When Is Sex Addiction an Addiction?
So many people suffer and struggle with different types of addictions. Whether it’s alcohol, drugs, or something else entirely, addiction is not something to be taken lightly.
In fact, sex addiction can be just as harmful as these other problems. In many cases, it leads to a destructive lifestyle.
But, it’s not always as black and white as other addictions. That can make it confusing for those dealing with it, or the people in their lives seeing the signs.
So, when is sex addiction really an addiction? When is it just something problematic? Knowing the differences can guide you or someone you know on the right path toward getting the help they need.
What Are the Symptoms of Sex Addiction
Addiction is generally defined as a behavior that persistently impacts someone’s life in a negative way. Sex addiction is no different. There are also different types of sex addiction to consider. Unfortunately, that makes it easy to get it confused with problematic behavior that isn’t addictive at all.
Obsessive sexual pursuits can fall under the category of addiction. These problems affect people in different ways. But, there are usually some clear, tell-tale signs that someone is dealing with an actual sex addiction.
Looking for the most common signs and symptoms can help you to know what you’re dealing with. Some of these behaviors include things like:
- Fear of abandonment
- Feeling “stuck” because of sexual obsession
- Decreased productivity/inability to focus
- A decline in relationships with friends and family
- Physical symptoms including sexually transmitted diseases
- Continuing to partake in sexual behaviors, even if there are negative consequences
Using “Sex Addiction” as a Cop Out
As you can see from the symptoms alone, sex addiction is serious. But, it’s a unique situation for everyone dealing with it. Because of this, the definition is easy to abuse.
Using sex addiction as an excuse isn’t fair to the person dealing with it. It certainly isn’t fair to the people in their lives who are also affected.
Sexual addiction tends to revolve around an inability to control one’s sexual behaviors. This issue with control will become so severe that other important elements in your life will suffer. For example, this could include things like watching pornography at work. Or, spending an excessive amount of money on porn, paying for sex acts, etc.
Keep in mind that problematic sexual behavior is always worrisome. Especially when it’s affecting a romantic relationship.Though, it’s different than having the idea of sex completely consuming an individual’s life.
Seeking Help for Sexual Addiction
If you or someone you know is dealing with a sex addiction, there’s no need to feel ashamed. It’s becoming more of a common problem thanks to easy access to pornography, casual dating sites, apps, etc.
Different types of therapy and outpatient programs are the most common treatment options. Some people wait until they truly hit rock bottom or have lost everything they love in their lives to seek out help.
Don’t let yourself sink that low. Or, if you know someone struggling, don’t allow them to fall that far.
Professional help can lead you down a path of recovery from sex addiction.
Your life can absolutely turn around, and your relationships can be salvaged.