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Sexual Addiction

How to recognize and get help for a sex addiction

Experts have yet to agree on a universally acceptable definition of sexual addiction. Generally speaking, though, sex addiction is characterized as a progressive disorder marked by compulsive sexual thoughts and behaviors. The actual behaviors exhibited by people who suffer from the disorder differ from individual to individual; some sex addicts do little more than compulsively masturbate, while others go on to become sex offenders because they cannot control their impulses.

If you have a history of engaging in risky and compulsive sexual behavior with no regards for the possible consequences, you may have a sex addiction. If you're unsure, sexual addiction help centers can assist you in determining whether or not you should seek treatment.

Types of Sex Addiction

In men and women, hypersexuality is called "satyriasis" and "nymphomania," respectively. These labels refer to compulsive sexual behavior which is not paraphilic.

The age of the Internet has given rise to a new type of hypersexuality: cyber sex addiction. Individuals who suffer from cyber sex addictions seek out partners in chat rooms, and then engage them in sexually charged chats or webcam sessions. The behavior becomes problematic when it's engaged in at work or despite the possibility of a spouse or romantic partner finding out about it, or when it interferes with productive day-to-day functioning.

Getting Sexual Addiction Help

Various treatment options are available. One option is to enroll in a 12-step program based on the Alcoholics Anonymous model. Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sexual Compulsives Anonymous all offer help to people battling various sex addictions. You can connect with these programs directly.

To get the help you need, a professional will have to assess the severity of your sex addiction. They must determine whether the problem is accompanied by feelings of guilt and remorse, the degree of your irritability if you don't get what you want, and whether your behavior is coupled with violence or aggression. There are other factors that will need assessment, but these basic fundamentals will guide the approach to your subsequent treatment. You should also undergo STD testing for possible infections as well, particularly gonorrhea and chlamydia.

If you have a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist, or if you have access to one, you should talk to them about your concerns. Sexual addiction inpatient treatment is generally reserved for particularly hard-to-manage cases. To learn more about options in your area, contact a mental health professional or a local sexual addiction treatment center to speak to a counselor.

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