Many people are not aware or not convinced that sex addiction is real. Sex addiction is a powerful and misunderstood disease. Compulsive sexual thoughts and sexual behaviors, often coupled with substance abuse, damage relationships, careers, and one’s concept of self. If you or someone you love is suffering from sex addiction, help is available in Long Beach through the Mandala Program. This intensive outpatient treatment is focused on identifying the triggers for sex addiction and addressing those underlying factors so that patients can learn to control their behaviors and save or rebuild their relationships. Here is a closer look at what to expect during the program.
Dealing with Denial
During the first phase of the program, patients learn about their disease. Through outpatient addiction counseling, they learn about the triggers for their sex addiction, how to understand addictive behaviors, and what steps to take to avoid relapses. This stage requires confronting denial about having a sex addiction and admitting that there is a problem. Patients are also exposed to a range of resources they can use during their addiction treatment to support their recovery and work to build a supportive environment focused on healing.
As with most addictions, sex addiction is closely tied to emotions that trigger compulsivity. To overcome addiction, patients must learn new ways to cope with emotions and sit with their negative feelings without acting out. At this stage of the Mandala Sex Addiction Program, patients further explore the root of their struggles. Triggers are identified by exploring the origin, and this will help with preventing relapse.
At the final stage of the program, patients are slowly transitioned out of treatment. The focus here is on repairing broken relationships and rebuilding trust with loved ones. If patients feel vulnerable to relapse at this stage, they can step back into more intensive treatment until they feel secure in their recovery.
Many individuals who are struggling with addictions have co-occurring disorders. For example, a person who requires alcohol addiction treatment near Long Beach might also need help in overcoming sex addiction. Every type of addiction causes physical, emotional, and behavioral health issues, and alcoholism is no exception. Among many other problems, an alcohol addiction can increase a person’s risk of cirrhosis, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Cirrhosis is a common complication of alcoholism. Cirrhosis is the late stage
of liver scarring. This damage is irreversible and if left untreated, it can be life-threatening. Other complications may develop from cirrhosis, such as bone disease, jaundice, gallstones, multi-organ failure, infections, malnutrition, and an increased risk of liver cancer.
Alcoholics may be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, which is life-threatening. Consuming alcohol in excess can increase the risk that the heart muscle will weaken and fail—a condition known as cardiomyopathy. Alcoholics are more likely to be diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and other heart rhythm disorders, as well as blood clots. They are at an increased risk of suffering from stroke, heart attack, and sudden death.
Alcoholism can increase a person’s risk of many different types of cancer. In addition to an increased risk of liver cancer, heavy drinking may contribute to cancers of the colon, rectum, pharynx, mouth, esophagus, larynx, and breast.
Slight brain shrinkage is a normal change associated with the aging process. However, shrinkage of certain areas of the brain—which can be caused and accelerated by heavy drinking—can lead to dementia symptoms. Alcoholics are more likely to suffer from memory loss and to have trouble with decision making, problem solving, organization, and judgment.
You may already know that heavy drinking can irritate the stomach, which is a condition known as gastritis. But did you know that it can lead to inflammation of the pancreas? Chronic pancreatitis is incurable. Alcoholics with this health problem suffer from chronic diarrhea and severe abdominal pain.
Neuropathy refers to damage of the nerves. Heavy drinking may lead to alcoholic neuropathy, which causes pain and numbness in the extremities. It can also result in incontinence, constipation, muscle weakness, and erectile dysfunction.
Darrin Ford is the Director of sex addiction treatment at Sano Center for Recovery. Mr. Ford exemplifies the holistic integration of Eastern and Western medicine . He licensed with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Mr. Ford has studied meditation extensively at the Shambhala Center in Los Angeles and he’s put what he’s learned to good use helping the patients at Sano Center for Recovery. Throughout his 10-plus years providing addiction help in Long Beach, Mr. Ford has demonstrated remarkable dedication to helping his patients heal.
As a specialist in sex addiction and drug misuse, Mr. Ford has personally designed many intensive outpatient programs. He focuses on improving the overall quality of life for his clients by guiding them in meditation and mindfulness practices. Clients of Mr. Ford’s will note that he demonstrates a keen understanding of the nature of addictions, including their underlying causes, and how individuals can overcome these challenges.
Couples therapy is an effective way of helping couples sort through their challenges, express their emotions in a neutral setting, and learn to rebuild trust in each other. When a partner has admitted to struggling with sex addiction near Long Beach, the non-addicted partner may experience a significant decline in trust and closeness with the other partner. Any addiction, such as drug addiction, can tear apart relationships. Yet, sex addiction is particularly infamous for causing the breakdown of relationships given that it is so often linked to infidelity. Just as the partner with sex addiction must work through a recovery program, so too should the couple explore counseling together to save the relationship.
One of the basic principles of relationship therapy is the necessity of increasing self-awareness and awareness of the partner. Strong emotions can easily cloud even the most rational of minds. A neutral third party can help partners clear the air by helping them evaluate the situation in an objective manner. To accomplish this, the therapist observes the partners’ interactions with each other to analyze how each partner perceives the relationship.
A relationship compromised by addictions can lead to suppressed emotions on behalf of both partners. The addicted partner may hesitate to discuss the addiction because he or she fears judgment or reprisal, for example. Unfortunately, suppression of emotions only fuels the problem. When partners feel as though they must be emotionally distant, the relationship suffers. Part of relationship therapy involves convincing the partners to express their emotions and grow closer together as a result.
An underlying principle of therapy is the modification of dysfunctional behavior patterns. Ideally, the partner who is struggling with sex addiction will seek the help of an experienced recovery coach and work toward overcoming the addiction. However, it is possible that the other partner could also benefit from behavior modification. Because of feelings of betrayal, some partners of sex addicts may fall into vengeful or spiteful behavioral patterns. These issues need to be addressed for the relationship to move forward.