Understanding Shame and Self Blame of a Sex Addict

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Shame of Sex AddictionSex addiction affects everyone a little bit differently. However, a common element in most addictions is blame. While some addicts place blame on others, many experience strong feelings of guilt, shame and self-blame. Self-blame combined with low-self worth and depression haunts a large number of sex addicts and often times causes them to want to bury those feelings with more sexual behaviors. Many sex addicts struggle in silence and isolation with their addiction.

Blame, by its very nature, is negative and should be avoided by friends and family members of sex addicts. It is a common human response, but if at all possible, you should try to refrain from blaming your sex addicted friend or family member. Remember they are suffering from a disease. Sex addiction is a disorder and requires treatment by professionals.

Addiction by itself is a difficult disorder for people to understand. Sex addiction is not unlike other addictions, including gambling, drug and alcohol addiction. Addictions alter the reward system in the brain and overstimulate it. As a result of the over-stimulation, the brain reacts and releases less of the reward chemical. This explains why sex addicts have to gradually intensify their addiction over time. At this point, the sexually obsessive and compulsive behaviors will need to escalate to get the source of pleasure the sex addict seeks. Their activities will only sustain the person until they get their next fix. Those addicted to sex cannot stop even if they want to, which is why blame is such a poor response to addiction. The solutions to sex addiction is professional help, therapy and 12 step programs.

Individuals become sexually addicted for a variety of reasons. For many, it’s an escape from painful, traumatic and abusive pasts. It’s common for sex addicts to have backgrounds of neglect, physical and sexual abuse, abandonment and enmeshment. Others may have pre-existing psychological disorders or may be predisposed to addiction in some other way. In some cases, sex addicts may make a conscious decision to push the boundaries of healthy sexual behavior and get sucked into addiction without realizing it.

No matter what the root cause of the addiction was, it is important for sex addicts and their family and friends to accept the addiction for what it is, an addiction, and not place blame. One of the biggest obstacles that sex addicts face in recovery is overcoming self-blame. Once sex addicts accept their addiction from a non-judgmental viewpoint, they are able to pursue their recovery.

Sex addicts may engage or have engaged in sexual behaviors and activities they would not have ever considered when they were healthy. They may have fantasized or engaged in fetishes, underage fantasy or activities or a number of other potentially shameful and guilt ridden behaviors. This can be a great source of guilt and contribute to self-blame. However, in order to recover, it is essential for them to overcome this feeling. Loved ones and friends may also have a hard time overcoming the actions and behaviors of their sex addicted friend or loved one. It is difficult for those not addicted to sex to understand why a sex addict does what they do. This is why it is so important to involve others who are understanding, supportive and caring in the recovery process.

Recovery from sex addiction is a long process. It requires the understanding and support of family and friends. Comprehensive treatment programs will help family members cope with the affects of the sex addiction and include them in therapy and counseling sessions. The burden of overcoming self-blame and guilt can be greatly reduced with the love and support of family and friends. Find a treatment program that will help everyone heal from the devastating effects of sex addiction.


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One Response to Understanding Shame and Self Blame of a Sex Addict

  1. Mark W on at

    Wow this has been my experience. I can blame myself, others, situations, feeling, either good or not. Thanks to SAA and my Higher power I can have freedom from this addiction one day at a time. Mark W NY

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