As with any kind of addiction, people who have gone through sex addiction therapy and entered recovery remain vulnerable to relapses. Relapsing is often a part of the recovery process and does not mean that your sex addiction rehab program in Los Angeles, CA , has failed or that you cannot re-enter recovery. You can reduce your risk of relapsing by understanding the triggers and having a plan to cope with them when they arise. During sex addiction treatment, your therapist will work with you on building strategies to cope with the triggers you will inevitably face during recovery, including these common ones.
Physical and Emotional Stress
Many people with sex addictions used those behaviors to cope with stress, and when indulging the addiction is no longer possible, finding a new way to deal with stress is crucial. Physical stressors, such as not getting enough sleep and not eating right, can leave you feeling unhealthy and looking for something to make you feel better in the way that addictive behaviors may have in the past. Emotional stress, including pressure at work and strains in personal relationships, can tempt people with past sex addictions to turn to damaging behaviors. Having a plan for dealing with stress and using it can keep these feelings under control.
Although feeling confident in your recovery is important, feeling so secure that you stop taking the necessary steps to keep your addiction under control could trigger a relapse. During recovery, some people become so sure of their success that they stop meeting with their therapists or attending group counseling sessions, which could leave the unequipped to deal with other triggers when they arise.
Most people think of the stress of negative events when they think of relapse triggers, but happy occasions can also lead to a relapse. In some cases, the act of celebrating the event is the trigger for relapse. In other cases, positive events, such as marriage or the birth of a child, can also be overwhelming and lead to a relapse.
When are sexual behaviors considered healthy, and when do they fall into the category of sexual addiction? It can be difficult to recognize the signs of sexual addiction and to decide when to seek help. If you are engaging in any of these behaviors or believe that a loved one is, consider seeking advice from a sex addiction therapist in Los Angeles, CA . A certified sex addiction therapist can help you understand what behaviors could be unhealthy and how to cope with sex addiction.
Habitual masturbation is not easy to define by a specific number of incidents. Rather, it is a compulsion to masturbate, often multiple times per day, even in situations in which it is inappropriate to do so. Some people with sex addictions masturbate at work, in their cars, and in other places where getting caught could have serious consequences. The need to masturbate may dominate the life of someone with a sex addiction, and they may choose to masturbate instead of engaging in other activities or meeting responsibilities.
Pornography plays a central role in many cases of sexual addiction. The ease of access of internet pornography in particular has lead to addictive behaviors for a large number of people. People who are obsessed with pornography will devote large amounts of time to seeking it out, to the exclusion of other activities, and will watch it despite any negative consequences that could occur. Teaching people to overcome pornography addictions is frequently a part of sex addiction rehab.
Although many people have multiple sex partners, people with sex addictions habitually seek out new partners and frequently engage in anonymous sex. People with sex addictions who are in relationships cheat compulsively and may hire prostitutes or otherwise engage in risky sexual behavior that does not involve their partners. Sex addiction also leads people to have sexual relationships and choose sexual partners that are inappropriate for personal, professional, or even legal reasons. In extreme cases, sexual addicts may turn to stalking, molestation, and other forms of sexual aggression.
Although pornography has long been available to those who seek it out, the internet has opened up a whole new way of accessing and consuming porn. Now, an unprecedented level of porn is online and just a few clicks away for free, which has caused many people to develop an addiction to pornography and also a related sex addiction. If you are worried about your relationship with porn, a porn addiction center in Los Angeles, CA , may be able to help.
Porn addiction occurs when a person habitually views an excessive amount of pornography, even when it is negatively impacting their lives. Thanks to the internet, people with a compulsion to view porn have nearly constant access to it. The need to view porn can become overwhelming, and people may begin to use the internet to access porn at increasingly inappropriate times and to the exclusive of maintaining their responsibilities. Fortunately, a porn addiction center can help people develop the skills necessary to resist their urges to watch pornography and to engage in other risky sexual behavior. Porn addiction treatment is frequently part of sex addiction rehab programs.
When you seek out professional treatment for sex addiction near Los Angeles, CA, you may be wondering how your addiction will be diagnosed. What differentiates ordinary sexual behavior from sex addiction? Many people might assume that you can determine the presence of an addiction from how many sexual encounters an individual has sought out, but this is not the case. Rather than being based on behavior, sex addiction is characterized by a pattern of obsessive mental preoccupation with the subject of sex. In this video, Dr. Patrick Carnes explains how addiction changes the way your brain functions, and how your day-to-day behavior can inadvertently reveal the nature of your addiction.
