Sex addiction affects individuals throughout the world. As with other forms of addiction, the addict’s family members are impacted by this disease as well. That leads to the first question…
What is Sex Addiction?
Sex Addiction is an obsessive relationship to sexual thought, fantasies or activities that occupy a disproportionate amount of emotional and mental space and disrupt the individual’s overall functioning in life – such as work and family. When an individual has lost the ability to choose and continues to engage in behaviours despite negative consequences, he or she is an addict. Sex addiction, at its core, is an intimacy disorder and it will prevent the addict from adequately attaching in intimate relationships.
There is no face, gender, age or socio-economic determinant; there will be distress, shame, and guilt.
Behaviours that may accompany or reveal a sex addiction include:
- Has an inability to abstain from sexual stimulation
- Looking at pornographic material such as magazines, books, videos obsessively
- Frequently isolating from spouses or partners, and not informing them of their whereabouts
- Has an impairment in behavioural control; can’t control how long he/she engages in sex
- Experiences cravings for sexual experiences; an addict has different triggers in acting out
- Diminished ability to recognize problems with his/her behavioural and interpersonal relationships
- Has a dysfunctional emotional response; uses sex for reward, escape, and/or relief
This questionnaire developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes, called the PATHOS test, can help identify quickly someone who may be challenged with sex or pornography addiction. Answering yes to two or more of these questions represents a possible need for people to seek assistance.
P – Preoccupied Do you often find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts?
A – Ashamed Do you hide some of your sexual behaviour from others?
T – Treatment Have you ever sought help for sexual behaviours you did not like?
H – Hurt Has anyone been hurt emotionally because of your sexual behaviour?
O – Out of control Do you feel controlled by your sexual desire?
S – Sad When you have sex, do you feel depressed afterwards?
Often times sex addicts find themselves “living a double life” — they are trapped by a complicated web of secrets and lies they have told in order to maintain their sexual activities.
At Foundation Therapy Services we provide a range of services to deal with the challenges of sex and porn addiction, possible related trauma, and/or sexual abuse.
Sex and porn addiction recovery require specific interventions in either individual or group counselling sessions with the development of a treatment plan that assist the addict in altering long standing destructive patterns and engage positive sexual health. Individual counselling is encouraged to identify and understand underlying issues resulting from past trauma or sexual abuse. The goal is to assist clients in healing from the painful effects of sexual abuse and gain greater fulfillment in life.
Contact me today and let’s get to work.
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