Reviewed by Whitney White, MS CMHC, NCC., LPC
Some people think about sex addiction as something that is a bit of a joke. What these individuals fail to understand is that sex addiction is very real. It can ruin lives because people who are addicted to sex cannot control their sexual impulses very well at all. It leads to many potentially bad choices that can end relationships and cause people to lose their careers.
Knowing this, it’s easier to see that sex addiction is something that must be taken seriously. If you have a sex addiction or someone close to you might have a sex addiction, it’s imperative to seek help. Some things can be done to ensure that you will get better, but nothing will change until you start walking down the road to sex addiction recovery. Read on to learn about sex addiction recovery and what it entails. It should help you feel more informed about what it takes to get over something as serious as sexual addiction.
Acknowledging That You Have A Problem
The first important step that must be taken to get yourself better is to acknowledge that you have a problem. You can’t be forced to change your ways, and it’s going to be up to you as an individual to decide to get assistance. Sometimes it’s hard for sex addicts to accept that they have problems. They might deny that they have any issues and will just think that they really like sex. This is similar to how many alcoholics deny that they are addicted to alcohol. If you look at your life and what sex addiction is doing to you, it should become clear that you need help.
Are you cheating on your spouse or partner regularly because you can’t control your sexual impulses? This is a sign that you might be addicted to sex. Do you watch pornography at all hours of the day while feeling like you just can’t stop? Are you in the habit of compulsively masturbating because you just need to make yourself feel good? These are all things that are very common for those who are addicted to sex. You might have a serious sexual addiction and will need to seek sexual addiction to turn things around.
Sometimes sexual behaviors can be very dangerous, putting both you and your partner at risk. For instance, you might make very risky and bad sexual choices that cause you to seek out sex no matter the consequences. Some men with sexual addictions will hire prostitutes when they can’t find willing partners to have sex. This can lead to an increased risk of getting an STD. It’s also quite common for men to forget to use condoms or not care due to not thinking properly. This could put your life at risk while also risking the health of your partner if you’re continuing to be sexually active with them.
Choosing to Seek Help
Sex recovery starts when you make the conscious decision to seek help for your issues. There are various ways that you can get help for what is going on. It will likely start with you having a discussion with your doctor about your situation. If you can be honest with your doctor, they will help you figure out how to proceed. Many people who have sexual addictions also have issues such as depression and anxiety. You can take a depression test to see just how depressed you are right now. Treating those conditions might also make it simpler to get sex addiction under control.
Your doctor may recommend methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy to change the way you think about sex. You’ll need to go through many treatments to get a bad sex addiction under control. In fact, many patients can’t make the necessary progress when they stay at home—some need to be sent to sex addiction rehabilitation facilities that work like rehab centers for drug addicts.
Going To A Sex Rehab Facility
Sex rehab facilities have popped up around the country to help people deal with sex addiction issues. Many people need this type of help, and sex addiction recovery is much simpler when professionals watch over patients. Essentially, this type of facility will be a place where people will go to receive therapy while they abstain from sex. They will be kept away from temptations so that they can focus on getting better. People in these facilities usually won’t have access to phones because pornography addiction is often so closely associated with sex addiction.
Over time, patients will be able to feel better as they get used to not having sex. It can be sort of like a drug-addicted individual going through a detox period. This is a safe place where sex addicts can just focus on getting healthy again. For many people, the process of getting healthy again might also involve getting away from drugs and alcohol. Many sex addicts also have problems with drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and other such things.
Attending Sex Addict Support Groups or Meetings
Once someone has finished treatment at a sex rehab facility, they will often start attending sex addict support groups. This is a type of sex addiction help that lets people support each other in a group setting. The group will usually be run by a therapist, but faith-based sex addiction support groups in certain parts of the country. Regardless, there will be someone leading the meeting and group members at various stages of sex addiction recovery. Sometimes people who have been recovered sex addicts for years will still attend the meetings to help others who are struggling.
You can get a lot out of a group therapy session like this because it shows you that you aren’t alone. Many other adults have had their lives altered fundamentally by sexual addiction. Being able to relate to these people makes it easier to understand certain things about yourself. Listening to their stories might hit home with you, and it’ll help you focus on your own recovery process. It’s highly recommended to make sex addicts anonymous a part of your recovery strategy. These groups have proven to be great at helping sex addicts of all kinds.
Working with Your Support System to Stay Healthy
Working with your support system is another important part of staying healthy and getting back to living your life. Hopefully, you have a dedicated support system that is going to be there for you during tough times. You might still struggle in certain ways as a former sex addict but having people that care for you will allow you to get through even the roughest patches. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to try on your end, but it’s okay to lean on others when you’re feeling weak. For many people, their spouses, families, and friends' support means a world of difference.
It can be tough to get to this point, though, because it’s possible that you burned some bridges because of your sex addiction issues. For example, you might have cheated on your partner, which could have made them want to leave you. If your partner was willing to stay and help you work on your problems, then you’ll have to repay that faith by giving it your best effort. You can’t take back the past actions, but you can try to move forward while creating a better future for yourself. Be committed to the process and try to be honest with your family.
Continued therapy is usually a good idea for people who have sex addiction issues. Being able to talk to a therapist about the things that you’re going through makes it easier to keep everything in perspective. Many people who have sex addiction problems wind up having to deal with a lot of emotional baggage. There could even be dark events in your past that contributed to you becoming addicted to sex. It isn’t too unusual for people with sex addiction to have been molested or abused in the past. Therapists can help you to keep moving forward while working through these difficult issues.
You can also reach out to a therapist when you’re having a particularly tough day. Being a recovered sex addict doesn’t mean that you won’t have urges or that you won’t need advice. Thankfully, it’s now possible to reach out when you need help due to online therapy. It’s a convenient way for people to get therapy without having to leave their houses. You can talk to a professional that cares about you and your sex addiction recovery whenever you need help.
Now that you know more about sex addiction and the recovery process, it should hopefully be easier to get started. You might feel intimidated by the work that needs to be done, but this isn’t a battle that you’ll be fighting alone. You’ll have doctors, therapists, and your loved ones by your side. You can get well again so long as you take the first steps down the road to sex addiction recovery.