On the road to recovery, one of the most difficult obstacles is breaking the news to your partner that you have a porn addiction. But recovery does not occur in a vacuum and this is a necessary step toward true healing and rebuilding your relationship. At a porn addiction center in Los Angeles, CA , both you and your partner can find guidance from a relationship therapist.
Seek advice from your relationship therapist.
Discussing your porn addiction with your partner isn’t going to be easy, but your relationship therapist can help. He or she can guide you in finding an honest way to share the news that does not inflict further damage on your relationship. Your relationship therapist will likely suggest that you find the right time to sit down with your partner. Ideally, you should discuss your addiction when both of you have plenty of time and when other emotional situations aren’t clouding the issue.
Prepare yourself for your partner’s response.
There is no way to truly know in advance how your partner will respond to the news, but many people react with anger. This may be true even if your partner has had suspicions about your behaviors. He or she may have found suspicious charges on the credit card statement, for example, or detected your browsing history on the Internet. Yet, hearing that a loved one does indeed have an addiction to pornography can still come as a shock. Your partner may feel betrayed, hurt, and jealous. It is to be expected that these feelings will continue for a long time; do not try to rush your partner to “get over it.”
Avoid minimizing your behavior.
When a person must confess something to a partner, it is often tempting for that individual to attempt to justify or minimize his or her behavior. He or she might point out how the situation could have been worse. The individual might even suggest that the partner could somehow be to blame, such as by not being as attentive or amorous. However, sharing the news of a porn addiction is a time to accept full responsibility for your behavior and to acknowledge your faults. Only then can the two of you begin to work toward healing.
When you go to a sex addiction treatment center in Los Angeles, CA, you will cover many issues during your session with your sex addiction therapist, including how to rebuild trust in your relationship. It’s important to understand that trust and forgiveness are two distinct things.. With help from couple’s counseling at the sex addiction treatment center , trust and forgiveness can be discussed in a compassionate and open environment. However, rebuilding trust is an ongoing, lengthy process that cannot be rushed.
Be open about your concerns.
Part of rebuilding trust with your partner or spouse involves restoring your communication abilities. Intimacy in a relationship is more than physical; it’s also emotional. Share your feelings, concerns, and challenges openly with your partner. It will help both of you become reacquainted with each other and lead to a deeper, more meaningful relationship. For example, it’s not unusual for a recovering sex addict to feel uncomfortable in certain situations. You may be watching a movie with your partner when nude scenes appear on the screen. It is encouraged to tell your partner what you are feeling or thinking. It is okay to admit you are distressed or feeling triggered.
Get into the habit of being honest.
Before you sought sex addiction therapy, it’s likely that you got into the habit of lying about your behaviors. For many people, lying becomes second nature and these individuals may lie even about relatively innocuous issues. Now that you’re in recovery, it’s critically important that you be fully honest with your partner about everything. Practice being honest, whether that involves admitting that you didn’t take out the trash or that you spent more than you should have on an expensive dress shirt. All lies, big or small, erode the trust in a relationship. However, you can rebuild trust by demonstrating to your partner that you’re willing to be completely honest about everything.
Take on a proactive role in your relationship.
All addictions can be incredibly isolating. While you were in the grip of your sex addiction, you might not have been emotionally present in your relationship or in your household. One way to nurture the trust between you and your partner is to demonstrate that you are taking an active role in rebuilding the relationship and contributing to the household. Take the initiative to offer to cook dinner, take your partner out on a date, or help the kids with their homework. Be patient and persistent with your positive behaviors.
Today, it’s well understood that addiction is a real problem that is not caused by the lack of willpower. An alcoholic may try to cut down on his or her drinking without success. A heroin addict may want to get sober, yet suffer an overdose the next day. Despite the progress society has made toward removing the stigma of these types of addictions, there is still a great deal of controversy and many misunderstandings surrounding the nature of sex addictions. The reality of sex addiction is that it’s a real problem that an individual or couple needs professional guidance to overcome. If you’ve been affected by sex addiction, you should know that help is available at a sex addiction treatment center in Los Angeles, CA. You can speak with a sex addiction therapist about your concerns.
Understanding the Nature of Addiction
Like all addictions, sex addiction is a complex issue. Addiction essentially hijacks the brain, causing the loss of self-control and powerful cravings for the object of addiction. Within the brain, all sources of pleasure are interpreted in the same manner. When a pleasurable activity is perceived, the brain releases the neurotransmitter dopamine into the cluster of nerve cells below the cerebral cortex. This cluster is called the nucleus accumbens and it is also referred to as the brain’s pleasure center. Another region of the brain, the hippocampus, establishes the memory of the rush of satisfactory feelings associated with the pleasurable event. In turn, the amygdala establishes a conditioned response to the pleasurable stimuli. These processes set the stage for addictive behaviors.
