The Face of Sex Addiction


Reclaim Sexual Sanity:  Find Recovery Now by Calling 212-673-5717 for an Initial Consultation. sex addiction therapy ny See www.sextreatment.com for 35 full-length articles about sex addiction and for details about my private practice.

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Childhood emotional pain                                     From emotional, sexual, physical abuse or from

neglect and abandonment

Anxiety and Fear                                                    Feelings seem overwhelming and dangerous; panic from trying to stop the pain unsuccessfully; feelings of impotence, unworthiness, shame

Desire for a “quick fix”                                           Desperate need to control feelings

Lack of parental empathy and attention              Impairment in growth; inability to tolerate frustration; impulsive; immediate gratification

Lack of nurturance, guidance, structure              Life-long need to be validated, recognized and approved of; to receive excessive amounts of attention and praise

Chaotic, inconsistent family environment            Child withdraws into himself, determines not to need anyone because closeness is so dangerous (intimacy disorder)

Discovery of a panacea                                        Immediate, effective relief of distressed internal states

Compulsive sexual behavior is a panacea that produces an internal state that is stimulating, arousing, numbing, or fantasy-like; the addict become addicted to this internal state of being.  However, the best highs get less and less over time, as it takes more of the panacea to get the high.

This phenomenon is called “tolerance”.  Cessation of the panacea, sometimes brings on extreme depression, irritability and boredom, a phenomenon known as “withdrawal”.

With increasing involvement in compulsive sexual behavior, the panacea stops producing a “high” as much as it merely serves to stave off negative feelings and ever-increasing feelings of withdrawal.

In summary, addicts use the panacea (1) because the high feels good, (2) to medicate away pain and anxiety and (3) to avoid withdrawal.

 

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