Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope
Sexual addiction is a disorder that is often misunderstood and perhaps at times, mismanaged. For the individual who is dealing with a sexual addiction, the reality of what they are facing on a daily basis is devastating, likely incurring consequences that are negatively impacting their lives in multiple ways.
Sexual addiction in itself develops out of complex reasons – many which relate to an individual on emotional and psychological levels. A sexual addiction can also result from biological influences, many that a person has no control over, such as biochemical or hormonal imbalances.
For these reasons, a comprehensive treatment approach is needed to address the complexity associated with a sexual addiction. There is thought that the combination of therapeutic and pharmacological approaches may help an individual overcome an addiction to sex. Behavior modification is something that can occur with the help of both medications and therapy interventions.
There are a variety of medications that may be used to help reduce the symptoms associated with sexual addiction, including compulsive behaviors, anxiety and depression. Some of the most common types of medications prescribed for sexual addiction include the following:
- Mood stabilizers: These type of medications may be used to help reduce sexual urges experienced by the sex addiction and may include Depakote and lithium.
- Antidepressants: The most common type of medication used in the treatment of sexual addiction includes Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs, a class of antidepressants. These medications can help decrease obsessive compulsive behaviors and include Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil.
- Naltrexone: This opioid agonist is typically used to treat opioid dependency and alcoholism. Functioning by targeting the pleasure center of the brain, this medication may help decrease addictive type behaviors.
- Anti-androgens: Intended to help reduce sexual urges in males, these types of drugs impact androgen levels, or the sex related hormones.
Working with a psychiatrist and professional treatment team is necessary for determining what types of therapeutic treatments may be most beneficial for the individual dealing with sexual addiction and whether or not medication may serve as an appropriate intervention.
If you are dealing with a sexual addiction, be sure to work closely with a specialized treatment team to find recovery and healing.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
If you have been in recovery for sexual addiction, was medication part of your treatment? If so, how did this help you in your recovery journey?
Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.
As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 19, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com