Love Addiction versus Sex Addiction
Anyone who reads this title will think, “Wow, that’s a hot topic! …love addiction versus sex addiction!” Well, they are right. It is a sizzling hot topic. So hot in fact that anyone who is addicted to love or sex will be overtaken by the flames of the fire. And in the aftermath of the fire, what remains is a sickly grey ash heap. Not so attractive and exciting after all. The demands of a love or sex addiction will consume a person’s mind and rule his or her life. But there is hope for anyone who is trying to break free from these strongholds. Addiction treatment and recovery programs are an effective way to heal emotional pain and begin a new life.
The emotional pain of a lost love is overwhelming and difficult to bear. It is so painful that some people refuse to face it. Other people simply cannot believe that they have lost their soul mate and succumb to a state of denial. Letting go of a love relationship can feel like your world has turned upside down and your heart is breaking into a million pieces. Some love addicts have an intense fear of abandonment which can cause emotional pain and instability. People who have been abandoned by their mate often experience shame, anxiety, fear, anger and depression.
Love addiction recovery programs will begin to assess the attachment style of the patient. Attachment styles are the creation of survival tactics that a person develops to buffer the pain of neglect or abandonment. In love addiction treatment programs, the love addict will begin to recognize their attachment patterns as they review his or her childhood experiences of neglect and/or abandonment. Once a love addict’s attachment style is identified they can discover what type of relationships will work well for him or her. Each love addict’s story is different and the roots of his or her emotional pain must be identified and processed before it can be released.
There are specific characteristics and signs of love addiction. Some love addicts suffered from a lack of attention and nurturing when they were young. They experienced feelings of detachment and isolation from their parents and family. Love addicts will do almost anything to avoid rejection and abandonment, and they can be controlling and manipulative of other people. They are often unable to trust others and they may confuse high drama with intimacy. On a personal level they may feel inadequate without a relationship or mate. Love addicts may use sexual relationships with other people just to ease their emotional pain, or confuse sexual attraction with love.
Sex addiction is a progressive intimacy disorder associated with excessive sexual thoughts and behavior. As the addiction progresses, the sex addict may have to intensify his or her sexual behavior to satisfy needs. Most sex addicts engage in masturbation and pornography and may also use phone or computer sex services. Severe and excessive sex addiction may result in obscene phone calls, voyeurism, exhibitionism, child molestation or rape. Not all sex addicts are sex offenders and not all sex offenders are sex addicts.
Many sex addicts will continue to express specific sexual behavior patterns regardless of the potential health risks, relationship problems etc. Sex addiction is a chronic repeated pattern of sexual conduct with a succession of partners who are perceived as objects to be used. Sex addicts may continually search for new partners and multiple partners. They may compulsively masturbate and compulsively seek sex with their relationship partner.
Sex addiction is a spirit of lust that the sex addict is unable to manage or control. Many sex addicts came from dysfunctional families and may have been abused in childhood. Statistics confirm that most sex addicts have experienced emotional trauma or sexual abuse. Sex addiction treatment programs often use cognitive behavior therapy to help the sex addict shift the focus of their thoughts and behavior.
New recovery programs at White Sands Treatment Center provide a variety of techniques to help the sex addict reduce their impulse to engage in sex. They also learn how to establish normal, healthy relationships to ensure their future happiness. Recovery programs have successfully helped both love addicts and sex addicts. These programs hold the key to unlock and free anyone who is bound by addiction.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Treatment Center at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.