Sexual addiction or obsession is said to be the continual intimacy disorder that is complemented with unavoidable sexual thoughts and actions. Sexual addiction can have a very negative and dangerous impact on oneself, and their family members as the addiction only go up with time. The addict keeps on increasing the level of activity to keep up the satisfaction level.
There are different categories of sex addicts. Some are satisfied by just uncontrollable masturbation, watching porn videos and participating in online or phone sex services. For others, it goes to a different level where they are so obsessed that they start making an illegal trade like voyeurism, pedophilia, vulgar phone calls, child abuse, and rape. Not all sex addicts are sex offenders and vice versa. About 55 percent of those convicted of sexual offenses are obsessed with sex in some way or the other.
Is There A Treatment For Sex Addiction?
The good news is – yes. Sex addiction can be treated, and treatments are proven to help. Generally, because of the emotional nature of the symptoms, a sex addict will have to speak to a mental health professional typically a psychologist or a licensed social worker. They will be able to diagnose the cause of the issue that is making the person addicted to porn or sex and teach the right methods to come out of this otherwise tempting and difficult situation of controlling thoughts, behaviors, feelings while maintaining good mental and physical health.
Few Treatment Options Are As Follows:
One On One Therapy Sessions
These will be half an hour to one-hour sessions with highly qualified and certified mental health professional which will focus on the addictive behaviors and any other associated disorders
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This therapy is based on the concept that what we do, how we behave and what we think are all connected, finds the inter-relation and works to move from negative thoughts to positive thoughts by changing the outlook and by self-talk.
This therapy is built on the concept that some memories in the subconscious mind conflict with the current behavior and addresses any childhood instances that could have led to the present behavior. If there are no past occurrences, then even a few recent incidents can lead to sex addiction.
Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
This therapy has four separate components, e., skills training group, individual treatment, DBT Phone coaching, consultation team. These four components individually teach four different skills namely alertness, tolerance to dejection, effective communication, and management of emotions.
Group therapy is very useful especially for addicts with the guilt for doing what they are but unable to come out of it. Highly qualified therapists lead the sessions, and the idea is to remove negativity and destructive behavior with a more positive, socially engaging behavior. The addicts slowly interact and then feel that they are not alone and there are similar people who want to correct themselves.
Counseling For Couples (Married Or Unmarried)
This can be particularly beneficial for the sex addict as they don’t otherwise talk about this with their other half. Through professional sex addiction counseling, the couple can improve their communication, give themselves another chance and have more trust and a healthy physical relationship.
This therapy is a group based one which is focused on the addict’s willingness to live an addiction-free life. The name is derived from a similar program for alcohol addicts.
Sometimes more than a few sessions are needed for completing changing the person’s mindset. There are recovery centers that treat sex and porn addiction. The patient stays at the recovery center for the entire duration of the course. This helps them to recover without any outside distractions that might lure them back into the same state as before.
Can Sex Addiction Be Cured Through Medications Or Drugs?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved any medications that can be used for treating sex addiction. Even after a few types of research, there is no conclusive evidence of medication that can be taken for curing sex addiction.
Sex addiction is usually followed by issues like anxiety, fear, depression, and stress and antidepressants sometimes do work in treating these symptoms. SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are antidepressants that reduce the urgency for sexual cravings that area caused by alleviating the brain’s response to rewarding conducts.
If antidepressants don’t work for some reason for a patient, there are other options like…
This is a drug mainly used to treat alcohol addiction but also works for reducing irresistible urges. There also are anti-androgenic medications that curb the sexual desires by decreasing the level of male sex hormones in the body. There are few side effects of using anti-androgenic medications, and the research is not sufficient enough to conclude the effectiveness of the drug. Also, the effect of anti-androgenic medications remains only until the medicines are taken, e., they are temporary. The level of hormones is back to the old one once the medications are stopped.