What is Sexual Addiction?

Sex is considered to be a pleasurable activity and is a basic human need. It is essential for the continuation of the human race and is enjoyed by most people for the emotional intimacy and physical release that it offers to the person. However, a person suffering from sex addiction has an entirely different experience of sex in daily life. It is important to know what sexual addiction is and its causes, along with ways to control excess sexual desire.

Being a behavior pattern, sexual addiction causes a person to have an obsession with sex or an extremely intense sex drive. Thoughts of sex dominate the mind at all times and often makes it difficult for the person to focus on work, family or friends and can also affect healthy relationships in their lives.

What is Sexual Addiction?

Causes of Excess Sexual Desire

Here are some of the main causes of excess sexual desire in men and women.

  • Biochemical Imbalance – When the brain experiences an imbalance of specific chemicals called neurotransmitters and these chemicals start to increase abnormally, it results in an addiction to sex. Dopamine, nor epinephrine and serotonin are certain chemicals which help relax and regulate your mood and also play a vital role in your body experiencing pleasure. However, an imbalance of these hormones can be one of the causes of excess sexual desire.
  • Genes – If an individual has a genetic predisposition involving several genes towards sexual addiction, it can cause excess sexual desire.
  • Medical Condition – Medical conditions like Huntington's diseasemultiple sclerosis and dementia damage specific regions of the human brain, which can cause excess sexual desire and compulsive sexual activities.
  • Alterations in Neural Pathways – Neural pathways are the brain's complex wiring which might change due to compulsive sexual activities. When this happens, a person starts experiencing added pleasure during sex and experiences sexual addiction. If the activity is stopped, it causes emotional discomfort and the person indulges in sexual activities all the more. This is a common cause of excess sexual desire.
  • Hormones – Sex hormones called androgens are present in both men and women. Since this hormone affects libido, it may also cause excess sexual desire.
  • Family History – If an individual has a family history of addiction and substance abuse, there are increased chances of the person having excess sexual desire. Children, whose parents are not always available, do not offer emotional support or are rigid can have sexual addiction when they grow up.
  • Sexual Abuse in Childhood – Statistics reveal that around 40 percent of sexual addicts have a history of being abused sexually during their childhood. This is one of the major causes of excess sexual desire.
  • Inferiority Complex – If an individual is unable to satisfy the partner or is not satisfied with ownself, it may cause sexual addiction in the person. Also, if a person develops an inferiority complex or suffers from psychological or emotional trauma due to a break-up, it can cause excess sexual desire.

Ways to Control Excess Sexual Desire

Sexual addiction can be controlled by seeking support. One of the important ways to control excess sexual desire is to talk to a doctor, a psychologist or licensed social worker regarding sexual addiction and behavior management.

For a person experiencing sexual addiction, here are some ways to control excess sexual desire.

  • Opt for individual or group therapy led by a qualified therapist, who can offer ways to control excess sexual desire. Such therapy sessions are designed in a manner that they help reduce detrimental behaviors and negative thoughts related to sexual addiction and replace them with socially acceptable behaviors and positive thoughts. It helps the person realize the other important things in life and shifts their focus from the addiction, thus helping to control excess sexual desire.
  • Practicing meditation on a regular basis will help calm the mind and also normalize the thinking process. Every time there are thoughts about sex, it is a good idea to simply close the eyes, take deep breaths and focus the mind on something else like a game or a hobby. Changing the environment, moving out of the place, if possible or talking to a person you like at that moment, can help to control excess sexual desire and unwanted sexual behaviors.
  • Indulging in physical activities, sports or dance can help as it helps to channelize the energy towards productive activities and helps reduce sexual addiction. Letting out the physical and emotional energies by way of some creative physical work is one of the most effective ways to control excess sexual desire.
  • Divert your mind all the time and try to keep yourself busy all day long. Read a book, focus on your work and family members or simply play a game but try to keep yourself occupied constantly. This is one of the best ways to control excess sexual desire.
  • Try to make new friends and avoid being alone at any given point of time. Too much isolation is also a cause of sexual addiction but by staying in the company of friends and family you can keep isolation at bay. Avoiding solitude is also one of the most important ways to control excess sexual desire.

Seeking medical opinion and considering medications in severe cases is also one of the important ways to control excess sexual desire.

  • Doctors may consider medicines like Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), which help decrease sexual addiction. It helps to control excess sexual desire by controlling the urge in an individual by making the brain focus on other behavior patterns.
  • For hormonal problems, anti-androgens and luteinizing-hormone releasing hormone or LHRH agonists may be considered. It is often administered to the patient to treat the sexual addiction as it helps decrease the sexual urge. It also helps to reduce the production of testosterone and helps to control excess sexual desire.

Conclusion

Sexual addiction is an extremely common problem, especially amongst young people. However, it is important to follow ways to control excess sexual desire and seek medical treatment at the earliest to avoid further problems. Understanding how to control excess sexual desire will help to overcome the problem gradually and make healthy living possible.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: April 5, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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