When most people hear the word addiction, they immediately think of alcohol or drug addiction. Both of these types of addictions are serious and have long-term consequences on people’s lives.
However, many other types of addictions can cause serious complications for people. Addictions are usually divided into two main categories. When you’re addicted to alcohol or drugs, you have a substance addiction. There are also behavior addictions, though, when certain behaviors take over somebody’s life.
One type of behavioral addiction is sex addiction. Many people don’t realize it, but it is possible to have an unhealthy obsession with sexual thoughts and behaviors. And for many people, this obsession comes with serious consequences.
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Understanding sex addiction
Sex addiction is much more than enjoying sex. It is normal to want to feel the satisfaction of participating in sexual activities. Also, having a high sex drive doesn’t necessarily mean you have a sex addiction.
Sex addiction is only a problem when it becomes a compulsion and someone loses control over their sexual appetite. Most people can control their sexual urges until it is appropriate to act upon them.
Someone with sex addiction, however, will have a lack of control and not care about the negative consequences of their actions. And it isn’t just sex itself; people with sex addiction might also have unhealthy relationships with porn or masturbation.
Signs of sex addiction
It can be hard for some people to recognize the signs of sex addiction. Most people assume that they just enjoy sex; but when that enjoyment starts causing problems, it could be a sign of an addiction.
For example, someone might start having a change in behavior to get their needs fulfilled. They might start skipping work to go to the strip club or might skip out on activities with friends to watch porn.
They may also start to engage in risky behaviors, such as having sex with prostitutes. Some people with sex addictions have health problems, particularly if they develop an STD after having sex with multiple random partners.
Another reason that it is hard to spot when someone has a sex addiction is that they try to hide the behaviors. Most addicts will have feelings of guilt or shame over their behaviors and will try to cover up their actions.
For example, they might lie and say they don’t feel well to get out of a party when in reality they might be engaging in a one-night stand. Or they might deny they have a problem when confronted about it.
Many people end up having financial problems while trying to hide their behaviors. Money ends up going towards things such as porn and strip clubs instead of going towards necessities.
Unfortunately, all these behaviors can eventually lead to major consequences. As people give into bad habits and try to cover their addiction up, they will start having trouble with relations, or experience financial trouble. Some people with sex addictions end up breaking up, getting divorced, or losing friends.
Some people may even find themselves struggling to stay employed. If they start engaging in risky behaviors while on the clock, such as leaving work to go have sex, they risk the chance of being fired.
Some people with sex addiction become depressed or anxious, due to feeling guilty or ashamed of their behaviors. This can also cause some people to develop substance abuse problems.
Getting needed help
If you suspect that you or a loved one has a sex addiction, never be afraid to seek help. Leaving the addiction undiagnosed and untreated. Intervention can give people the resources that they need to live a healthier life.
For some people, this means meeting with a therapist to learn how to cope with unwanted behaviors. This can help them begin to understand their addiction and learn how to develop healthier relationships.
Some people might also benefit from inpatient treatment if their addiction is bad enough. Others might benefit from group therapy. Talking to others with similar problems can help people learn coping mechanisms, as well as not feel so alone in their struggles.
All forms of addiction, whether it is a substance addiction or a behavior addiction, should be taken seriously. Sex addiction is a behavioral addiction that often goes unnoticed because people assume that they just have a high sex drive. Recognizing the warning signs can be hard, but when the need to have sex starts causing negative consequences, it is time to seek help.