Sex addiction is the use of sex and/or pornography to address non-sexual, emotional needs. Countless people from different cultures struggle with this condition, which not only disrupts their everyday life, but it also destroys it in the process. Sex addiction recovery is the person’s journey in not only uncovering all the pain and shame that fuels this compulsive behavior, but also maintaining sobriety by making wholesome, healthy decisions.
What is Sex Addiction and Sex Addiction Recovery
Sex addiction is progressive in nature, and it progresses gradually, in stages, during which time, the addict becomes increasingly detached from friends, family and the real world. Think of a continuum, where on one end is no use for sexual activity and on the opposite end is sex addiction. Between these two polar opposites, there is some sexual use, followed by misusing sex, abusing sex until one ends up in the extreme end: sex addiction. Ultimately, the addictive cycle ends with serious guilt and shame, and when this cycle runs long enough, the addict’s life becomes unmanageable resulting in possible legal, financial or personal distress. If you are reading this, and resonate with the descripition above, then you can stop the cycle and start your sex addiction recovery today.
Even if one does not exhibit all the symptoms or severity of sex addiction now, the misuse and abuse of sex (such as compulsively masturbating to pornography, frequenting gentleman’s clubs and sexual massage parlors, or paying escorts) quickly impacts one’s ability to have sex in a healthy way. During the “thrill of the hunt,” the individual experiences an imense pleasure, which takes place in the reward pathway of the brain. Over a long period of time, the individual’s brain gets saturated with neurochemicals responsible for this euphoric “high,” and as a result, the brain develops tolerance, which causes the person to “up the ante.” At this point, the person has entered the beginning stages of addictive behavior.
Many men have difficulty connecting with their wives or significant others because of their continued and overuse of pornography. One of the reasons for this disconnection with loved ones is because their brains has mistaken the intensity of porgography and anonymous sex for intimacy. If the above scenario or the following situation sounds familiar to you, or someone close to you, then you are not alone and you, can begin your sex addiction recovery today.
Signs that warrant sex addiction recovery:
- •Your mind is bombarded with so many pornographic images that you find yourself distracted for hours
- •Your desire or drive to have sex, view pornography on the Internet or buy pornographic videos and magazines is so strong that you are willing to relinquish your primary responsibilities and obligations in order to buy them
- •As a result, you may be in financial debt and maybe out of a job and yet, you still continue to engage in sexual behavior that you know is risky.
You see, it does not matter how intelligent, motivated or competent you are. This condition cannot be mastered alone, because sex addiction is an intimacy disorder, and sex addiction recovery requires the addict to come out of hiding and isolation.
What are Some More Warning Signs of Sex Addiction?
There are “red flags” that can indicate the presence of sex addiction. The following is a list of common attributes of a sex addict. Please note that behaviors are not limited to the list below. Individuals who recognize any of these patterns in their own life, or the life of someone close to them, should seek professional help:
- Obsession over sex to the point where it intrudes your daily routine or hinders your ability to maintain your job and relationships
- Practicing unprotected anonymous sex on an ongoing basis
- Going into and remaining in debt for the purpose of obtaining sex with prostitutes and escorts. This may also include subscriptions to pornographic Web portals or “sex chats”
- Looking for sex in public places, including public bathrooms
- “Cruising” down the streets but calling it “people watching”
- Having sex in dangerous places
- Excessive and compulsive masturbation, sometimes for hours (3-25 times per day or week)
- A dependence on sexually explicit material in order to become aroused and/or to reach orgasm
- Persistent pursuit of self-destructive behavior. A common rationalization is, “I’ll deal with the consequences when I experience them.”
- Ongoing endeavor to set barriers to sexual behavior such as moving to a new neighborhood, getting married or even “starving” oneself sexually, a condition Dr. Carnes calls “sexual anorexia,” which may potentially fuel the addiction
- The addict experiences intense mood shifts due to shame and despair
- Tremendous energy is spent on obtaining sex, being sexual and then recovering from the consequences
- Neglect of important social, occupational or recreational activities
- Having an exorbitant amount of XXX videos and magazines at home
- Exhibitionist activities, including exposing oneself in a car
- Constant preoccupation with sexual fantasies, which interferes with daily routine
Don’t let these behaviors rob you of your sex addiction recovery. You can recover. We know how to help. Call us now for a free consultation.
Where can I get help for Sex Addiction Recovery?
San Jose Counseling, offers therapists who are certified in sex addiction therapy (CSAT) to provide you the best possible help for your sex addiction recovery. Only mental health professionals who are certified as CSATs have the knowledge and experience to diagnose sex addiction and truly create a treatment plan for the addict’s sex addiction recovery.
At San Jose Counseling, Inc., you will have an opportunity to work with Invia Betjoseph, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT). As a therapist, Invia has over 15 years of experience in providing sex addiction recovery, and treating depression, anxiety, self-image, shame and guilt as well as a focus in couples who are experiencing emotional stress related to relationship conflict and extra-marital affairs. He has extensive experience with “Every Man’s Battle,” a New Life organization dedicated to helping men deal with sexual addiction and has worked for the Santa Clara County Mental Health as a suicide and crisis counselor. Invia also has level I training in EMDR and is certified in Affect Centered Therapy providing trauma recovery for many of his clients. Invia offers a free consultation so you can decide if San Jose Counseling is right for your sex addiction recovery at no-charge.
At San Jose Counseling, Invia or another one of our CSATs will start with a sexual addiction assessment. The individual will be given the Sexual Dependence Inventory (SDI), which will indicate whether or not the person is dealing with a sex addiction. This assessment will enable the therapist o develop a deeper understanding of the individual and what he/she needs to start the sex addiction recovery. The therapist will then have time to give his or her impression of the situation. Together, the individual and the therapist can agree to a sex addiction recovery plan that will meet one’s needs and help reach recovery goals. Call San Jose Counseling today to schedule your free consultation with Invia or one of our other CSAT specialists to start your sex addiction recovery today.