Sex addiction is misunderstood by the marjority of the population, thanks in part to the media that usually makes light of it. However, for sex addicts, sex addiction can disrupt lives, ruin marriages, and lead to depression. Sex addiction is when someone is obsessed with sexual thoughts and acts to the point it interferes with their lives. However, this is just the beginning.
Sex addicts are addicted to the entire process of anticipating sex, as well as engaging in sex. This is where sex addiction gets confusing because sex addicts are not addicted to sex; they are addicted to the feelings they have (dopamine or our feel good chemical) that they can’t get elsewhere in their lives. This is the cycle that must be broken in order for sex addiction treatment to take place.
Dr. Lara Dye is a CSAT (certified sexual addiction therapist) who helps treat sex addictions. She helps patients discover the underlying cause of their sexual addiction, identifies triggers for sex addiction, and then gives coping skills and mechanisms to break the sex addiction cycle. In this blog post, we’ll touch briefly on what sex addiction treatment can look like; however, keep in mind all clinical psychology treatments are individualized and personalized since every person is unique. Contact her today to get started!
A BRIEF LOOK AT SEX ADDICTION RECOVERY
Admitting you have a problem
For all addicts no matter what you are addicted to, from drugs and alcohol to sex or gambling, they must admit they have a problem in order to begin a recovery program. There has to be a desire for change, or change won’t happen. So what are the impetuses for change?
- Realizing there are long-term negative consequences
- Problems in marriage
- Problems in keeping relationships
- Legal troubles because of it
- Job troubles
- Addictions to other things, such as drugs or gambling, begin to appear
- Contraction of an STD (sexually transmitted disease)
- Impacting other areas of life
There are many reasons sex addicts realize they need help. Once they take that first step of admitting they are sex addicts, help can then commence.
Returning to who you are
Sex addiction treatment will look different for everyone. However, the goal is to return to who you are deep inside. Because of your sexual addiction, it took over your life. You spent most of your waking hours fantasizing about sex, obessing over sex, and then finally obtaining sex, which only temporarily quelled your compulstion until a trigger happened again, causing the cycle to repeat. Usually, returning to your core values as a person, your goals, and what you want out of your life outside of this sex addiction is the first step to sex addiction recovery. One useful activity for sex addicts is to write out a list of what they want out of their lives. This list can be broad, such as more intimate relationships, to concrete, such as going on a date with someone special without having sex be the end game. Below are some examples of your potential list.
- Improved self esteem
- Improved health
- Improved relationships with others
- Eliminate the feelings of shame and guilt
- Accomplish goals outside of having sex
- Developing a hobby
- Being a better member of the community
- Feeling more in control of your life
Dr. Lara Dye recommends letting your core values be your guide as you continue in your individual sex addiction treatment.
Setting realistic goals
Once you’ve decided what you want to obtain from your life, now it’s time to set realistic goals of attainment. Goals give you a sense of accomplishment in this world and will help to improve your self-esteem drastically. The process of obtaining that goal may be arduous and long, but it will be well worth it once you obtain it. Slowly, this process of obtaining goals will replace your former process of obtaining sex, which had been your singular goal for quite some time now.
Concurrently, your desire to establish meaningful relationships will be an on-going process as well. Through sex addiction treatment, Dr. Lara Dye will be equipping you with the tools you need and the steps you need to take in order to achieve meaningful, quality relationships with others. Throughout the sex addiction recovery process, these steps will constantly be evaluated and reexamined for effectiveness and results.
THE END GAME OF SEX ADDICTION TREATMENT AND RECOVERY
Ultimately, life is about finding your purpose and working towards that purpose. In this process, you will find meaning in life that has nothing to do with yourself or seeking physical pleasures.
Sex addicts often feel alone. During the recovery process, it will be crucial for you to not only seek out a CSAT, such as Dr. Lara Dye in Austin, but also that you develop a support network of family and friends who can be there for you in this fight for your life, for example, when triggers happen. Begin today. Contact Dr. Lara Dye, addiction specialist, in Austin today!