Sex addiction is a subject people hardly talk about. Hence, it is not surprising to find that many don’t know what happens during sex addiction treatment.
The truth is many people suffer from sex addiction and its negating symptoms. For such persons, the surest way to get help is via sex addiction treatment.
In this article, you’ll find out crucual information about what happens during sex addiction treatment. From the symptoms to counselling and therapy, here’s all you need to know about sex addiction treatment.
Symptoms of Sexual Addiction
While the exact causes of sex addiction remain unknown, there are certain signs persons suffering from it may exhibit. If you suspect you or a loved one may be suffering from sex addiction, look out for the following symptoms:
- Unsafe sexual encounters
- Patronizing prostitutes
- Frequent masturbation
- Compulsive pornography
- Frequently engaging in one-night stands.
- Experiencing guilt or shame about your sexual behaviour but still unable to stop.
- Multiple sexual partners
- Difficulty resisting the urge to partake in extreme sexual acts
If you suffer from sexual addiction, you may find it difficult to control your addictive behaviour. You may also spend a great amount of time in your attempts to have sex. Such behaviours can cause you to lose concentration. You may find it difficult to concentrate at work, school, or even participate in social or recreational activities.
Sex addiction may lead to sexual rage disorder. In this instance, you can become distressed, anxious, or violent if you are unable to have sex. Once you notice these symptoms, you need to take action immediately and seek the help you need.
If you don’t seek help by going for sex addiction treatment, your addiction can lead to terrible risks or consequences. These risks and consequences include:
If you become addicted to sex, you may partake in promiscuous sexual activities. Doing this puts you at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, hepatitis, syphilis, etc.
If you consistently engage in illicit sexual behaviours, you can end up subjecting yourself to legal consequences. For example, if you have sex with prostitutes or have nonconsensual sex, you can find yourself in trouble with the law.
Lost trust and intimacy
If you become addicted to sex, it can cause you to lose the intimacy in your relationship. Your partner will no longer trust you, and you can end up destroying your relationship or marriage.
Damaged family bonds
If your marriage or relationship crumbles because of your addiction to sex, it affects the whole family. It can cause parents to lose custody of their kids if the sexual addiction becomes known. You may also lose your children’s love, trust, and respect.
Drug or substance abuse
People suffering from sexual addiction may use drugs or alcohol to douse guilt or shame after engaging in illicit sex. They may also take drugs or alcohol to overpower psychological inhibitions that can prevent them from engaging in their sexual practices.
Related Article: Sex Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment, and Outlook
A Quick Look at Sexual Addiction Treatment
To avoid your sexual addiction spiralling beyond control, you should seek treatment for it. However, many people don’t know sexual addiction is treatable. Hence, they remain silent about their problems. Others may feel too guilty to admit it and remain in their situation till it becomes worse.
Some people know about these treatments but are unsure of what happens during sex addiction treatment. If you are struggling with sexual addiction and are willing to get professional help, there are multiple treatments available. These treatments include:
- Sex Addiction Rehabs
- Sex Addiction Counselling
- Sex Addiction Therapy
- 12-Step Programs
What Happens During Sex Addiction Treatment?
If you know what to expect during sex addiction treatment, you can prepare for it adequately. Here, we’ll uncover the truth behind some of the myths associated with sex addiction treatment.
When it comes to rehab treatment for sex addiction, you can choose between residential (inpatient rehab) and outpatient rehabs. In residential rehabs, you must live in the facility or treatment center throughout your treatment. However, in outpatient rehabs, you don’t have to live in the facility. Instead, you’ll come in for treatment, counselling, or therapies daily, weekly, or on appointments.
If you are experiencing a severe form of sexual addiction, you should enroll for inpatient rehab rather than outpatient rehab. One aspect of what to expect during sex addiction treatment in inpatient rehab is having multiple professionals always at your beck and call. Besides that, you can also interact with other people battling similar issues.
You can also learn from other people’s experiences during group therapies, which are part of the activities you will partake in during inpatient rehab. Inpatient rehabs also involve medical professionals who are trained in treating sexual addiction. In such rehabs, you will undergo assessment and evaluation to determine if there are other disorders or conditions that can potentially complicate your recovery from addiction.
Sex Addiction Counselling
Individual counselling or psychotherapy is one of the treatments available for sexual addiction. It gives addicts the support they need to overcome their addiction to sex. During counselling sessions, you’ll tell the therapists how you feel and express the events that may have led to your addiction.
On the other hand, the counsellor will also offer strategic techniques and interventions. The counsellor will also provide useful tips to help you bring about positive change. They will also work with you to bring about progress in your sex addiction recovery.
Sex Addiction Therapy
A key part of what happens during sex addiction treatment is sex addiction therapy. These therapies focus on helping sex addicts control the impulse to have sex. With sex being an important part of life, it may be challenging for addicts to control their impulses.
