Like any addiction, sexual addiction becomes a central part of the addict’s life, inhibiting the individual from living fully in the real world and engaging in real, or healthy, relationships.
Substituting the real world with the fantasy world that sex addiction takes the individual into, sex addiction is no different to alcohol or drug addiction. It has the effect of temporarily removing the individual from the pain of their reality, altering the mood and, momentarily, removing the pain.
The Four Stages of The Addiction Cycle
This is the first step in the addiction cycle – the individual becomes pre-occupied with thoughts of getting their next hit; in the sex addict’s case, the individual’s thoughts and feelings will become consumed with the idea of having sex and where, and how, to get it.
This step involves the addict preparing for the ‘hit’. In the case of the sex addict, this will be planning the sexual encounter; feelings of excitement and arousal will be building.
This is the act that the addict is unable to control and is the result of the pre-occupation and ritualisation. This third step, the ‘hit’, enables the addict to escape and find momentary ‘peace’.
The behaviour, or act, is followed by despair, a despair evoked by the sense of helplessness about the individual’s addiction. Other feelings may include self- loathing and overwhelming guilt.
Therapy or counselling can help the individual identify their behaviour as addictive. Therapy will help find the root cause of the addiction, this maybe related to child hood, or in early, or recent, trauma. In exploring the underlying causes of the addiction in therapy, the individual will gain a greater understanding of their behaviour and be supported in examining the difficult feelings the addiction has been masking.
Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice works with individuals struggling with all forms of addiction. The London therapists offer a discreet and entirely confidential service.
The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice also works with Doctorcall and their Sexual Health GP’s.