Individuals struggle with sex addiction for a variety of reasons such as issues with intimacy, self-confidence, depression, or abnormality in brain chemistry. A patient suffering from sexual addiction engages in habitual, reckless, and compulsive sexual activity for reasons that have little or nothing to with love, intimacy, or commitment to a significant other. Reasons for their behavior are often rooted in long-standing feelings of inadequacy, repression, and dysfunction. At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we offer compassionate, clinical sex addiction treatment and behavioral health care to patients who struggle with substance abuse alongside a sex addiction.
Symptoms of Sexual Addiction
Many who experience sexual addiction choose to disregard it and insist that they are managing their problems in a healthy and responsible manner. The reality is that the psychology of sex addiction mirrors that of addiction to alcohol and drugs and may lead to a substance abuse problem. The disease is even treated using the 12-step process. Also much like a drug or alcohol detox, patients often require formal treatment with professional supervision in order to see long-lasting results and improvements.
Often, sex addiction is illustrated through excessive use of pornography, strip clubs, phone sex, and prostitutes. In reality, common signs that an individual has developed a sex addiction include:
- Excessive preoccupation with sexual fantasies, urges, and activity
- Excessive sexual engagement as a means of coping with stress,?anxiety, and?depression
- Lack of control over sexual impulses despite a concerted effort
- Sexual activity without regard for physical health or self-worth
The Damage Caused by Sex Addiction
These urges can lead to self-destructive behavior that can have a negative impact on a person’s life. Patients in sex addiction treatment centers report numerous lifestyle disruptions, including:
- Marital problems that stem from infidelity and mistrust
- Contraction of a sexually transmitted disease
- Poor mental health including feelings of inadequacy and regret
- Self-destructive episodes (including suicide attempts) due to guilt, shame, and frustration toward a sexual encounter
- Uncontrollable thoughts and the fear of dangerous and/or potentially illegal actions
- The inability to form healthy romantic relationships
- Substance abuse to cope with their feelings
How to Treat Sex Addiction
At BHOPB, we believe in a comprehensive approach to substance abuse treatment, including addressing any related problems such as sex addiction. Although it is not its own program, our sex addiction treatment is administered alongside our drug and alcohol rehab programs in South Florida by specialists who are familiar with the disorder. It can take several weeks for people to complete the program.
Patients are first treated for any physical ramifications of their addiction, such as disease or infection from sexual activities as well as going through the detox process for their drug or alcohol problems. The next step in the recovery process is addressing the underlying mental health issues that have led to their substance abuse and sex problems. Our mental health treatment in Palm Beach includes in-depth group and individual counseling to help patients identify the origins of their issues so they can form healthy relationships and abstain from further irresponsible activity. This process often requires confronting repressed guilt or shame regarding an earlier unhealthy sexual experience that may have formed the patient’s current behavior.
Patients and their significant others are also educated regarding the consequences and health risks of sexual compulsion and drug abuse. They will have ample time to address how their addictions have impacted their relationships and family life. We also help clients develop a?post-treatment plan?that helps them distinguish between healthy and unhealthy sexual behavior.
Left untreated, addiction can destroy relationships, and put a person’s health at risk. Get the drug and sex addiction treatment you need and free yourself from the burden of addiction altogether.