How Do I Approach Sex Addiction Treatment?

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Sex addiction can lead to a life of secrecy, frustration, shame, and anger. It’s been linked to several negative side effects, such as sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse and dependence, depression, and severely damaged interpersonal relationships. Sex addiction treatment offers patients a great measure of freedom from the chains of their addiction, but many sex addicts avoid getting the help they so desperately need.

An addiction to sex develops as a result of the endorphins released by the brain when someone engages in sex. This release of endorphins after sex is meant to encourage relaxation, comfort, and bonding with your partner. Endorphins are great. Simply put, endorphins make you feel really good – they’re what makes you feel good after you work out, and they’re unfortunately also responsible for the high experienced by drug addicts. When the brain releases endorphins after casual sex, compulsive masturbation, and pornography usage, a sex addiction can form.

The endorphins make you feel good, so you continue to engage in those behaviors, chasing that endorphin high. The development of sex addiction isn’t totally as clear cut as the release of endorphins. For many people, the formation of sex addiction can be traced back to childhood traumas or genetic predisposition.

Sex addiction treatment bears a pretty big resemblance to substance abuse treatment. The treatments with the highest success rates create tailor made plans for each patient on an individual level. These plans are based around each patient’s particular needs and desires. A personalized treatment plan may include any number of therapeutic approaches, including but not limited to abstaining from sexual activity, accountability training, individual counseling, group therapy, 12 step recovery meetings, coping skills, treatment for co-occurring disorders like depression, and preparation for life outside of treatment, which may include aftercare and ongoing support.

Entering sex addiction treatment can seem scary at first, but its high success rate and its thorough, structured nature are exactly what a sex addict needs in order to recover. If you or someone you know is unsure of how to approach getting treatment for sex addiction a quick search on the internet will yield many treatment and recovery options. You can  also contact your local mental health agency for help. You can stop in or confidentially call and request information. Remember that just because you request information you are not bound to do anything.

Explore your options and decide what seems best for your current situation. If you need help, twelve step program leaders, sponsors, and therapists will be happy to lead you in the right direction. Recovery is a long road, and this is the first step on your journey.


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