15 Facts About Sex Addiction Treatment You Should Know
Working through the steps of sex addiction treatment can be difficult, but as you look at exactly what may be going on with it, you are going to notice that there are a lot of different things that you may be trying to work out on account of your recovery and how you wish to proceed with it.
Learning about how sex addiction treatment works and how you may want to move forward with it can be a big step as you’re learning about different recovery options.
Here are 15 facts that you may want to consider as you’re looking at treatment for this serious addiction.
- 1. Treatment options are available, but psychologists don’t recognize sex addiction as a condition
- 2. Doctors treat sex addicts with the same methods as alcohol and substance abusers
- 3. Equine therapy is a form of sexual addiction therapy
- 4. Sex addicts are often hospitalized
- 5. There are 12-step programs for sex addicts
- 6. Medication can help sex addicts control their addiction
- 7. Sex addiction treatment often involves discovering emotional issues that lead to the behavior
- 8. Treatment involves helping the addict understand the difference between natural sexual desire and a compulsion
- 9. Recovering sex addicts sign a “contract” that commits them to their recovery
- 10. Being honest about your addiction will help you get the help you need
- 11. Sex addicts often engage in family therapy with their spouses and children
- 12. Relapse is often hard to diagnose
- 13. Many sex addicts relapse when they are alone without their support system
- 14. Sex addicts don’t completely give up sex for the rest of their lives
- 15. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help sex addicts change their behaviors
1. Treatment options are available, but psychologists don’t recognize sex addiction as a condition
One of the most difficult parts of working through sex addiction is the fact that it is not currently considered a condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (or the DSM as it is more commonly known as).
So, while treatment options are available for those who are dealing with an addiction to sex, it isn’t something that is necessarily recognized by the greater psychological community at this point in time.
Thankfully, there is still research being done on the topic, allowing specialists to develop effective treatment options.
2. Doctors treat sex addicts with the same methods as alcohol and substance abusers
This is partially because of the reasons discussed in our first fact – because it is not recognized in the DSM, doctors don’t have a set course of action with which they can try to sort everything out.
As a result, most medical doctors decide to approach the whole thing like they do any other sort of addiction.
While this can be helpful in some contexts, it’s a fact that not everyone finds success with rehab in the same manner.
As research gets better and more professionals understand what can come of these processes, this way of doing things will hopefully change for the better and we will start to see cases where recovery is a lot more successful than it may have otherwise been due to more focused options for care.
3. Equine therapy is a form of sexual addiction therapy
Animals, specifically horses, are believed to have a number of qualities that can be very helpful in regards to therapy.
There are many ways that equine therapy can be advantageous for those who are going through addiction rehabilitation, including allowing them to feel more comfortable with themselves, getting them outdoors so that they can enjoy what’s out there, and being a form of exercise, which can help people to relax and feel a bit less stress in regards to what they are doing.
That’s why many rehab centers have adopted equine therapy as a part of what they are doing in rehab.
Other sorts of animal therapy are also helpful, but equine therapy mixes several sorts of therapy options, making it much more versatile for programs that are helping multiple individuals.
4. Sex addicts are often hospitalized
Due to a lack of education or resources, those who are dealing with sex addiction end up finding themselves in the hospital.
Many people don’t understand what it is that they are going through with their addiction and, when it becomes dangerous to them and/or others, they may end up in the hospital so that they can get the treatment that they need to work through it.
Whether someone is hospitalized for an injury or they are in the mental health unit getting assistance, it’s important to know that hospitalization can be a step toward helping someone struggling so that they can start the rehab process.
The hospital may not necessarily have the tools needed to help someone through rehab, but they can often make referrals and help people to get the help that they need in order to take care of their addiction in a safe and healthy environment.
5. There are 12-step programs for sex addicts
As with every other form of addiction, there is a 12 step program for sex addicts as well.
If you’ve never heard of a 12 step program, it’s a program that has been developed with breaking free from addiction in mind.
It helps the person to start from the root causes of their addiction and then allows them to work through the different steps in order to start recovery in an effective fashion.
The 12 step program has a lot of success associated with it, so it’s really not surprising that those dealing with sex addiction have seen some success from these sorts of groups as well.
6. Medication can help sex addicts control their addiction
While there is no specific medication for sex addiction, there is a lot to be said about the underlying causes of this type of addiction.
