Sexual Addiction Is A Serious Health Challenge

“Mom and Dad, are we there yet?”  Who doesn’t relate to that?  Parents often suffer that question, and I am sure as adults we all remember wanting those long car trips to be done!  Now as an adult, I have two memories of those long trips.  I remember wanting them to be over.  But I now also remember moments and how they impacted me.  I remember having the time to listen to music, the time to look at new things, the time to think and figure out new ideas or solutions to nagging problems, the time to talk with my brothers about things, and the time to experience new emotions that were enjoyable.  I now see those long trips being positively formative, where I learned important skills around patience or being flexible with challenging ideas and problems.  Those long roads are like the long view sexual addicts must take.  Help looks like a long and holistic road that leads to a desired destination.    

“Is going to my church purity program enough?”  I’ve been asked that question many times.  I think the question suggests a limited understanding of just how dramatically sexual addiction develops and impacts those suffering from it.  For example, a better question might be, “Knowing that I must go to any extent possible to gain recovery, what else should I add to my church purity program?”  This question is more in line with reality, with what we know works best.  Quality help includes the process of adopting four fundamental and provisional beliefs/truths to begin repairing the damage caused by your addictive and compulsive behaviors.  These four crucial realities are:

  1. It is likely that your current perceptions about life are not trustworthy, but distorted. Therefore, until your growth in this area is solid, you must learn to trust the perceptions of reliable others though you may believe these perceptions to be mistaken or unpleasant.
  2. You will need to trust that you have been damaged far more than you understand or want to accept, and that a holistic approach to recovery can repair this damage and help you realize your true self and identity. 
  3. Sexual addiction forms insane ways of thinking.  It deludes your thinking.  Reality is hidden, and you need to begin believing that everything that deludes reality must enter a process of being eliminated, washed clean.  Reality must be reclaimed. 
  4. Allow others to care for you.  Sexual addicts often feel that they do not deserve anyone’s love and care.  The fact is that you are a treasure!  It may be difficult to accept that you are important, valued, and appreciated, but with little bits of surrendering yourself to others’ care, doors will open to you. 

Ref.: “Facing the Shadow” by Dr. Patrick Carnes

Truly adopting and applying these beliefs is a process of guided growth with a trained professional.  A singular approach to achieving recovery, like only using a church purity program, is a recipe of sure failure since it cannot address crucial personal issues for you.  As important and good as most of these church-based programs are as supplemental to your healing, they are adjuncts and not thorough enough for true recovery.  Their margins limit the scope of many critical elements to holistic therapy and support that sexual addicts need for success.  They must be seen as supportive to a more thorough process, not the main process in themselves.

Otherwise, continued defeat and relapse can pile on more shame and hopelessness.  I am not saying that support groups have no place, because they do!  But I am saying that they are not enough on their own.  In the same way, for a person with full-blown diabetes, it would be important to adjust their diet and that would support overall health.  But without insulin and medical supervision for a deeper issue, a diabetic would not manage a healthy life.  A serious health challenge is just that, serious, and sexual addiction is a serious health challenge.  There is hope and help.  Call today.