunately, an addiction-treatment program that involves professional counseling can teach patients healthy ways to control and cope with impulsive thoughts and behaviors.
What Are the Symptoms of Sex Addiction?
Many sex addicts do not seek help because, unlike drug or alcohol abuse, the effects are not as noticeable. Addicts often excel at hiding their behaviors from family and friends. Many of them lie about their daily habits and engage in sexual activities in inconspicuous locations.
However, there are several signs that you or your loved one may be a sex addict. These include:
- Frequent relations with many partners, including complete strangers;
- Persistent lying to hide the addiction;
- An obsession with having sex – even in cases when it may interfere with work or other responsibilities;
- Engaging in illegal activities such as sex with prostitutes or children;
- And a feeling of guilt after sex.
Sex addiction often accompanies other issues such as anxiety, substance abuse and depression. If left untreated, addicts tend to become riskier with their behaviors, which often lead to devastating consequences. They may have unprotected sex or wind up in jail for engaging in illegal acts such as rape or molestation.
Treatment for Sex Addiction
Treatment for most addictions requires patients to give up their vice, but sex addicts cannot be asked to stop having intercourse for the rest of their lives. Having sex is a natural human instinct, and abstinence is not an effective, long-term solution.
Instead, a sex addict must learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy sexual behaviors. These thought patterns may take months or even years to develop.
Dr. Carnes’ Thirty-Task Model
At Prescott House, our approach to treating sexual addiction is based on the virtues of Dr. Carnes’ Thirty-Task Model. This is a comprehensive yet simple program that teaches new thought patters and methods of coping with addictive impulses. There are a number of steps and phases to this model, but the effort is worth the reward for patients who complete the program.
Patients at Prescott House can follow the Thirty-Task Model in a safe, therapeutic environment. Our staff can guide you or your loved one through the steps while instilling confidence and a sense of self control.
The 12-Step Program
Our clinic also supports 12-step programs, such as those employed to treat alcoholics and recovering drug addicts. This process requires addicts to admit that they are powerless to stop the compulsive behavior. Other steps include making amends with the people they have wronged as a result of their dependence. Some clinics do not offer the 12-step program for sexual addiction, but success stories at Prescott House prove that this system can be an effective treatment.
Certified Sex Addiction Therapists
Our Certified Sex Addiction Therapists oversee patients’ progress and provide individual counseling and support. Our recovery program includes Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Psychodrama Therapies.
Sex after Therapy
Unlike most addictions, a sex addict faces a unique set of challenges after treatment. As mentioned before, it is not reasonable to ask a person to give up sexual activity altogether. However, it may be necessary for recovering sex addicts to be abstinent for up to one year.
During this period, addicts become familiar with the factors that cause their urges. These often relate to stressful experiences that drive the addictive behavior. Addicts can learn to avoid these events and to cope with them in healthy ways.
Successful recovery requires that sex addicts learn the difference between healthy and addictive urges. Many people struggle with this transition, which is why ongoing therapy may be helpful for preventing relapses.
If you or your loved one is struggling with sex addiction, don’t hesitate to contact Prescott House. Since 1988, we have been successfully helping men find ways to cope with compulsive behaviors and achieve long-term recovery. Contact us today at 866-425-4637 to start the path toward an addiction-free lifestyle.