Are you struggling with excessive viewing of pornography and/or a sexual addiction?  At San Jose Counseling, we utilize proven strategies to help you recover from compulsive sexual behaviors.

Sexual addiction, also referred to as “hypersexual disorder,” “compulsive sexual behavior,” and “problematic sexual behavior,” is a maladaptive preoccupation with sex, sometimes entailing the frantic hunt for non-intimate encounters of a sexual nature, such as, but not limited to: anonymous sex, pornography, solicitation of escorts or prostitutes, affairs and compulsive masturbation.  This sequence of longings, fantasies and manners of conduct endures for a span of at least six months (Weiss, 2015), regardless of the following:

  1. Efforts made to resolve the problematic sexual behavior
  2. Pledges/vows made to others or self to modify the sexual behavior
  3. Substantial negative consequences such as contracting diseases, experiencing relationship volatility, legal problems, emotional disturbance and career challenges

To put it simply, sexual addiction is a continuous, chaotic sequence of compulsive sexual fantasies and deeds that has life-damaging consequences in the addicts’ life (Weiss, 2015).

Researchers like Griffiths (2012) conclude that involving in sexual behaviors on the Internet can intensify and lead to Internet sex addiction, culminating in an extensive range of adverse consequences for the persons affected.  Although it is noteworthy that researchers, psychotherapists, and laypeople agree that behaviors can be just as addictive as substances (Karim & Chaudhri, 2012; Kim & Seo, 2013; Leeman & Potenza, 2013; Pitchers et al., 2013; Potenza, 2014), the idea that any “source, which is capable of stimulating an individual, could become addictive,” (Alavi et al., 2012, p. 291) remains controversial (Chakraborty, Basu, & Kumar, 2010) despite overwhelming evidence (Alavi et al., 2012).  Addiction to substances like nicotine, cocaine, and alcohol is strikingly similar to addictions around gambling, working, or sexual behaviors (Carlisle et al., 2016; Alavi et al., 2012), which fall under the category of process addictions (Carlisle et al., 2016; Alavi et al., 2012).

One of the reasons as to why the controversial dispute continues, according to Weiss (2015), is because the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) for mental disorders does not recognize sexual behaviors becoming addictive.  However, just because the condition is not recognized by the DSM-5 (current version), argues Weiss (2015), it does not negate the existence of the disorder.  Almost half a century ago, the DSM did not acknowledge alcoholism, however that did not discourage innumerable individuals from admitting they were alcoholic and seeking treatment with corroborating clinicians, and finding comfort and safety in 12-step meetings.  Ultimately, the DSM could no longer ignore the reality of the disorder and today, there is a formal, endorsed diagnosis for substance use disorder.  Clinicians are seeing a similar progression with pornography and sexual addiction. If you need sex addiction counseling in San Jose then contact us today.