Is sex addiction real?
Yes, it is real. While some may struggle with the term “addiction,” it is important to realize that there are varying degrees of compulsive sexual behavior—from problematic behaviors to serious addiction. So, let’s start with a practical definition: if you cannot control when you start or stop a behavior, even when that behavior is causing problems for you or those close to you, then you may be addicted. In the end, the terms used aren’t the most important thing—what’s critical is determining how serious the problem is and finding out how to overcome it.
How do I know if I’m addicted?
Start by asking yourself a few questions:
- Do you ever feel bad or uncomfortable about your sexual behavior?
- Do you become restless or irritable when you are unable to engage in sexually related behavior?
- Do you ever feel guilt, remorse, or depression around your sexual behavior?
- Have you tried and failed to control the amount of sexual activity you engage in?
- Has your need for sexually related behaviors ever made you abandon your value system or go against your better judgment?
- Do you resort to pornography or other sexual activities to escape from your problems, to relieve anxiety, or to cope with stress?
- Do you feel shame about your sexual activities?
- Do you feel a need to conceal from others either the nature or frequency of your sexual activities?
- Do you lead a secret or double life?
If you answered “YES” to any of the above questions, you may have a sexual addiction. The good news is that you are not alone and there is help.
To further assess how serious the problem is, go to www.RecoveryZone.com and take the Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST). It’s FREE, ANONYMOUS, and it takes about 10 minutes to complete. Print your results and we can discuss them if you choose to contact me.
How do I find healing from my addiction?
Reach Out for Help
Often, addicts and their partners have isolated themselves due to the shame of the addiction. To help overcome that shame and to start healing, it’s critical that you reach out and ask for help. You can do the following:
- Join a 12-step support group (see the Resources page for more information).
- Talk to a trusted friend, clergy, or family member who will support you in your efforts to make positive changes in your life.
- Begin working with a licensed therapist who is certified in treating sex addiction (see the About page for more information).
As a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, I will assist you in understanding the origins of your addictive behaviors and help you get on the path of recovery. Please go to the Contact page and let me help you begin your healing.