Sex is a natural need but can lead to a number of negative consequences if taken too far. Sex addiction is known as a Progressive Intimacy Disorder and as the addiction increases, its negative impacts also increase.
Specific causes of this addiction are yet unknown, but many researchers believe that it occurs due to certain chemical changes that the brain goes through. Sex addiction is generally a psychological problem and often occurs in individuals who have faced abuse and psychological problems in childhood or belong to dysfunctional families. As per a recent CNN study, about 80% of individuals who are sex addicts have experienced some kind of abuse or emotional trauma in the past.
Individuals who suffer from sex addiction generally make a conscious attempt at behavior control but usually fail. They go out of their way to obtain sex and this behavior generally comes in the way of their normal life, affecting their work as well as social activities. They can suffer from sudden rate and also tend to be violent by nature.
There is no specific cure available for sex addiction, but treatment is possible and one can manage this problem effectively with proper guidance. Sex therapy and counseling are the best options one can opt for to manage sex addiction. Therapy generally aims to train the individual to control his compulsions so that it does not interfere with his/her normal life.
Sex addiction counseling can be in the form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), medication as well as effective education. Patients can either opt for a residential rehabilitation program, go for regular counseling sessions at a clinic or to a private counselor.
Sex addiction counseling is generally done in 3 steps, which involves-
During the last stage of counselling-CBT may be introduced, in which the patient is given certain tools and introduced to techniques which help him shift his focus and thoughts away from sex. This type of therapy also helps avoid relapse. In some cases anti-depressants are prescribed as well.
A number of signs which point to sex addiction include-
Individuals experiencing the above signs should visit a therapist and seek the necessary treatment for sex addiction.
A non-eligibility criterion for sex addiction counseling is not required as it is a form of therapy and not a medical treatment.
In the process of sex addiction counseling, during the second stage of ‘Action’, an addict will go through withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can lead to cravings, strange fantasies, lack of sleep and sex dreams. But with time these symptoms will soon stop and the individual can learn how to manage his addiction.
Post the counseling treatment the addict has to stay honest with himself/herself and his/her family and abstain from sex. Being sexually sober is very important, especially during the first year post treatment. One also needs to work on emotional growth and slowly and steadily repair his/her relationship with family and friends.
During this period it is highly essential that the patient leads a balanced life, both physically and emotionally.
Complete recovery from sex addiction does take quite a long time. Patience with the addict is of utmost importance. Full recovery takes about 3-5 years.
The price depends on the kind of treatment one opts for. Generally, the cost of residence rehabilitation is more as compared to single sessions which range from Rs 1000 to Rs 2500.
The results are mostly permanent unless the patient suffers from a relapse due to excessive emotional stress.
While sex addiction counseling should be undergone in the case of this problem, patients can adopt the practice of yoga and meditation to keep themselves calm and relaxed.