If you’ve admitted to having problems with sex addiction and noticed that your sexual behavior is out of control, you’re probably ready to get help. But once a sex addict has lived a life crippled by their addiction, the thought of quitting seems impossible and overwhelming. Sex addiction, in its advanced stages, can dominate an addict’s thinking, ruin their relationships, jeopardize careers and even put them at serious physical risk. So how does a sex addict stop engaging in risky sexual behavior and obsessing about sex and return to a normal, healthy sex life? The first step in “stopping” sex addiction is to find out what you are dealing with. Clinical assessment is key for defining the somewhat murky and tricky waters of sex addiction. At Begin Again Institute, we use several scientifically based assessments to help patients do just that. There isn’t a single behavior or easily identifiable trait that makes sex addiction stand out. Therefore doctors, therapists and staff members use the latest technologies to investigate patterns and identify specific problems. The next stage in stopping is getting support. Going “cold turkey” with sex addiction is extremely difficult and not recommended. Without counselors or a group of fellow addicts, the sexually addicted usually find it too easy to slip back into old behaviors. Having a doctor or group to share difficulties, celebrate milestones and talk about problems only other addicts will understand is incredibly helpful and provides the hope so lacking from an addict’s life. Sex addicts serious about recovery will then want to choose which kind of support works best for them. For some, one-on-one treatment with a doctor or counselor is the best solution. Working closely with an expert in sexual addiction allows the patient to create a specific plan for stopping. This eliminates the guesswork and helps the addict remain free from troublesome sexual behaviors. One-on-one treatment is a great option for addicts who are having a hard time dealing with the shame associated with sexual addiction. For other, addicts, however, group treatment is more effective. Addicts have to get honest about their condition and groups are a safe place to do that. Groups of addicts with the help of a trained sex addiction therapist, not only share their experiences with sex addiction but learn skills to live lives free of addiction. Groups are an affordable way for sex addicts to practice accountability while developing a support team of people who know what they’re going through. Every addict has different needs and some prefer in-patient treatment while others with busy lives and careers find outpatient programs to be more affordable and helpful. Again, these decisions should be made with an addict and a sexual addiction expert to ensure the patient is getting the help that is right for them. Stopping any addiction- smoking, drugs, drinking- is difficult. But not impossible. For sex addicts who have found recovery, life can take on a whole new meaning. Being free from addiction, we see our patients get married, have children and accomplish incredible career goals. And it all happens when they stop and ask for help. Do you or someone you love need to stopping sexually addicted behavior? We can help.
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