The root of this work is Latin for “slave” and reflects the relinquishing of control. In ancient Rome, it meant complete submission to one’s master.
In contemporary terms, it reflects the submission to a behavior or substance that overrides all other behaviors and relationships. The addict has a very difficult time relinquishing their behavior or truly understanding the detriment to themselves, their relationships, and their career.
The treatment of addiction is not a simple process and individual psychotherapy can rarely, if ever, effectively help the individual end their cycles. However, psychotherapy can provide insights and illuminate the problems it presents and the potential for what life could be like without addictive behavior.
Below is a description of the addictions with which I routinely work, but I emphasize that other supports are necessary for any treatment of addiction to be successful. These include twelve-step programs, sponsors, and other support programs.
The most effective results that I have seen have been when psychotherapy and programs are done in concert with one another.
Symptoms of Sex Addiction Include:
- Excessive Masturbation
- Excessive Pornography Use, Especially on the Internet
- Being Randomly Provocative or Dressing Provocatively Under Inappropriate Circumstances, Such as the Workplace
- Repeated Engagement in Inappropriate Relationships
- Engaging With Sex Workers
- Patterns of Affairs Outside of One’s Primary Relationship
- Stalking (Including Messaging or Emails)
- Engaging in Destructive Relationships
Ongoing engagement in one or any combination of these behaviors can arrest one’s potential to engage in a healthy relationship, destroy a current relationship, jeopardize your employment and result in severe legal consequences.
Yet, as with other addictions, the sex addict may be patently unaware of their behavior or consequences.
For example, Internet pornography users will indicate that they “go into a bubble“ while watching porn. For example, I may begin watching pornography at 9 PM and stop at 2 AM, not realizing how much time had passed.
Gambling, often referred to as “the hidden addiction,” can very often be easily concealed from partners, family, or friends. However, excessive gambling could carry with it severe consequences affecting relationships and employment, often ending in legal problems.
Gambling takes place in legal settings, such as casinos, online, such as sportsbooks, excessive lottery playing, or sporting venues. Illegal gambling, while not in the public eye, can carry both financial consequences and the potential for arrest.