Sexual addiction can be best described as a progressive intimacy disorder which is characterized by forced sexual thoughts and acts. Just like all addictions, its negative impact on addicts and family members is growing as the disorder progresses. Over time, an addict usually needs to intensify the behavior of addiction in order to accomplish the same results.
For some people who are addicted to sex, behavior does not go further than compulsive masturbation or the extensive use of pornography or sexual services by phone or computer. For others, addiction may include illegal activities such as exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, sexual abuse, or rape.
Sex addicts do not necessarily turn to sex offenders. Moreover, not all sexual offenders are addicted. Approximately 55% of convicted sex offenders can be considered sex addicts.
About 71% of child abusers are sex addicts. For many of their problems so serious that imprisonment is the only way to ensure the safety of society against them.
The causes of sexual addiction are still unknown. Addiction originates in the reward center of the brain. This can happen when some parts of the brain confuse reactionary reactions to survival mechanisms.
The midbrain is part of the brain that manages the body reward system and survival instincts. As sexual activity creates a rush of dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical in the brain, this causes a sense of satisfaction. The midbrain then confuses this sense of pleasure as vital to survival.
One possibility is that a person with a sexual addiction, the frontal cortex or the brains center of logic and morality will change the midbrain.
However, persons with sexual dependency may depend on different types of sexual behavior. This makes it difficult to define. It also suggests that the disorder originates not from the action of the individual, but from the obsession with their realization.
Sexual addiction seems to include the adoption of rules that will feel in state control and then breaking them to create new rules.
Activities associated with sexual addiction may include:
- compulsive masturbation
- multiple affairs, sexual partners, and one-night stands
- persistent use of pornography
- practicing unsafe sex
- visiting prostitutes or practicing prostitution
Treatment of sex addiction
Addiction can be difficult to treat because a person with addiction simplifies and often justifies their behavior and thought patterns. People with sexual addiction may deny the existence of problems.
The following treatment options are available:
Self-help organizations, such as Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, offer 12-step programs to help the individual in self-managing the condition.
There are residential treatments programs which are available to people with various addiction disorders. These are in-patient programs where a person lives in the facility and receives specialist therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) provides various techniques that help individuals change their behavior. CBT can equip a person to avoid relapse and reprogram harmful sexual behavior.
Prescription drugs, such as Prozac, may be prescribed to reduce sexual drive but the drug has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating this condition.
Sexual activity is different. Like eating, it is necessary for the survival of man. Although some individuals are celibate – others are not by choice, while others choose celibacy for cultural or religious reasons – healthy people have a strong sexual desire. In fact, lack of interest or low interest in sex may indicate a medical problem or psychiatric illness.
Read More: Dealing With Addiction To Porn