Pursuing Behaviors Despite Negative Consequences
Individuals who suffer from sex addiction continue to pursue sexual encounters, solicit prostitutes, and view pornography despite the threat or the actuality of negative consequences. They may want to stop, but find themselves unable to do so. Before seeking sex addiction treatment, many individuals experience multiple negative consequences of their addiction such as marital strain or divorce, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), financial problems, job loss, or the loss of child custody. Ideally, individuals in these situations would seek outpatient sex addiction counseling before experiencing these problems.
When an addict first enters into treatment, he or she does so with the understanding that the initial withdrawal process will be followed by a lengthy period of individual and group therapy. It’s commonly known that drug and alcohol addiction involves a period of withdrawal, but love addiction can also involve withdrawal. At a sex addiction rehab center in Los Angeles, CA, a certified sex addiction therapist can help patients and their loved ones get through the initial withdrawal process and the recovery process thereafter.
Physical Indicators of Withdrawal
It’s important for individuals to communicate clearly with their certified sex therapists about what they’re going through. This may include a discussion of the physical side effects they’ve experienced when they first begin to address the problem of love addiction. Every individual will have a unique experience, but it’s not uncommon to experience sleep disturbances such as insomnia, changes in eating patterns, fatigue, and nonspecific aches and pains or illnesses. Some people may suffer from flu-like symptoms, which can include nausea and vomiting. These physical side effects occur because the mind and body are intricately linked. As the individual continues to work through the sex addiction program, he or she will gradually begin to feel better and empowered to change.
Mental and Emotional Issues of Withdrawal
Overcoming any sort of addiction is never easy. The withdrawal process can involve very challenging mental and emotional problems . It’s normal to feel a sense of grief when someone is completely transitioning from destructive, old behaviors into a new, healthier lifestyle. Some individuals may feel an irresistible urge to act out intentionally. Others may suffer from obsessive thought patterns, irrational fear and self-doubt, and the desire to isolate oneself from family members and friends. Irritability, anger, and rage are not uncommon. Some people develop preoccupations with fantasizing; others may entertain suicidal thoughts. The process of withdrawing from love addiction can readily lead to depressive symptoms, including severe sadness, despair, and hopelessness. It may even cause cognitive impairment; some individuals may suffer from problems with concentration and they may display confusion. By working closely with a certified sex addiction therapist, individuals can work through these challenges and gain control over their lives and their health.
Like other types of addicts, individuals who are in need of addiction treatment for sex addictions are often in denial about their issues. Some careful self-evaluation is in order to determine if you might benefit from visiting a sex rehab center in the Los Angeles area. For example, it may be time to think about visiting sex rehab if you spend more than a few hours each day thinking about sex, pursuing sex, having sex, or looking at pornography. You might also need addiction treatment if you find it difficult to go for one week without sex or without self-gratification. If you are engaging in dangerous sexual activities, such as engaging in unprotected sex with strangers, it’s a strong warning sign that you may be a sex addict. Ask yourself whether your sexual behaviors have adversely affected your life. Have they strained your personal relationships or affected your work performance? Do you ever feel depressed or degraded as a result of your sexual behaviors? If your answer to these questions is yes, you may benefit from addiction treatment.
If you find yourself wondering if you could be dating or married to a sex addict, then chances are pretty good that you’ve already noticed some atypical or suspicious behavior. Maybe you’ve caught your significant other lying to you or maybe you’ve wondered why he or she always seems to be late coming home. You have every right to ask your partner about your suspicions, but remember if he or she is a sex addict, then your partner will need your help and support while overcoming addiction. Before you talk to your partner, consider calling a rehab that offers outpatient sex addiction therapy in Los Angeles to learn more about sex addiction, the particulars of what’s going on and guidance on how to proceed.
If you think you might be with a sex addict, consider whether he or she is demanding about sex, perhaps to the point of regulating the time and place. Consider whether your partner seems focused only on the act itself, rather than on intimacy before, during and after. Consider whether he or she behaves in an overly controlling manner during sex or routinely has mood swings before and after the act. Some of the other potential indicators of sex addiction include the following:
- Preoccupation with pornographic materials
- Secretiveness regarding pornography
- Willingness to engage in unprotected sex
- Unwillingness to delay sexual gratification
- Personal history of dating many different people without commitment