The term addiction is used to describe any feeling or action that is out of control. Most people associate addiction with substances such as drugs or alcohol, or to activities such as gambling. However, it is possible to be addicted to almost anything; today, more and more people are becoming addicted to sex.
Sex addiction may have once been the topic for jokes by stand-up comedians, but it is a very real condition, with those affected finding that it can destroy their lives as well as the lives of their partners. In fact, according to author Paula Hall, Sex addiction hurts partners in a way that no other addiction can.
Ms Hall has written a book on sex addiction, titled Sex Addiction: The Partners Perspective and she believes that this book is long overdue as thousands of people in the UK struggle with the fact that their partners are sex addicts.
According to Ms Hall, sex addiction evokes the most destructive personal feelings shame, deceit, infidelity and betrayal. She says, “Sex addiction feels extremely personal when you’re the partner because it affects the most intimate part of your relationship in a way that, say, alcohol or drugs just don’t.”
Most partners feel as though they could have dealt with any other type of addiction rather than sex addiction. The trouble with a sex addiction is that it is only recently being recognised by the majority of people as a real addiction. For years, many saw sex addiction as something others would use as an excuse for having an affair.
Most individuals just do not believe that sex addiction is a real condition, and those whose partners suffer with it may be embarrassed to tell friends and family for fear of their reactions. This can leave them feeling isolated and alone.
What is Sex Addiction
Contrary to popular belief, sex addiction is not just about having sex with a partner. According to the NHS website, sex addiction could involve sex with a partner, but it may also mean activities such as viewing pornography, masturbation, visiting prostitutes, or using sex chat lines.
Any sexual activity that is uncontrollable can be considered as a sex addiction. For those affected, these feelings of compulsions can destroy their lives. They can affect their ability to have a healthy relationship or to hold down a job. When sexual activity begins to negatively affect a persons quality of life, it has become a serious problem.
What Causes Sex Addiction?
According to Ms Hall, the cause of sex addiction can often be opportunity-induced. She says, “The reality of the Western world today means you can find anything you desire easily and anonymously. Indeed, you can find a whole load of stuff you don’t desire, but get hooked nonetheless.”
It is true that sexual content is readily available these days thanks to the internet. Most people have access to the internet 24/7, so finding sexual content is easy.
Effects on Partners
Many are of the opinion that partners of sex addicts must have known and may even have been enabling the condition, but this is rarely the case, according to Ms Hall. She says that most of the people she sees are in shock when they find out their partner has a sex addiction. She says the fact that partners have lived with someone for so long and not known they had a sex addiction can be extremely damaging to self-esteem. Many partners suffer from anxiety, rage, depression and panic attacks as a result.
The good news is that help is available for sex addiction. Rehab Helper works with addicts and their families to help them overcome their problems. If you or a loved one needs help for addiction, contact Rehab Helper today.