SRS Sex And Love Addiction Explained

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by METALLlC BLUE, May 28, 2005.

  1. Sex and Love Addiction

    Provided by Psychology Today​

    Definition


    Love addicts are characteristically familiar with desperate hopes and seemingly unending fears. Fearing rejection, pain, unfamiliar experiences, and having little faith in their ability or right to inspire love, they wait, wish, and hope for love, perhaps their least familiar experience.

    Addictive sexuality is like most other compulsive behaviors: a potentially destructive twist on a normal life-enhancing activity. Defining sex addiction depends less on the behavior itself than on the person's motivation.

    Sex addicts display a lack of the ability to control or postpone sexual feelings and actions. The need for arousal often replaces the need for intimacy. Eventually, thrill seeking becomes more important than family, career, even personal health and safety.

    As sexual preoccupation increases in terms of energy and time, the sex addict follows a routine or ritual leading to acting out on desires which is then followed by feelings of denial then shame, despair and confusion.

    It may be helpful to examine the definition of addiction more closely. Addiction is characterized by the repeated, compulsive seeking or use of a substance or activity despite adverse social, psychologic and/or physical consequences. Addiction is often (but not always) accompanied by physical dependence, a withdrawal syndrome and tolerance. Physical dependence is defined as a physiologic state of adaptation to a substance, the absence of which produces symptoms and signs of withdrawal.

    Withdrawal syndrome consists of a predictable group of signs and symptoms resulting from abrupt removal of, or a rapid decrease in the regular dosage of, a psychoactive substance or activity; the syndrome is often characterized by overactivity of the physiologic functions that were suppressed by the drug and/or depression of the functions that were stimulated by the object of addiction.

    Tolerance is a state in which a drug or activity produces a diminishing biologic or behavioral response; in other words, higher doses or in the case of sex addicts, riskier behavior is needed to produce the same effect that the user experienced initially.
    Symptoms

    For love addicts, love:

    * Is all consuming and obsessive
    * Is inhibited
    * Avoids risk or change
    * Lacks true intimacy
    * Is manipulative, strikes deals
    * Is dependent and parasitic
    * Demands the loved one's devotion​

    Sexual addictions usually are revealed in stages:

    * Preoccupation: continual fantasies about sexual prospects or situations. This can trigger an episode of sexual "acting-out."
    * Ritualization: a preferred sexual activity or situation is often stereotyped and repetitive.
    * Compulsion: continual engagement in sexual activity despite negative consequences and desire to stop.
    * Despair: guilt or shame over their inability to control behavior or feel remorse.
    * Other behavioral problems, particularly chemical dependency and eating disorders.​

    Causes

    In the case of love addicts, often their own growth and development were thwarted earlier in life. Similarly, many sex addicts report some form of abuse or neglect as children and frequently see themselves as diminished or damaged in the process. Their parents are often sex addicts themselves.

    Stress also plays a part in fueling compulsive sexual behavior by feeding the addict's need for withdrawal and fantasy.

    Levels of phenylethylamine (PEA) - a chemical in the brain involved in the euphoria that comes with falling in love - rise with feelings of infatuation, boosting euphoria and excitement.

    Love and sex addicts, may simply be dependent upon the physical and psychological arousal triggered by PEA and stress-related neurotransmitters.
    Treatment

    If you discover you are in an addictive relationship, you may want to seek professional assistance. Specialized counseling is available for those dealing directly or indirectly with this form of addiction.

    Overcoming sexual compulsivity and addiction starts with recognizing that you are out of control sexually. Getting to that point requires taking a hard look at yourself and the problems - emotional, physical, or financial - caused by your sexual behavior.

    Treatment should probably involve at least some of the following:

    * A commitment to abstinence
    * Rebuilding relationships
    * Managing stress
    * Self-help​

    Some treatment for sex addicts follows the format employed by alcoholics. This model views addicts as individuals chronically addicted to a behavior in spite of their attempts to change. They are in a vicious cycle of use, self-judgment, and avoidance that is repeated time and again. The model focuses on three elements of the cycle:

    * Use of sex
    * Self-judgment
    * Avoidance behaviors​

    The approach to counseling is strongly based on 12-step models.

    The three elements of the addictive cycle are impacted by a process created by using:

    * A therapeutic environment
    * A thorough assessment
    * A group process
    * Education
    * Self/peer assessment​

    All five items are incorporated into a therapeutic process, which begins with the first contact.

    The creation of an environment that supports the therapeutic process is essential to this approach. Clients must be provided with an opportunity to explore their self-judgments without fear of the judgment of others. They must feel they are listened to with empathy and respect. In earlier models of this approach, the counselor was the only one who possessed so-called counselor characteristics. Although this element is still critical, it now applies to the whole multidisciplinary team, a staff of professionals who are naturally therapeutic.

