If you’re struggling with sex addiction, you may find that your sexual desires and behaviour are negatively impacting your social or personal life. It’s important to talk about the issue with your medical team without feeling ashamed, as they won’t judge you and will offer supportive guidance.
Often, people with sex addiction engage in risky activities that may damage their physical health. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are one of the most common consequences of this type of addictive behaviour. Other negative impacts include poor work or family performance, sexual dysfunction and a decline in self-esteem.
Sexual addiction can take many forms, from a desire to be with multiple partners to a compulsive obsession with pornography and masturbation. Exhibitionism, in which someone gets satisfaction from flashing their genitalia to others in public, is also a form of sex addiction. It can also involve exploitation of vulnerable groups, such as children or disabled adults, to obtain sexual gratification.
There are a range of treatment options to help individuals with sex addictions, including group therapy sessions led by trained therapists. These are similar to those conducted by Alcoholics Anonymous, where members share their experiences of overcoming sex addiction and offer support to others who have the same problem. Medication, such as antidepressants, can also be helpful in reducing urges.
The key to overcoming sex addiction is understanding that you are more than just a body. Addressing the underlying issues that contribute to your compulsive sexual behaviour, such as a history of early trauma, can be difficult and lengthy, but is essential for long-term recovery.