What Is Sex Addiction and Is It Real?

therapy in Raleigh, NCSex addiction can best be described as a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts or acts. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V (dsm-5) has not recognized sex and porn addiction as a diagnosable condition yet. However, this does not mean that sex addiction does not exist. The failure to classify this addiction only suggests that each case is so individual and unique it is hard to pinpoint. These patients will show signs of adverse sexual behavior which are similar to the chemical imbalance seen in drug or alcohol addicts.

Sex addiction can be classified as a range of behaviors that can negatively impact an individual’s daily life. Sex addicts show significant difficulty changing these behaviors by themselves. That's why Legacy Freedom is here to help you, or your loved ones address this difficult addiction. Our holistic approach to mental health and addiction treats the whole person, not just the illness or addiction. Utilizing combinations of talk therapies, medications and alternative therapy in Raleigh, NC, we can help identify and treat both the sexual addiction and the underlying issues. Keep reading to learn more.

Types of sex addiction

There are a wide range of behaviors associated with sex addiction. They do not always appear in all individuals, so symptoms and behaviors need to be addressed on a case by case basis.

These behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Compulsive masturbation
  • Obsessive dating
  • Compulsive use of pornography
  • Cyber sex
  • Sex without consequences
  • Prostitution or use of prostitutes
  • Anonymous sex
  • Voyeurism
  • Exhibitionism

These are all considered types of sex addiction and they will manifest themselves differently. A person with a porn addiction, for instance, can become severely anxious and aggressive when they have been denied access to pornography. While they are “using” they will be withdrawn and isolated. This can result in self-mutilation, shame and loneliness afterwards. The many facets of this cyclical addiction are what makes sex addiction hard to diagnose.

Using sex as a coping mechanism

As with many addictions, people rely on their addictive behaviors or substances to feel normal. Individuals with sexual addictions or hypersexual disorder may find themselves having sex with people they do not find sexually attractive. They tend to feel like sex makes them forget about their troubles in the now.  These addicts will even experience a high during the pursuit of a sexual partner as well as during the sexual act. They repeat these sexual acts over and over, even if in some cases they can be harmful, and even dangerous, to the individual.

You might be able to recognize some of these signs in yourself or your partner.

  • Noticing that the person wants to engage in sexual acts with multiple partners constantly
  • Being preoccupied with sex or constantly craving it no matter what you do
  • Thinking of sex without being able to switch it off and feeling like you need to act for the feeling to go away
  • Spending considerable time searching for sexual partners and conducting sexual activities
  • Neglecting obligations like school, work or family in pursuit of sex
  • Lying about sexual acts
  • Having sex in inappropriate places

Why some people develop sexual addictions and others do not is still a puzzle for professionals. The addiction could be the result of an imbalance or brain changes, abuse as a child or adolescent, or simply a curiosity that has gone too far. 

Affordable Therapy in Raleigh, NC For Sex Addicts

If you or someone you love is struggling with sexual addiction, help is here. Legacy Freedom's Raleigh office is staffed with caring mental health professionals who have experience dealing with this cunning addiction. Call today for more information about our many options for sex addiction therapy in Raleigh, NC!

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