A sex addiction group, or a sex addiction therapy group allows you to learn from the experience of others. You discover that other people who share your experience are also able to share your challenge of recovery as well.
Addiction results from self-induced changes in neurotransmission that result in behavior problems. Addiction is the use of a substance or activity for the purpose of lessening pain or augmenting pleasure, by a person who has lost control over the rate, frequency, or duration of its use, and whose life has become progressively unmanageable as a result.
There are 4 major categories of addictions based on what happens in the person’s brain.
- Arousal addictions or “uppers” are chosen because the person feels more stimulated. These are the stimulant drugs such as cocaine and meth, gambling, sex, spending, computer use, TV, and high-risk activities.
- Satiation addictions or the “downers”are chosen because the person wants to feel calmer or soothed. These are alcohol, depressant drugs, food, sex, hoarding, TV, and computer games.
- Fantasy or the mystical/artistic drugs and activities are chosen because the person wants to check out into another world or “space”. Some examples are hallucinogenic drugs, marijuana, religion, sex, TV, computer games and/or relationships.
- Deprivation involves the avoidance of substances and/or behaviors from fear of use. Such as food anorexic, sexual anorexia, under-earning, spiritual anorexia, and under-spending.
The root of addiction is a pervasive, deeply felt sense of detachment and alienation. The core beliefs of the addict are based on an impaired capacity to trust. Addiction is not only a brain disorder, the result of learning and culture, an impaired childhood, but it is primarily an attempt to self-repair. Addiction is an attempt to relieve suffering, an attempt to cope. Addiction is primarily an attempt to self-medicate, not pleasure seeking.
People in recovery need a safe haven or a secure base where they can learn from others how to stop what ever is destroying their lives and their relationships. They need emotional refueling and support. They all must recognize that their brains must heal for recovery. They need to develop the capacity for honesty and for self-discovery, self-regard, self-re spect, and self-care. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result whereas recovery is learning new healthy practices.
Sex addiction is obsessive/ compulsive sexual behavior, with self or others, which if left untreated will cause severe distress and despair for both the addict and his or her family.
A person is unable to control his or her sexual behavior and lives with constant pain, alienation and fear of discovery. The addiction progresses until sexual behavior becomes more important than family, friends or work. One feels trapped in a bondage of compulsive sexual behavior over which he or she has no power to control, change or stop.
It is a neurochemical problem – addiction takes place in the brain – leading to an out-of-control pattern in their lives, doing the unintended, it is a persistent pursuit of self-destructive behavior. Sex addiction is not about sex, but is the use of sex to regulate emotional life and to gain sense of power and self-worth. Addiction becomes the organizing principle of the person’s life with secrecy due to shame. It is a Jekyll and Hyde existence. There can be risky exploitative behavior. Once becomes lonely and angry, depressed and can be suicidal. The presence of other addictions, such as alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine is common. It is accompanied by an extreme disruption of family and other significant consequences.
A person struggling with sex addiction holds four core beliefs:
- Self-image: I am a flawed and unworthy person.
- Relationships: If people knew me, they wouldn’t love me.
- Needs: They will never be met if I have to count on others.
- Sexuality: Sex is my most important need.
Some consider “cybersex”, “sexting,” and/or internet pornography the crack cocaine of the sex addiction. It is without risk of STDs. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. It does not involve the complications of a relationship with a real person. Many believe the behavior to be victim-less and harmless — that it is only safe fantasy. But the truth is that people addicted to “cybersex” live in deep isolation. They experience growing alienation from themselves and others.