Hence, in therapy, you’ll learn to control the compulsion you experience. This way, your desire to have sex doesn’t become a problem in your life. There are different forms of therapy used to help sex addict patients control their impulses. These include:
Cognitive behavioural therapy treatment (CBT)
This therapy for sex addiction works by helping you shift the focus of your thoughts and behaviour. You’ll also develop behavioural tools and techniques you can use to reduce your sexual cravings. With these tools and techniques, you can control sex addiction symptoms much better.
Cognitive behavioural therapy also helps you to avoid relapse. During therapy, you’ll discover how you can overcome or prevent situations or triggers that can cause you to have sexual urges. You’ll also learn how you can regulate your sexual desires. CBT also teaches you how you can develop healthy and normal relationships.
Most sex addicts struggle with emotional distress even from their childhood. Interpersonal therapy, which involves you talking to a therapist or counsellor, can help you control your urges better. Through it, you’ll learn how to deal better with mood swings or disorders and handle old traumas.
In group therapies, a medical professional works with a group of patients numbering between six and ten. This therapy for sex addiction allows you to work with other sex addicts. Hence, you’ll understand you’re not the only one with your problem. You’ll also learn from other people’s experiences, drawing strength and hope from them.
These group therapies are ideal because you will be able to confront rationalizations and denials common to addicts. These confrontations are powerful because you’ll learn how your denials and rationalizations fuelled your addiction. Hence, you’ll have the encouragement to own up to your problems and take measures to stay on the recovery path.
There are some prescription medications useful for treating sex addictions. These medications are specifically for treating obsessive-compulsive disorders. One such drug is called Prozac. It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which acts on neurotransmitters.
Prozac is mostly used for treating depression. However, it has also been used for treating panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Anafranil, an antidepressant, is another medication useful for treating sex addiction.
Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) is one such program. If you are a member of these programs, you’ll get the push and encouragement you need to desist from engaging in compulsive and destructive sexual behaviours.
During these programs, there are group sessions. In these sessions, you’ll meet with other sex addicts. Such group meetings with people in similar situations act as a support system for you as you work your way towards recovery.
Timeline for Sex Addiction Treatment
One of the many questions people ask about what happens during sex addiction treatment is the timeline. There are different stages you’ll undergo in your recovery from addiction — each with a varying timeline:
The survival phase
This stage signifies the beginning of your recovery journey. It lasts from six months to one year or more.
The stability phase
It comes after the survival phase. It begins six months to two years into your recovery. The stability phase of addiction treatment lasts for about a year or more. During this phase, you’re already sober and have recovery practices established. It’s the stage where you learn more tips to stay sober and avoid relapse.
The sustaining phase
It starts 18 months to three years into your recovery treatment and lasts for a year or more. To get to this stage, you should have been sober for a minimum of six months and be working actively on attaining sobriety.
The freedom phase
This phase of your sex addiction treatment starts when you have been in recovery for two-and-a-half months. In the first six to 12 months of the freedom phase, you’ll work actively on your recovery. At the end of this phase, you’ll be out of therapy or use it periodically to address any concerns you may have.
How to Choose the Best Sex Addiction Treatment Center
Besides knowing what happens during sex addiction treatment, you also need to find the right support and treatment services. A good addiction treatment center is key to achieving recovery from your addiction.
If the treatment center is not good enough, you may relapse soon after your treatment. Here are some considerations to make before settling on a particular treatment center:
- You need to find out if the center specializes in treating sex addiction.
- You must find out if the center has trained medical personnel, therapists, or counsellors.
- You need to find out the kind of treatments the center offers and if it suits you.
- You need to check if the center has adequate facilities.
- You need to find out about the treatment cost and know if you can afford it.
- Research about the center and find out if it has good reviews.
- Check that the center has experience in handling your kind of sexual addiction.
- Check if the center has a good track record of success in sex addiction treatment.
If the center in question ticks most of these boxes, it’s probably a good one. However, besides enrolling in a good sex addiction treatment center, you have to play your part in your recovery journey. You must be committed to treatment and dedicated to attaining sobriety and preventing relapse.
After your sex addiction recovery, you must take measures to prevent a relapse. Avoid triggers or friends who may lead you back to addiction. Attend your counselling and group sessions regularly. Take part in activities that’ll not lead you back to your old ways. If you have any issues, don’t hesitate to find the help you need.
Related Article: Sex Addiction Treatment: The Helpful Tips You Need
Knowing what happens during sexual addiction treatment is key in more ways than one. It helps to dispel several myths about sex addiction treatment. It also enables you to know what to expect after you enrol for sexual addiction treatment.
There are many treatments available for sexual addiction. All of them work together to help you become sober and free from your harmful addiction.