What defines sex addiction? According to the boisterous opinion of many medical, psychological, and scientific professions, it can’t be defined, because it doesn’t exist. Sex addiction and porn addiction were recently nubbed of their status. The Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, heavily relied upon for validation of mental disorders, did not approve sex addiction or porn addiction to be added because of a lack of sufficient evidence to prove it exists. Empirical evidence is important to validate the existence of a mental disorder. Living with what one might call a sex addiction is evidence enough for those who suffer from it.
Sex addiction is categorized as a process addiction. Unlike substance use disorders where someone develops an addiction to drugs and alcohol, sex addiction creates an addiction on a process. Similarly to the way that drug addiction and alcohol addiction are hardly about the substances themselves, sex addiction really isn’t about the sex. However, sex becomes the compulsive action upon which the brain becomes obsessed, thus starting the ruthless cycle of a process addiction. Characterizations of sex addiction can include:
- Compulsive sexual activity including intercourse, masturbation, viewing pornography, voyeurism, and exhibitionism
- Purchasing sexual media like pornography videos, magazines, photos, etc
- Inability to remain faithful in a relationship
- Lack of consequence in spending money on sex and sex related activities
- Inability to stop harming oneself and others due to sexual compulsions
Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous are two separate twelve step groups which offer definition of the issue and support to those who are struggling. According to SLAA, the issue applies to “…anyone who suffers from an addictive compulsion to engage in or avoid sex, love, or emotional attachment.” As one doctor explains to Metro US, there is a high in pursuing sex and sexual activity and getting lost in the obsessive pursuit. “Addicts gravitate towards substances or [in this case] another human being as a way to distract themselves from something they’re suffering from.” The article continues to explain that “a sex addict will engage in destructive behaviors, including putting themselves in abusive situations, to fulfill a desire to feel wanted.”
Untreated sex addiction can cause someone to lose a job, lose their financial stability, and lose their important relationships. Whether or not sex addiction is qualified according to the DSM-IV should not cause the profound way that millions of people suffer to be disregarded. Sex addiction is frequently co-occurring with other mental health conditions like anxiety, bipolar, depression, and substance use disorders.
If you are struggling with sex addiction, Aurora Recovery Centre is here to help you. Our residential programs are designed to help you find healing mind, body, and spirit. Lifelong recovery from sex addiction is a pathway you can learn to walk. Let Aurora light the way. Call 844-515-STOP today.