Sex addiction is a collection of excessive sexual behaviors that, like addiction to drugs or alcohol, affect your life in negative ways. Although sex addiction is not yet listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, this very real condition is backed by research. If you ask yourself, “Am I a sex addict,” odds are you already experience the effects of your excessive sexual behaviors and need treatment for the better life you deserve.
Is Sex Addiction the Same as a Porn Addiction?
Porn addiction is one type of sex addiction. Both sex addiction and porn addiction require therapy through sex addiction treatment programs, just like substance use disorders require rehab treatment.
Along with excessive porn use, other addictions exist under the category of sexual addictions. These include:
- Masturbation or fantasy
- Exhibition or voyeurism
- BDSM behaviors
- Other types of sexual pursuits
Signs, Symptoms, and Effects of Sex Addiction
If you ask yourself, “Am I a sex addict?”, look for signs of addiction. You possibly experience emotional signs, as well as other symptoms. At the same time, your sexual activity causes destructive effects across most areas of your life.
Sex addiction coincides with not having healthy boundaries. You become too easily involved with people on a sexual or emotional basis, despite not truly knowing them. You likely fear abandonment and stay in unhealthy relationships as a result. Or maybe you jump from one relationship to the next in an effort to avoid being alone and feeling empty.
Although few physical symptoms point to a clear sex addiction, one sign is how your addiction limits your life. Your efforts to satisfy your sexual urges take you away from more fulfilling and productive pursuits.
One-third to half of people with sex addictions suffer venereal diseases because of their behaviors, according to the USDA. Pregnancy commonly occurs, too.
Other impacts of sex addiction include damaged or lost relationships, poor social engagement and sexual dysfunction. Your addiction damages your family life, work productivity and concentration. You feel ashamed, inadequate and emotionally distressed. In fact, your addiction to sex can co-occur with anxiety, depression, OCD and substance abuse.
If you suffer co-occurring mental illness or substance use disorder, you need dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment helps you recover from both or all of your conditions at the same time, breaking the cycle of these disorders feeding each other. If one of the conditions is left untreated, it usually drives the treated disorder into relapse.
Am I a Sex Addict?
When wondering, “Am I a sex addict?” or, “Am I addicted to sex?”, remember two things. First, a healthcare professional or rehab program are your best resources for understanding your answer to the question of, “Am I addicted to sex?” Second, answering the question is only the first step toward a solution. From there, you need quality sex addiction treatment to put these behaviors behind you and build a better life.
Sex addiction treatment includes:
- Inpatient rehab, IOP or day treatment
- Extended care program
- Medical detox for co-occurring substance use disorder
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Individual and group therapy
- Family and couples therapy
Learn the answers to your question of, “Am I a sex addict?” Call Promises Behavioral Health now at 844.875.5609 for the insights, support, and guidance you need to start building a better life.