Many times, they have issues with impulse control, or they are self medicating in order to deal with another mental health issue that they may be facing.
By getting those disorders cared for and worked with (whether through medication or another form of assistance), it can make it that much easier for the person struggling with sex addiction to work through what is going on in a way that is effective and helpful.
Medication can also help to decrease impulsivity, no matter what the cause, which can be a huge step for the sex addict as they’re working things out.
7. Sex addiction treatment often involves discovering emotional issues that lead to the behavior
As mentioned above, there are often some underlying issues that are associated with the behaviors in question, and by taking the time to learn and see what the emotional issues are, it makes dealing with them a little easier for those who may be struggling with these problems.
Taking the time to learn and see what thought processes have led up to the individual trying to fend off sexual addiction can not only help you to know what is best, but it can give you an idea of what you need to take care of so that you can be your best as well.
8. Treatment involves helping the addict understand the difference between natural sexual desire and a compulsion
Studies show that there are significant differences between sexual addiction and someone who has a high libido (sex drive).
Treatment focuses on the individual who is trying to deal with a disordered relationship with sex in general, instead of trying to prevent them from having sex at all.
It involves working with the individual so that they can learn how to be a sexual being in a healthy and functional manner.
By understanding the difference between healthy sexual situations and sexual situations that occur because of addictions, it becomes easier for the sex addicted person to work out feelings and situations related to sex in the future.
9. Recovering sex addicts sign a “contract” that commits them to their recovery
We’ve all heard the phrase that “honesty is the best policy,” and that is incredibly true when it comes to addiction recovery.
Not only does that mean that you will be able to start working toward recovery, but it also allows you to feel less shame about what it is that you’re trying to deal with.
By talking openly about the issues at hand and learning about what you can do to make it easier on yourself and those you love, you will find that there are a lot of ways to move forward at the same time.
11. Sex addicts often engage in family therapy with their spouses and children
There are often a number of other problems going on under the surface when it comes to an addiction to sex and, as a result, family therapy can be a great way to work through those things and allow you to seek out whatever may be going on in this regard.
By taking the time to talk through it all with family, it makes it easier to be held accountable and it allows an individual to work out what it is that they will need to do to stay on top of anything that can arise at the same time.
12. Relapse is often hard to diagnose
Since there is so much shame associated with sex addiction in the first place, it’s not surprising that relapse can be a difficult thing to try and diagnose as well.
People are often very quiet about what it is that they are doing and, many times, it can be really hard to actually look at what there is that they need to accomplish in the meantime as well.
This is why honesty, therapy, and a lot of self-determination are vital as you’re working out what you need to do in recovery.
It can help to prevent relapse and allow you to feel freer to speak with people if you’re struggling with relapse as well.
13. Many sex addicts relapse when they are alone without their support system
Secluding yourself is a big issue when it comes to any sort of addiction, and dealing with the problems that can be associated with relapse can be more easily prevented if you don’t seclude yourself.
By taking the time to talk to other people and to be sure that you’re working through whatever you need to do in your relationships, you will find that you’re a lot better off when it comes to preventing relapse.
Being open and honest and having good friends can go a very long way as you’re working through all of the steps in the process of recovery.
14. Sex addicts don’t completely give up sex for the rest of their lives
A huge myth is that, just because someone is addicted to something, they have to give that particular thing up for the rest of their lives in order to prevent relapse in the future.
While that is true for some people, it’s not true for every addict.
Sex is something that is meant to be enjoyed and, if done so in a functional and safe manner, the former sex addict can actually find that it’s that much easier to prevent the problems most commonly associated with relapse.
Finding healthy ways to be a sexual being is a huge part of helping you to get what you need and can ensure that, no matter what you may be struggling with, you can still enjoy the best life possible.
15. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help sex addicts change their behaviors
The point of cognitive behavioral therapy is to help people to “rewire” their brains so that they can actually enjoy life as best as they can.
It is used in all sorts of disorders and mental illnesses, but it has been found to be especially useful when it comes to dealing with addictions of all sorts.
The fact is, addicts are usually turning to whatever they are addicted to because it helps them to deal with negative emotions, like anger, stress, and anxiety.
By going through this sort of therapy, people find new and healthy ways to deal with those things.
This prevents them from going to the addictive behavior as much, allowing them to prevent relapse and other complications that so often arise during recovery.