Why Is Sex Addiction So Hard To Overcome?
The road to recovery isn’t easy for anyone. Sex addicts have an incredibly difficult road ahead of them because sex is everywhere. It’s the underlying theme in movies, the smirk behind jokes, and the tease in commercials. After all, sex sells, right?
Even when the person has confronted their addiction and sought treatment, triggers are everywhere. Satisfying those compulsions can feel irresistible — even if the satisfaction is short-lived. And while sex is everywhere, understanding of sex addiction is not. Family and friends may not understand what the addicted person experiences, and why they engage in risky behavior. Their family may not know why the addict is sneaking out of family gatherings for a quick fix. If they start dating someone, it can be difficult to bring up their sex addiction and its implications. People with sex addiction can feel lonely and isolated.
Tips On How To Avoid Relapse
1. Seek Accountability
In A.A., addicts seek the guidance and support of a “sponsor,” who has already confronted their own addiction and achieved sobriety. This sponsor acts as a support system and confidant. They help the addict navigate sobriety through regular phone calls and check-ins.
For sex addicts, it’s helpful to establish a specific person or a network of trustworthy people. With them, the addict can discuss their triggers and urges. In A.A., bookending is discussed as a useful tool for starting and ending one’s day through meditation or reaching out to a sponsor. Bookending is also useful for sex addicts. Reaching out to their support system before and after going into triggering situations can increase accountability and compartmentalize their urges.
2. Avoid Triggers
Sex addicts oftentimes have a type or a specific kind of person who arouses and stimulates their compulsions. These visual triggers can pop up anywhere. For example, if they‘re drawn to busty redheads, it may be hard to go see a movie starring a specific actress. Sometimes people in their life, especially previous sexual partners, can be triggering. Avoiding these triggers will help keep their mind off of their addiction and avoid relapse.
3. Be Humble And Honest
Having a dedicated support system goes a long way. Yet, individuals with sex addiction often find that abstaining from risky behaviors is difficult. With addiction, people must take everything one day at a time, because each day is a new challenge.
Once in recovery, it’s important to be proud of themselves as well as receive encouragement from people who care. There’s another side to this. Several months into recovery, a proud mindset can easily fall into the trap of “I’ve come so far and been so good. One little fix here won’t hurt.” First, addicts should humbly acknowledge that while they are strong to have come so far, they aren’t invincible to their vices. Budging even a little can throw off months or even years of dedication and hard work.
Second, they need to be honest with themselves and their support network when they feel compulsions. While their support system won’t always be able to stop an addict from giving into urges, acknowledging their urges can change their mindset. It becomes easier to separate from their impulse and think about what they risk losing.
Sex Addiction Treatment
If you are struggling with sex addiction, counseling is the best treatment to return to a normal, healthy lifestyle. There are different types of counseling such as individual counseling, group counseling, outpatient, and couples counseling. Many people find that individual counseling is a great starting point.
Individual counseling is also referred to as one-to-one counseling. In individual counseling sessions, your therapist will assess your sex addiction. This assessment will give you and your therapist a clear lens for developing a personalized treatment plan. Your assessment will contain a list of problems with goals and strategies to direct your treatment.
Individual sessions usually take place on a weekly basis or every two weeks. You’ll address what’s currently happening in your life, the changes you want to make, and how to be successful in recovery. Many find that long-term counseling is a great solution for recovery and deep healing.
Coeur d’Alene Counseling
Coeur d’Alene Counseling is the Inland Northwest’s Sexual Addiction Treatment Center. Located in beautiful downtown Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, our team is dedicated to treating the devastating effects of sex addiction. We help both addicts and their partners through the turmoil, confusion, and pain. For more information, please visit our website or call our office at (208) 755-7114.