Blog Contributed by Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC for Addiction Hope
The struggle with sexual addiction can be isolating, lonely, confusing, and shameful. If you or someone you care for has been struggling with an addiction to sex, you may be unsure about the best way to ask for or receive the help you need. The good news is that even in the most hopeless situations, there is a means of healing and recovery.
Although there is not any official diagnostic criterion for sexual addiction, there are specific behaviors associated with this disorder that are well known among health care professionals. Because of this, treatment protocols have been designed to help individuals who may be suffering with compulsive sexual behaviors, which is a type of intimacy disorder.
Sexual Addiction Is Hard to Overcome Alone
Because of the addictive type nature of sexual compulsions, professional help is typically needed to overcome these behaviors. If you have been searching for help to overcome your sexual addiction, know that there are a myriad of options available for your recovery.
Treatment options actually range by degree of acuteness, from outpatient treatment to residential treatment. The treatment level that is right for you will be based on the severity of your addiction and subsequent symptoms that you may be struggling with.
A licensed professional counselor or sex addiction mental health specialist can help assess what level of care is appropriate for best addressing your behaviors and symptoms.
Taking the First Step Is Often the Hardest
Perhaps the greatest obstacle towards treatment and healing is not the lack of treatment or resources but simply, the willingness to reach out and ask for help. Because of the tremendous stigma that surrounds sexual addiction within our society; many individuals are held captive by fear, anxiety, and embarrassment.
Men or women who battle sexual addiction may worry about being humiliated or shamed if they share they admit their struggles with those closest to them or in taking the needed steps for treatment.
If you have been considering treatment for a sexual addiction but have not committed yourself to recovery due to your reservations and fears, it is important to consider the alternative to not recovering. Compulsive sexual behaviors will likely persist and even intensify or worsen over time.
Seeking Professional Help Is Key
One of the defining behaviors of sexual addiction is the inability to stop engaging in destructive conduct, even when negative consequences result. For these reasons, it is critical to seek professional help for addressing any compulsive sexual behaviors you may be suffering with.
While the shame and fear you may be feeling can be difficult to cope with, do not let these emotions overpower your decision to put yourself first and recover your life to its fullest potential.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
What are the biggest obstacles for receiving treatment for sexual addiction?