Thursday, December 3, 2009

Few words about sex addiction


As You know, I am usualy write about drug rehabs focused mostly on free drug rehabs in US and UK, but this time, something else attracted my attention, different kind of addiction: sex addiction or sex rehab. There are certain people who need this kind of addiction so i will introduce You what sexual rehab is and who need it.


Sexual addiction is not a term made up for people who are looking for an excuse to be irresponsibly horny, as some may erroneously believe.  Sexual addiction is in fact a real addiction and it destroys lives all the same as a drug or alcohol addiction. People struggling with sexual addiction find themseves behaving in uncontrollable and compulsive ways, putting themselves and those around them in considerable danger.  Sexual addiction does not get the same attention as drug and alcohol addiction, but it is still very real and very dangerous.  Read here about sexual addiction, its roots, effects, and how to best help someone who is struggling.

Sexual addiction is hypothesized to be (but is not always) associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), narcissistic personality disorder, and manic-depression. There are those who suffer from more than one condition simultaneously (known as a dual diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder), but traits of addiction are often confused with those of these disorders, often due to most clinicians not being adequately trained in diagnosis and characteristics of addictions, and many clinicians tending to avoid use of the diagnosis at all.
Specialists in obsessive-compulsive disorder and addictions use the same terms to refer to different symptoms. In addictions, obsession is progressive and pervasive, and develops along with denial; the person usually does not see themselves as preoccupied, and simultaneously makes excuses, justifies and blames. Compulsion is present only while the addict is physically dependent on the activity for physiological stasis. Constant repetition of the activity creates a chemically dependent state. If the addict acts out when not in this state, it is seen as being spurred by the obsession only. Some addicts do have OCD as well as addiction, and the symptoms will interact.
Addicts often display narcissistic traits, which often clear as sobriety is achieved. Others do exhibit the full personality disorder even after successful addiction treatment.

Definition says that sex addicts are unable to control their sexual impulses, which can involve the entire spectrum of sexual fantasy or behavior. Eventually, the need for sexual activity increases, and the person's behavior is motivated solely by the persistent desire to experience the sex act and the history usually reveals a long-standing pattern of such behavior, which the person repeatedly has tried to stop, but without success. Although a patient may have feelings of guilt and remorse after the fact, these feelings do not suffice to prevent its recurrence and the patient may report that the need to act out is most severe during stressful periods or when angry, depressed, anxious, or otherwise dysphoric. Eventually, the sexual activity interferes with the person's social, vocational, or marital life, which begins to deteriorate.

How to see first symptoms? The sex addict uses sex as a quick fix, or as a form of medication for anxiety, pain, loneliness, stress, or sleep. Sex addicts often refer to sex as their "pain reliever" or "tension reliever." Other indicators that sexual behavior may be out of control include:

an obsession with sex that dominates one's life, including sexual fantasies that interfere with work performance
excessive time devoted to planning sexual activity that it interferes with other activities strong feelings of shame about one's sexual behavior
feelings of powerlessness or inability to stop despite predictable adverse consequences
inability to make a commitment to a loving relationship and/or extreme dependence upon a relationship as a basis for feelings of self-worth
little or no genuine emotional satisfaction or attachment gained from sexual encounters
Compulsive or addictive sexual behavior may take various forms, including what many regard as "normal" heterosexual behavior. The type of sexual activity and even the frequency or number of partners are not of great significance in diagnosing this problem. Some individuals have a naturally stronger sex drive than others, and the range of human sexual activity is so broad that it is difficult to define "normal" sexual behavior. What is significant is a pattern of self-destructive or high risk sexual behavior that is unfulfilling, a person is unable to stop, and their life becomes unmanageable as a result.

The first major study of sexual addiction was published by Patrick Carnes in 1991.(4) It was based on questionnaires filled out by 752 males and 180 females diagnosed as sex addicts, most of them admitted for treatment in the in-patient Sexual Dependency Unit of a hospital in Minnesota. The others had at least three years of participation in one of the 12-step programs for recovery from sexual addition. Of the sex addicts in this survey, 63% were heterosexual, 18% homosexual, 11% bisexual, and 8% were unsure of their sexual preference.

The sexual addicts who responded to Carnes' questionnaire were typically unable to form close friendships. Their feelings of shame and unworthiness made them unable to accept real intimacy. They were certain they would be rejected if others only knew what they were "really" like, so they found myriad obsessive ways to turn away a potential friend or loving partner. Despite a large number of superficial sexual contacts, they suffered from loneliness, and many developed a sense of leading two lives--one sexual, the other centered around their occupation or other "normal" activity.

In Carnes' survey, 97% responded that their sexual activity led to loss of self-esteem. Other reported emotional costs were strong feelings of guilt or shame, 96%; strong feelings of isolation and loneliness, 94%; feelings of extreme hopelessness or despair, 91%; acting against personal values and beliefs, 90%; feeling like two people, 88%; emotional exhaustion, 83%; strong fears about own future, 82%; and emotional instability, 78%.

Carnes found that 42% of sex addicts in his sample also had a problem with either alcohol or drug dependency and 38% had eating disorders.



Sex rehab and treatment


Treatment will focus on two main issues. The first is the logistical concerns of separating you from harmful sexual behavior in the same way drug addicts need to be separated from drugs.

Accomplishing this might require inpatient or residential treatment for several weeks. An inpatient setting protects you from the abundance of sexual images and specific situations or people that trigger compulsive sexual behavior. It's simply harder to relapse in a structured and tightly controlled setting. Sometimes, you can succeed in an outpatient setting with adequate social, family and spiritual support.

The second and most difficult issue involves facing the guilt, shame and depression associated with this illness. It takes trust and time with a competent therapist to work through these emotions. If you are very depressed, the best treatment might be an inpatient residential setting where professionals can monitor and properly manage your symptoms.

12-Step Programs Twelve-step programs, such as Sexaholics Anonymous, apply principles similar to those used in other addiction programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. However, unlike AA, where the goal is complete abstinence from all alcohol, SA pursues abstinence only from compulsive, destructive sexual behavior. By admitting powerlessness over their addictions, seeking the help of God or a higher power, following the required steps, seeking a sponsor and regularly attending meetings, many addicts have been able to regain intimacy in their personal relationships.

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy 
This approach looks at what triggers and reinforces actions related to sexual addiction and looks for methods of short-circuiting the process. Treatment approaches include teaching addicts to stop sexual thoughts by thinking about something else; substituting sexual behavior with some other behavior, such as exercising or working out; and preventing the relapse of addictive behavior.

Interpersonal Therapy 
People addicted to sex often have significant emotional baggage from their early lives. Traditional "talk therapy" can be helpful in increasing self control and in treating related mood disorders and effects of past trauma.

Group Therapy 
Group therapy typically consists of a healthcare professional working with a group of between six and 10 patients. Working with other addicts allows you to see that your problem is not unique. It also enables you to learn about what works and what doesn't from others' experiences, and draw on others' strengths and hopes. A group format is ideal for confronting the denial and rationalizations common among addicts. Such confrontation from other addicts is powerful not only for the addict being confronted, but also for the person doing the confronting, who learns how personal denial and rationalization sustained addiction.

Sex rehab Medication 
Recent research suggests that certain psychiatric medications -- namely antidepressants -- may be useful in treating sexual addiction. In addition to treating mood symptoms common among sex addicts, these medications may have some benefit in reducing sexual obsessions.

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