S*x addiction can bring friction to a relationship especially if it is not handled well. Here are signs and what you can do to tackle the issue.
S*x addiction – many people will have heard about it, but is it actually a real disorder?
While many people will disagree that sex addiction is a real disorder when it comes to classification, others staunchly argue otherwise – adding that it can rule people’s lives.
It is widely thought that s*x addiction, also known as hypersexuality, is used as coping mechanism by those who suffer from it – and that it’s totally out of their own control.
While some may argue that it is not a chemical addiction – like alcohol or heroin – it can be said that it’s a “process addiction” – like gambling
On the other hand, it could be said that it is similar to drug addiction – because of the powerful chemical substances that are released during sex.
What is s*x addiction?
Relationship counselling service Relate describe sex addiction as “as any sexual activity that feels out of control”.
This means that s*x addiction covers anything from sex with a partner, to activities such as viewing pornography, masturbation or visiting prostitutes.
What are the signs?
It’s impossible to know if someone is a sex addict without a thorough assessment with a sex therapist, but warning signs include increasing secrecy, isolation, moodiness and avoidance of couple, family and social responsibilities.
Signs of sex addiction include:
• Compulsive masturbation
• Multiple affairs
• Multiple one-night stands
• Multiple sexual partners
• Persistent use of pornography
• Having unsafe sex
• Using prostitutes
• Detachment – bonding with the sexual partner is lacking.
• Feelings of guilt and shame
• Feeling of lack of control
• Spending a great deal of time obtaining sex
• Becoming distressed and anxious if unable to engage in the addiction.
What are the symptoms?
S*x addicts are can find it exceptionally hard to control their sexual urges and actions – despite the problems that this may cause in their relationships, finances and work life.
There may be increased irritability, tiredness, depression and anxiety – and some couples may notice a change in their sex life.
However, there could be various other explanations for the above behaviours – so it’s important not to jump to conclusions.
What treatment is there?
Anyone who is worried that they may be suffering with s*x addiction – or if they feel someone they know has a sex addiction – should reach out to their GP for further help and advice.
Relate advises that partners who feel their other-half has a problem should: “Talk to each other.
“Many people with addiction go through a period of denial before they feel able to accept that the problem really is an addiction that has gotten out of control.
“If your partner accepts that they have a problem then you need to find help for both of you.”
Couples could then seeks out a Relate Centre of seek help from a specialist.
However, if your partner does not accept that they have an issue, the website goes on to say that the partner “can still reach out for help and support”.
When it comes to treating the addiction, often cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is used.
CBT is a talking therapy that can help those suffering with certain issues to manage their problems by changing the way their think and how they behave.
Sufferers could also consider visiting Sex Addicts Anonymous, who run local support groups where people can help each other recover from their problems.