Most people have an opinion about sex addiction that has little to do with fact. There is a common misconception that sex addiction is a label that people give themselves to excuse their bad behaviour, but the reality is quite different. For some individuals, sex addiction can be enough to destroy their life and leave them suffering mental health problems. Those affected are often embarrassed about their condition and would rather pretend it didn’t exist than even consider the question of who treats sex addiction. Unfortunately, without help, this illness is unlikely to go away by itself.
Are You Addicted to Sex?
Nevertheless, before you try finding out who treats sex addiction, it is important to evaluate your life to figure out if you actually have this condition or not. It is important to distinguish between having a real sex addiction and simply liking and enjoying having lots of sex, as the two are completely different.
There is nothing wrong with liking sex or engaging in sexual activities such as masturbation, watching pornography, using sex chat lines, or visiting prostitutes, but when any of these activities begin to interfere with normal everyday life, or if you feel as though these activities are no longer under your control, it is likely that you have a problem. So ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I feel that my sexual activity is out of control?
- Do I need to take bigger risks to achieve the same level of satisfaction as before?
- Do I know that there may be negative consequences that arise from my sexual behaviour, yet I continue anyway?
- Do I want to stop my out-of-control sexual behaviour but find that I are unable to?
- Do I spend more and more time taking part in or thinking about a sexual behaviour?
- Have I started to neglect my responsibilities at home or at work in favour of engaging in sexual activities?
- Have I become withdrawn and isolated?
- Are I spending less time with those I love in favour of pursuing sexual activities?
If you have answered yes to one or more of the above questions, it is highly likely that sex has become a problem for you and that you need to get some professional help to get better.
Can Sex Addiction Destroy a Life?
Although not yet officially recognised as a clinical condition, countless individuals struggle with an addiction to sex and need to get help. And just because sex addiction is not considered a clinical diagnosis does not mean help is not available to you. If you have been thinking about who treats sex addiction, know that you can still go to your GP for help, and there are also private clinics and charities that provide treatment programmes.
It is important that you do seek help as failure to do so could end up having a negative impact on your wellbeing and that of your family members. It can have serious implications for your relationships, particularly your intimate relationships, as many partners struggle to come to terms with the illness and often feel hurt and betrayed.
In fact, so profound is the feeling of betrayal that some feel that many partners of those claiming to have a sex addiction say that they would have preferred if their partner had had a different type of addiction instead.
Those who do suffer from a sex addiction often have no problem engaging in their sexual activity of choice but find it difficult to be intimate with their partner. This may be because they are unable to achieve the level of satisfaction they desire from a loving relationship, or because they are ashamed or embarrassed about their sexual behaviour.
Whether you are having sex with other people or are getting gratification from watching porn, masturbating, or visiting prostitutes, your partner is likely to see this as a betrayal of trust. He or she might then start to feel unworthy or suffer low self-esteem issues, believing him or herself to be ‘not good enough’.
Sex addiction not only has a devastating effect on intimate relationships, but it can also lead to health problems as well. Engaging in risky sexual behaviour could put your sexual health at risk and leave you vulnerable to STDs or having to deal with an unplanned pregnancy.
Getting Treatment for a Sex Addiction
The impact sex addiction has on a couple can be devastating, so it is important that help is sought before the relationship breaks down completely. If you have a sex addiction, getting help as soon as possible is absolutely vital. You can access that help via your GP or you can contact us here at Liberty House Clinic for information and advice about the programmes we offer in relation to this illness.
It is likely that you will have therapy to help you get to the cause of your compulsive behaviour. You might be given a tailored treatment plan that will include various therapies designed to help you deal with your compulsion so that you can move forward and get your life and relationships back on track once more.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is commonly used for the treatment of compulsive behavioural disorders such as sex addiction as it helps you to understand the way in which your thoughts and feelings influence your behaviour.
The idea behind CBT is that negative thoughts and emotions can drive negative behaviours. It aims to teach you how to recognise these thought patterns and processes so that you can challenge them and then replace them with positive alternatives.
Couples’ therapy may also be offered to you and your partner, and many see this as a last-ditch attempt to save their relationship. It can be a struggle for the partner of a sex addict to come to terms with the loss of trust and betrayal that comes with this type of illness. Many cannot see beyond the sexual desires of their partner and struggle to see it as anything other than a choice. Couples’ therapy aims to give both partners a greater understanding of what sex addiction is.
Emotions that are commonly dealt with during couples’ therapy include:
You are also likely to be dealing with the effects of the addiction on the rest of the family, particularly any children. Moreover, one of the biggest issues will be learning how to rebuild the relationship, with a particular emphasis on issues such as trust, intimacy, and forgiveness.
Where to Find Treatment?
If you have been wondering who treats sex addiction, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Liberty House Clinic. We understand you may be feeling embarrassed or ashamed of your condition, but you have no need to be.
Know that you are not alone. Furthermore, we have a lot of experience helping others get their lives back on track after a sex addiction. Your condition is a very real one, and without help could have a massive negative impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. It also threatens to completely destroy your relationship with those you love, so it is important that you reach out sooner rather than later.