A person, who has an unusually intense sex drive or an obsession with sex, is said to be a sex addict. Such people indulge in only sex or thought of sex. It becomes the most important thing in their life and they are not able to maintain any healthy personal relationships. They develop distorted thought processes and try to justifying their act by blaming others. Sex addiction can be identified by unusual sexual urges, extreme sexual behaviors, or thoughts.
Sexual addicts indulge in various types of sexual activities. They remain preoccupied with thoughts and fantasies. They indulge in different sexual activities which many times affect their relationships, work as well as social life. It also exposes them to physical, mental or emotional damage. Some addicts also get involved in illegal activities such as molestation, stripping in public, exposing own sexual acts in public or making obscene phone calls.
Signs and symptoms of Sex addiction
Following are the signs and symptoms of sexual addiction-
- Sex addicts fail to control their urge for sexual activities.
- They indulge in sexual activities to a larger extent and for a longer period of time.
- They spend most of the time in obtaining sex, being sexual, or getting recovered from sexual experience.
- They avoid their social life to indulge in sexual activities.
- They are aware of its harmful effects even then they cannot stop indulging in these activities.
- Develop withdrawal symptoms such as distress, anxiety, restlessness, or violence, if deprived from sex.
- They fail to engage in any healthy personal relationship.
- They get obsessed with sex.
- They try to create situations to get more exposure to sexual activity and increase frequency of these activities.
- They could lead to compulsive masturbation, multiple affairs, multiple sexual partners, one-night stands, sex with anonymous partners, pornography, cyber or phone sex, prostitution, molestation or sexual harassment.
Causes of Sexual Addiction
Patients with other addictions are more prone to sexual addiction. Patients of obsessive-compulsive disorder are more likely to develop this addiction. Some addicts indulge in sexual activities to satisfy their psychological needs. Some patients with mental disorder develop this addiction easily. In this case sex addicts get signal from the brain that illicit sex is good. This occurs due to biochemical changes in the brain. Sex addicts get pleasure by indulging in sex or sexual activities. For them sex is not related to intimacy but pleasure or avoiding unpleasant feelings. Addicts use sex as stress buster. People coming from dysfunctional families are more likely to develop sexual addiction.
Treatment of Sexual Addiction
Sex addicts deny their addiction, like other addicts. Thus it is important that a friend or family extend supporting hand to help him or her get out of this problem. Treatment of sexual addiction involves control on the addictive behavior and providing help to the addict to develop a healthy sexual life.The sex addict is made aware about healthy sexuality through individual counseling. Other therapies involved are marital and family therapy. Support groups also help sex addict to recover from sexual addictions. Medicines are also used in some cases to treat the patient to curb out the root cause of sexual addiction.