Tools to Help Sexual Addicts Help Recover Long Term
Sexual addiction is a behavior disorder in which a person obsesses over sex in an unconventional way. It can be caused by numerous biological, psychological, or social factors. Addicts suffer from a negative pattern of sexual behavior which may cause distress in many aspects of their lives, such as decreasing their attention span and overall physical health.
As complex as it may sound, there are multiple options that a person suffering from sexual addiction can try to help them cope with this addiction. These involve CBT, psychotherapy, and medications. We have elaborated on each of them below:
CBT: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
People with a history of sexual addiction have multiple platforms available in the digital and real-world to help them cope with it. These take the form of recovery groups that practice cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
In severe cases, the person may need to opt for a certified inpatient or outpatient treatment program. CBT helps people learn what triggers their sexually destructive behaviors to reevaluate their pattern of thoughts and eventually their behaviors.
Psychotherapy is the most preferred form of treatment for sex addiction, as it is the least invasive and may help target the root cause of the issue. It gives the addict a chance to speak to a trained mental healthcare professional, enabling them to work through the factors causing the addiction.
The most preferred type is psychodynamic-psychotherapy, which focuses on the person’s internal emotional developmental struggles fueling their hypersexual disorder. These struggles may come from their childhood or through relationships. More severe sexual compulsions require the addict to join inpatient treatment centers or intensive outpatient programs.
An individual can also seek medications to cope with sex addiction, such as to decrease the male hormones to help control a person’s urges. Other drugs may include Serotonergic (SSRI) antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and naltrexone.
However, taking only these medications does not bring on a full effect. The addict needs to bring interventions in their daily life to increase their self-esteem, monitor their use of pornographic sites, and address any existing emotional problems.
Serotonergic (SSRI) medications are often prescribed to people with depression or anxiety, as they behave like mood stabilizers and decrease their compulsive urges. Most people can tolerate these medications well. Some side effects of the medications are nausea, diarrhea, agitation, insomnia, and headache, but they usually pass within one month of use.
Other mood stabilizer medications such as Tegretol, Depakote, and Lamictal also help reduce impulsive behaviors. These medications’ most common side effects are drowsiness or an upset stomach.
Lastly, Naltrexone, a medication for lessening the impact of narcotic drugs, also helps with sexual compulsions by decreasing the male hormones.
An often ignored yet simple method of coping with sexual addiction is self-reflection. It requires the sufferer to take out some time during the day to practice journalism. They can write about the probable causes of their addiction and its effect on other areas of their life. An analysis of one’s own life helps illustrate the severity of the problem and encourages people to act to overcome their sexual addictions.
The individual can then continue by making a list of positive changes they would like to see for themselves. This can include spending their spare time carrying out a more productive and valuable hobby or spending time with close family members or friends.
Last but not least, an addict should get rid of any triggers they might have around them. If they are used to watching porn, they should limit the internet or install software that blocks inappropriate content from appearing on their device. In addition, avoiding clubs where you could be tempted to have one-night stands can assist with recovery.
Sexual addiction can have various underlying medical, occupational, legal, social, and emotional reasons. This makes it all the more important for sex addicts to explore these potential risk factors with equal sensitivity to find the right tools for recovery.