If your partner has an obsessive, unhealthy relationship to sex, there are steps you can take to help him or her.
There are many sexual thoughts, fantasies, and/or actions that may be problematic, including promiscuity or the compulsive use of pornography. When compulsion drives fantasies or behaviors, and the thoughts or behaviors continue despite negative consequences in your life, that’s when it may be considered a sex addiction – a serious impulse-control disorder requiring treatment.
A mental health provider can help you get to the bottom of sexual addiction and identify the reasons for particular sexual compulsions.
Treating a Sex Addict
There are many different approaches used to treat a person with sex addiction. Most often, a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and group support are used.
Individual therapy can help a patient learn to rechannel their energies toward healthy, productive pursuits instead of harmful or dangerous patterns involving sex. This may involve the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, as well as other techniques. Couples therapy can provide the tools needed to improve communication and resolve disputes, as well as guidance for dealing with sexual addiction such as setting boundaries and handling triggers that may arise. Therapy can address a host of issues surrounding sex and relationships.
Various medications may be prescribed as part of sex addiction treatment. Some drugs may be used to address underlying issues that may be contributing to the addiction or relieve the effects of the disorder. Medications that may be prescribed to treat sex addiction include:
- Antidepressants typically used to treat anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder may help patients with a sex addiction.
- Naltrexone has been used to treat addictive behaviors because it can successfully block the reward center of the brain, which sends out pleasure signals in response to certain actions in the body. Naltrexone has helped people with gambling addiction as well as compulsive sexual addiction.
- Mood stabilizers used to treat bipolar disorder may have some benefit when used to treat sexual compulsions.
- Anti-androgens reduce and curb the biological effects of sex hormones (like testosterone) in men. These medications can effectively reduce sexual urges, but are only ever used as a short-term, temporary solution in a small percentage of situations. The goal of sex addiction treatment isn’t to remove sexual desire and activity from you or a partner’s life, but to be able to re-engage in sex in a healthy way.
Group therapy can provide the support needed to a person suffering with sex addiction. Simply knowing you are not alone when dealing with a subject as taboo as sex addiction can provide the emotional support needed to be able to do the work necessary to recover.
If you or your partner have an addiction to sex and it has taken over your life, contact Advanced Psychology Partners by calling (973) 534-5333 or request a consultation now to get the help you need from discreet professionals who specialize in the field.