What is sex addiction? Sex addiction can refer to a range of behaviors that are done in excess and that significantly impact one’s life in a negative way. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V does not list sex addiction as a diagnosable condition yet, but research indicates that there is a clear prevalence of adverse sexual behavior that is similar in development to a chemical addiction.
TYPES OF SEX ADDICTIONS
Sexual addictions can come in different forms, including addiction to:
Masturbation or fantasy
Sadistic or masochistic behavior
Other excessive sexual pursuits
Sex Addiction and Compulsion
Sex addiction is a commonly used term these days, and over time it has developed to mean compulsive sexual behavior of some kind or another. There is no professional consensus on this. A behavior is compulsive when an individual’s self control has been compromised in regard to the behavior under consideration, i.e. sex. However, the individual may simultaneously function at a high level in other aspects of their life.
Symptoms and Effects of Sex Addiction
There are several signs to indicate whether an individual is addicted to sex. These can be emotional, physical or psychological.
An individual who struggles with a sex addiction probably doesn’t have healthy boundaries. They may become easily involved with people emotionally and sexually, without getting to know them. Most individuals with a sex addiction fear abandonment, and that might make them stay in relationships that aren’t healthy, or they find themselves going from relationship to relationship. Being alone is not an option for these individuals, as it makes them feel empty and incomplete.
There are very few physical symptoms of a sex addiction. There are more side effects. Unwanted pregnancy is a side effect of sex addiction, as is contracting venereal diseases.
Sex addiction can have significant psychological effects like feelings of shame, inadequacy, and emotional distress. It can also lead to co-morbid psychological disorders like anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and issues related to impulse control.
Blueprints provides support for young adults facing addiction recovery. Call us if you need help for your loved one who is struggling to quit gambling or engaging in other addictive or compulsive behaviors. Our staff and programs support individualized programs to help resolve addictive behaviors and get them on the path to recovery and healing.