    The counselor conducts an initial assessment, identifies the presenting problem, and, if indicated, schedules the client for treatment.

    A thorough psychosocial assessment is conducted, and identified blocks to treatment or problems are noted. The counselor begins the bonding with the client during the assessment process. All counseling skills come into play. The counselor then prepares a therapeutic or treatment plan (i.e., the change model) to help the client deal with those identified problems or blocks that will prevent response to the treatment process.

    The client follows a simple change model that closely aligns with the 12 steps of NA and AA.

    Source

    Yahoo Health - Sex Addiction. Written By: Psychology Today Staff Originally published by Psychology Today:20021010
     
  2. PuppyCat

    PuppyCat O.T. Mom

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    I read the above quite a few times and gave it a lot of thought.
    He never acted like any of that with me, but, who is to say what goes on inside a person's head? Personally, in retrospect, I now think he's just totally messed up. I know "guilt" ate at him. He drank quite a bit. He never acted compulsive. I shall never know now what head demons he had. Many thanks for taking the time to post this.
     
  3. johan

    johan Active Member

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    I highly doubt your guy (and I use that term lightly) was a sexual compulsive, PuppyCat. Just a liar, that's all.
     
  4. Regardless of the cause, he made poor decisions and you were hurt. Thus, you made the right decision to end things in my opinion.
     
  5. PuppyCat

    PuppyCat O.T. Mom

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    He lied, yes. But he also is paranoid and majorly messed up. Is he a sex addict? No, I do not think he is. I just think he was grasping for excuses.

    I wish the hate would come...it wold make me stronger.
     
  6. Hate never makes you stronger. It makes you weak. Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. If you hate, you lose. Being hurt and angry with him are quite ok, and you don't have to justify or rationalize why he did what he did if you don't want to. He did it, regardless of intention, and the results ended the same.

    You paid the price for his sin, and now you have an opportunity to decide who you want to be in relationship to that hurt you're experiencing. Choose carefully because your entire life from this point onward depends on it.
     
  7. PuppyCat

    PuppyCat O.T. Mom

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    Choose carefully because your entire life from this point onward depends on it.[/QUOTE]
    How do we know whether or not we are making the right choice. The thought of ever going down the love road again just terrifies me.
     
  8. I just wrote a blog about this exact question today. "How do we know when we're making the right choice?" You and I have a lot in common. That last statement you made "The thought of ever going down that road again terrifies me." How true! I feel the same way. The rest of the blog deals with the second half of what you said - but the quote below deals only with answering your question.

    Here is a quote from my entry:

    Here is the entire blog entry: HERE
     
  9. PuppyCat

    PuppyCat O.T. Mom

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    I read it. I gave it a great deal of thought.
    God may forgive him but I never will.
    I may sound bitter and probably am.
    I have learned my lesson the hard way.
    I am not "mea culpa" about this. No, not at all.
    Just resigned.
    I am sure there are a lot of people out there that lose at love and get on with their lives.
    I admire them for it. I envy them for it.
    What else can I say?
     
  10. the ground folds

    the ground folds rest your trigger on my finger

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    sounds like he hit you hard, have u been able to overcome it all?
     
  11. For now you will be angry and resentful. You do not have to forgive him right now. That's apart of the grief process. It's "ok" to feel that way. That's important that you know that.
     
  12. PuppyCat

    PuppyCat O.T. Mom

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    I loved him as a woman should love a man.
    Yes, it did hit hard.
    Overcome it? I wish I could and I wish it was now.
    We'll see how it is a month from now.
     
  13. the ground folds

    the ground folds rest your trigger on my finger

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    well how old are you? how long has it been? any minor details you would like to share.
     
  14. She wrote a post detailing the event. Search for her name.
     
  15. PuppyCat

    PuppyCat O.T. Mom

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    :hs: 48

    :) 9 months

    :wtc: I am sorry I ever met him
     
  16. Well, at least you're attractive, and kind. You'll have no problem replacing a lying-cheating model for a sincere-loyal one. :p :bigthumb:
     
  17. PuppyCat

    PuppyCat O.T. Mom

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    :bowdown: What a nice thing to say...attractive...kind....

    And, if by chance you know anybody (guy) that is sincere, loyal and has their stuff together and is around my age...you know where to fine me....

    Thanks awfully for putting up with my drivel:)
     
  18. the ground folds

    the ground folds rest your trigger on my finger

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    i saw the thread you posted about the break up. im sorry to hear that its been so rough on you, i cant imagine having to face something like that myself.
     
  19. You're welcome Puppy. :)
     
  20. PuppyCat

    PuppyCat O.T. Mom

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    Thank you.
     
  21. the ground folds

    the ground folds rest your trigger on my finger

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    hopefully things are getting better for you
     

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