With the recent controversies and scandals that erupted in the news, sexual addiction and recovery have been thrust into the spotlight. Golf superstar Tiger Woods was in the center of a whirlwind controversy involving infidelity that all started with his alleged sex addiction. What is a sexual addiction? According to Rob Weiss, executive director of the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles, sex addiction is a process addiction wherein the person is hooked on the adrenalin rush that sexual activity provides.
Sexual addiction in men and women manifests itself in a number of signs and symptoms. Sex addicts have an uncontrollable impulse for lewd or even violent sexual activity. They frequently engage in this inappropriate behavior and spend a significant amount of time and effort to obtain sexual gratification. A sex addict is not able to stop himself or herself from engaging in sexual activities.
However, medical professionals differ when it comes to defining sexual addiction in men. Experts on mental health do not list sex addiction as a disorder by itself. Instead, it falls under a rather vague classification of “Sexual disorders not otherwise specified”. There are also differing theories on what causes sexual addiction in men. Some experts argue that sex addiction is a legitimate addiction disorder just like addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Other psychologists aver that sex addiction is a form of obsessive-compulsive behavior (OCD). Psychologist and psychoanalyst Michael Nader suggests that sex addiction is different from drug or alcohol addiction in the sense that sex addicts do not suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Also, sex doesn’t dominate an addict’s life in the same manner that drugs or alcohol do. Bader further theorizes that sexual addiction in men may be a manifestation of psychological issues such as depression and anxiety that needs to be addressed in order to ‘cure’ it.
Sexual addiction in men can be treated through treatment and recovery plans. These plans are varied and come in different programs for certain individuals. Many sexual addiction recovery plans include a 12-step program that is patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact, some programs are called Sex Addicts Anonymous. In these programs, groups offer counseling and support either through online or face-to-face meetings. A sex addict can also get help either through a private counselor or an in-patient program in a rehab facility.
Treatment of sexual addiction in men may take a long time. Most experts differ on defining and classifying sex addiction and identifying its causes. But they all agree that recovery from sexual addiction may take a long time. It will also take a lot of personal motivation and family support to overcome this particular addiction.