There are several misconceptions when it comes to addiction and related mental health issues. However, one type of addiction people fail to understand is sex. In such a scenario, the “addiction” part takes a backseat as people blow the “sex” part out of proportion. The social taboo on sex and addictive behaviors is misunderstood because this condition is often not openly discussed.
Like other conditions, it is essential to learn the facts of sex addiction to dissipate many myths and misunderstandings. Understanding the truth about sex addiction will also facilitate the determination of whether or not people close to you have sexual dependence, and if so, the appropriate treatment that will cure the condition.
- 1 1. Myth: Sex addiction is not real.
- 2 2. Myth: People who suffer from sex addiction are always having sex.
- 3 3. Myth: A sex addict is easily identifiable.
- 4 4. Myth: Sex addiction is fun.
- 5 5. Myth: Pedophiles and sex criminals are sex addicts.
- 6 6. Myth: It’s all about self-control.
- 7 7. Myth: Marrying is going to solve the problem.
- 8 8. Myth: It can be handled yourself.
- 9 9. Myth: Sex addiction is for men only
- 10 Conclusion
1. Myth: Sex addiction is not real.
The first myth is that sex addiction isn’t real. There is little doubt that sex addiction is a severe disease with far-reaching consequences. When a person suffers from sex addiction, it drastically disrupts their daily life. They frequently wish to quit thinking about or seeking intimacy but are unable to do so. Counselors can obtain specific training in sex addiction treatment in order to assist individuals who are suffering from it.
Several psychological professionals are still discussing whether sex addiction is a disorder in itself. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is the fundamental guide for mental health diagnosis and treatment in the United States. However, sex addiction is not officially defined as an illness by the American Psychiatric Association.
Other medical organizations around the world, however, recognize it. Regardless of formal recognition, sex addiction is real and can disrupt the life of your loved one profoundly if not treated appropriately.
2. Myth: People who suffer from sex addiction are always having sex.
Sex addiction can manifest itself in a variety of ways. While having sex addiction entails spending an excessive amount of time thinking about sexual activities, it does not always imply that sex is involved. Some people can engage in different sexual behaviors through porn or sexual fantasies, while others will seek intercourse with people around them or sex workers. When your sexual thoughts get in the way of your regular life, it’s considered an addiction.
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3. Myth: A sex addict is easily identifiable.
Yes, some people appear to have no sexual boundaries or seem to be sexually open to an excessive degree. However, that does not mean that every person you meet who makes a sexual advancement is an addict. On the contrary, it is a hallmark of addiction and codependency or a personality condition like a histrionic or borderline personality disorder.
People who suffer from sex addiction can hide it well because, by its very nature, addiction is often hidden. Addiction thrives in secrecy because it is fueled by misery and humiliation. This is why admitting the problem to others is such an essential aspect of any 12-step recovery program.
4. Myth: Sex addiction is fun.
Many individuals joke about being sex addicts. However, life is far from enjoyable for people who suffer from sexual addiction.
Sex addiction creates a never-ending cycle of highs and lows that leave you feeling out of control, ashamed, and unable to trust yourself and others. It is frequently associated with depression, anxiety, high-stress levels, other addictions such as overeating and excessive alcohol and drug use, and extreme loneliness. And trust us, none of it is very pleasurable.
5. Myth: Pedophiles and sex criminals are sex addicts.
A vast majority of sex addicts are not pedophiles. Some are sex offenders, while others are not. Some pedophiles can have a sex addiction. However, you cannot generalize and put everyone in the same bracket.
Because offenders do not always seek help, it is challenging to find figures in this area. When the police apprehend them, they usually join the system for the first time. However, you still cannot certainly believe that sex addicts commit all sex-related crimes.
6. Myth: It’s all about self-control.
When confronted with the devastation produced by sexual addiction, an affected spouse, well-meaning family member, or ecclesiastical leader may think the cure is simple: “Just quit” or “pray more.” What they don’t realize is that, unlike their own ability to avoid temptation completely, an addict’s brain circuitry has been altered.
Therefore, whenever a problem arises (i.e., stress, loneliness, depression, anger, etc. ), the automatic response is to turn to the pre-programmed release, succumbing to sexual activities. Even if the addict has no responsibility for his actions, it could lead him to think of himself as not good enough. It is not about self-control when it is a disease and should be treated appropriately.
7. Myth: Marrying is going to solve the problem.
Some think that a close relationship can lead to a disappearance of sexual addiction. However, many addicts are deceived into realizing that after marriage, sometimes within a couple of months or even only a few weeks, their addiction comes back. And unfortunately, in a marriage relationship, the nature of addiction destroys true intimacy.
8. Myth: It can be handled yourself.
In the early stages, a majority of people who are addicted are in denial of their problem. Some hide for decades because they feel they can beat them alone. They are afraid to talk to their wives or ecclesiastical leaders. The reality, however, shows that what started with flax cords has become iron chains without the instruments of recovery or hope of getting out of it yourself. If addicts want to overcome, they must seek professional help.
9. Myth: Sex addiction is for men only
It is common to believe that men are the only people dealing with sex addiction since males have more potent or sexually aggressive drives. The truth is that sex addiction is possible both for men and women. Often women are looked down upon because they have too much sex. They may do the same things men addicted to sex do, but people often describe them as a “slut” or “whore,” rather than thinking they might have a mental health condition too.
You may think that there’s no addiction for people who have too much sex. Sex addiction is just as grave as drug or alcohol addiction. Once you understand facts about sex addiction, you will understand more clearly that treatment is necessary and should be sought as early as possible.