Despite its sexy connotations, sex addiction is a serious disorder that can cause a range of negative consequences for an individual. A person with sex addiction may not have healthy relationships or a stable job and can even end up getting sexually transmitted diseases because they engage in risky behaviors like masturbation or frequent one-night stands. In addition, sex addiction can also lead to emotional problems such as depression and anxiety.
A person with sex addiction will usually have trouble identifying the symptoms of their problem and will be unwilling to seek treatment for their behavior because they often feel embarrassed or ashamed about their sexual addiction. Symptoms of sex addiction include spending time engaging in sexual fantasies, avoiding responsibilities and obligations in favor of sex, engaging in excessive masturbation or watching pornography, or having uncontrollable urges to engage in these activities. These cravings can interfere with daily responsibilities and can cause an individual to neglect family commitments, work and even financial or health-related obligations.
Biological sex addictions are treated using techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based coping skills. Psychotherapy is also important in sex addiction recovery and can help a person to discover unhealthy thought patterns that contribute to their compulsion to engage in sexually addictive behaviors and develop healthier coping mechanisms for the future. Residential or inpatient treatment is a great option for people with sex addiction because it provides a safe environment to address the issues that contribute to their compulsive behaviors and offers a variety of therapeutic techniques.