Sexual addiction is best described as an out of control set of sexual behaviours characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. Sex addiction can involve sex with a partner, but can also involve activities such as compulsive masturbation, visiting prostitutes or compulsive use of pornography or chat lines. Their inability to control their sexual behaviour often results in feelings of guilt, shame, and despair. Like all addictions, sexual addiction is progressive, in other words its negative impact increases as the disorder progresses. A negative, out of control pattern of sexual behaviour can lead the sex addict to experience significant legal, professional, emotional, and financial problems, and cause the sex addicted person great distress.
Some signs that you may have a sex addiction:
Have you engaged in unsafe or “risky” sex even though you knew it could cause you or others harm?
Has your sexual behaviour put you at risk for arrest for lewd conduct or public indecency?
Do you feel compelled to seek out more and more thrilling sexual behaviours?
Do you spend considerable time, energy and money engaging in multiple extra-marital affairs or visiting prostitutes?
Have you felt shame or distress over your sexual activities?
Has your need to masturbate become compulsive?
Do you find yourself spending increasing amounts of time in activities relating to sex, such as spending hours online visiting pornographic websites or cruising for partners?
Do you continue to engage in a sexual behaviour despite negative consequences, such as potential health risks or broken relationships?
This is by no means a definitive list, but if you identify yourself as having one or more of these symptoms please do contact me and we can discuss ways in which to help you with your sex addiction.
Love addicts, on the other hand, become dependent upon their romantic partners. In the same way a drug addict becomes so obsessed by a need for the next fix, a person with Love addiction can become so obsessed by a lover that the relationship becomes their primary focus and only source of happiness. Love addicts will often allow themselves to be mistreated, or stay in a dysfunctional and unhappy relationship as they are terrified of losing their partner, no matter what the personal cost to themselves. Love addicts often have lack self-identity and have low self-esteem, and their addiction can result in obsessive, controlling behavior in an attempt for their needs to be met, which in turn causes great distress to the love addicted individual.
Some signs that you may have a love addiction:
Do you feel that you NEED a relationship in order to be happy?
Are you terrified of romantic relationships ending?
Have you felt frequent heartbreak?
Do you stay in relationships despite the personal cost to yourself? (Even when you are frequently hurt and mistreated?)
Do you feel that you often give more than you receive in relationships?
Do you often fear abandonment, or feel scared of being alone?
Do you make excuses for the way your partner mistreats and hurts you?
This is by no means a definitive list, but if you identify yourself as having one or more of these symptoms please do contact me and we can discuss ways in which to help you with your love addiction.