Are you addicted to sex?

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH


Sex is pleasurable activity all humans desire to practice especially young adults. As the popular saying goes, too much of everything is bad or unhealthy. That can be said about sex. How do you know that you are addicted to sex? Are there consequences? Let’s find out as we read this article.

Sexual addiction

By way of a definition, “sex addiction” is described as a compulsive need to perform sexual acts in order to achieve the kind of “fix” that a person with alcohol use disorder gets from a drink or someone with opiate use disorder gets from using opiates.

In other words, sexual addiction is the urge to engage in sexual activity despite the negative implications. Sex of this nature is stressful rather than satisfying. A person who is addicted to sex knows that there is something wrong. This person would engage in sex that will lead him to keep it away from people.

Naturally, if a person is committing wrongdoing, he or she will hide it, it is the same with a person addicted to sex. Regardless, a sex addict is different from a person with a strong sex drive. The difference lies in their conscience.

A person with a strong sex drive will not engage in sex if he or she knows there will be heavy repercussions. A sex addict would go ahead and do it anyway ignoring the negative consequences.


A sex addict can not stop his or her behaviour unless someone comes to their aid. The difficulty with the situation is that most people are reluctant to seek help. Ultimately, it ends up destroying relationships both personal and professional. It is also likely to transmit sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV, syphilis and more. It can get worse if the individual engages in sexual activity that is illegal such as rape.


No individual is born to be addicted to sex. Sadly, most people get addicted due to emotional and psychological problems. Some individuals use sex as an escape from real-life problems such as stress, anxiety, depression and etc. Others may have also gone through some sort of sexual trauma during their life and become addicted to it.

Features that characterize someone as a sex addict


Not all clinicians agree that sex addiction should be an established diagnosis. Thus, the diagnosis is not straightforward and subjective. However, there are some features that are common among such individuals. Below are a few:

  1. Sex dominates the individual’s life. Sex addicts want to engage in the action whenever there is the least chance. It becomes something they always look out for. You may realize if you converse with them often especially if they find you attractive even though they hide it from the public’s eye.
  2. Sex addicts mostly engage in risky and inappropriate sexual behaviours. As mentioned earlier, they make use of the least chance and engage in sex wherever they find themselves. It could be in the office, elevators, with prostitutes, the park or any other public space.
  3. Sex addicts are helpless. They know their behaviour isn’t good but they have less control over themselves. After the act, they feel remorseful, depressed or guilty about it though it doesn’t guarantee that they wouldn’t do it again.
  4. Sex addicts utilize every resource to satisfy their sexual hunger. When they are alone, they will engage in phone sex, pornography or internet sex to quench their thirst for sex. They will also masturbate in their alone time.
  5. Furthermore, they may engage multiple partners because their partner refuses to have an abnormal number of sexual intercourses.


Causes of sex addiction


Sex brings pleasure that is short-lived. Sex addicts are aware but are unable to break from it subsequently affecting their mental health. Below are some causes of their behaviour:


As mentioned earlier, no individual is born a sex addict. It is a behaviour that is learnt from the environment or the person’s upbringing or experiences that may have occurred. Others are a form of impulse control.

. Some are as a result of obsessive-compulsive or relationship disorder. Others are caused by early sexual trauma.


. In some form of illnesses such as bipolar disorder, hypersexuality is a solid symptom.

. Other diseases with the brain such as a head injury, epilepsy or dementia have been documented to cause hypersexual behaviours.

. Some drugs also stimulate the hormone dopamine to cause hypersexuality though the probability of this happening is minimal.

Treatment

Addiction to sex is not an activity a person can freely break from just like alcohol or drug addiction. It requires the help of a medical professional who is experienced in the subject and has a good reputation. Such individuals include a sex therapist, psychiatrist or psychologist.

Sex addicts do not need to be hospitalized unlike other forms of addiction. Their treatment plan will be given when the underlying cause of the behaviour is uncovered. Treatment will mostly include counselling or behavioural therapies. This will be done mostly on people who have had early trauma in life.

If the cause is a mood disorder or a result of a particular disease, then medications may be prescribed to treat such individuals. Medications given are hugely monitored.

Admitting to having sexual addiction may be more difficult than other forms of addiction. If an individual is suffering from sexual addiction, kindly visit a physician or psychiatric clinic. You will be referred to a specialist who will aid you in recovery.

Some clinics have support groups for sex addicts because you are always not alone.

Sexual addiction is a terrible behaviour that can ruin your life and peace of mind. The earlier you seek help, the better!

References

  1. Healthline. Sex addiction. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/addiction/sex
  2. verywellMind. Signs and Symptoms f sex addiction. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/sex-addiction-symptoms-2329082
Psychology

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

A young lady who is excited to influence the society and world with the knowledge she has acquired.