Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope
Contrary to what many people may believe about sexual addiction, this disorder is one that warrants professional help and treatment for recovery.
Many mental illnesses and disorders are often misjudged and stereotyped, and in the case of sexual addiction, it is often thought that a person simply lacks self-control or has the desire to over-indulge in sexual activities and behaviors.
However, sexual addiction is actually classified as a type of intimacy disorder, and there are many underlying causes that may contribute to the development of a sexual addiction.
While the exact causes of sexual addiction cannot be directly pinpointed, there is some research that has identified possible factors that may influence the development of sexual addiction or hypersexual activity. For example, research has found that sexual addiction may be linked to chemical changes in the brain or a biochemical abnormality.
These biological influences are not necessarily factors that someone has any control over. Environmental factors may also increase an individual’s risk of becoming hypersexual, including the experience of trauma, abuse, and neglect.
Because the factors involved with sexual addiction are widespread, having a professional treatment team is essential for addressing this complex disorder. A treatment team may involve a therapist/counselor, medical doctor and psychiatrist.
While each of these professionals serve an important role in the recovery process from sexual addiction, each functions by addressing a particular concern involved with this intimacy disorder.
Individuals who struggle with sexual addiction may also have other co-occurring mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder and more.
A psychiatrist can be helpful in identifying other disorders and helping a person find ways to appropriately deal with the symptoms they are experiencing.
Medication may play an important role in the recovery process from sexual addiction and should be properly dosed and monitored by a psychiatrist. Consider working with a psychiatrist who specializes in sexual addiction if you are struggling with this disorder. Having professional guidance with the help of a psychiatrist can be an invaluable part of recovery.
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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 17, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com