About 18-24 million Americans suffer from sex addiction also known as nymphomania. It’s identified as a compulsive behavior that revolves around sexual acts and thoughts. People who suffer from sex addiction are habitual users of pornography and are also involved with acts like exhibitionism, prostitution, and voyeurism.
Sex addicts may often have an active sex life but face problems forming intimate relationships that last. Chronic sex addiction is dangerous because, after a point, addicts become reckless with their pursuits making them to even resort to criminal acts like pedophilia and rape.
Diagnosing Sex Addiction
If you can associate yourself with the following symptoms, then you are more likely to be suffering from sex addiction.1
- You notice that your sexual fantasies and urges consume a lot of your time personally and professionally
- You indulge in sexual fantasies and urges to combat anxiety, stress or boredom
- You realize that you’ve no power over resisting these urges and often give into modes of pleasure
- You sexual acts often involve no regard for the emotional or physical well-being of yourself or others
5 Ways To Overcome Sex Addiction On Your Own
The insane amount of stigma around sex addiction is what keeps many men and women away from seeking help. However, your recovery doesn’t always need professional help as long as you are determined that you want to sober up. Here are some subtle yet effective ways you can achieve that.
1. Be Your Best Judge And Therapist
The first step in the journey of recovery is admitting the fact that you are a “sex addict”. Accepting it is both bewildering and liberating as a decision. When you realize that your hypersexuality is limiting you from living life to the fullest, only then will you decide to resolve it. Keep a journal and jot down how your sex addiction began, how it has affected your career and personal life. Also, remember to set realistic goals that revolve around where you see yourself post-recovery. The journal should serve as a timeline for you that indicates the time spend in 4 stages of recovery namely, survival, stability, sustaining and freedom phase.
2. Destroy All Your Sex-Related Memorabilia
In the first stage of recovery from sex addiction, it’s crucial to get rid of your entire porn collection that includes magazines, posters, videos and anything that could trigger your sexual urges. This step also requires you to lose touch with all those contacts of yours with whom you were sexually involved. Even if that requires you to have a new number, go for it. Some sex addicts quit using smartphones altogether so that they have limited access to the internet which is indeed a massive trigger for your sexual urges.
3. Give Your Mind A New Job
Addiction is largely a mental thing. If you train your mind to stop glorifying sexual fantasies as a means to an end, you will see a gradual shift in your behavior. The best way to retrain the mind is by giving it something new to get distracted. Pick up a new hobby, something intriguing like a new workout regime, dancing classes, piano lessons or absolutely anything under the sun that doesn’t involve anything sexual. Meditation and yoga can also help to regain control over mind chatter so that you stay sober during the de-addiction process.
4. Avoid Triggers Of Your Addiction
This step requires quite a bit of a radical approach. Anybody on a journey to achieve something faces the most flak from people surrounding them. Regardless of whether you are in the process of abstaining from alcohol, carbs or sex, choosing to be surrounded by the right people can greatly help your recovery. Don’t hang out with people who are likely to take you off your sobriety. It’s also crucial to use your discretion to avoid places like strip clubs and bachelor parties that have a sexually-charged atmosphere.
5. Rope In A Bit Of Support
If you are one among the lucky few who has a few trusted confidantes to encourage you to stay sober, you should hold them close during this time. Researchers have found that sex addicts in relationships with understanding partners are more likely to recover faster due to added solidarity and support.2 Share your goals with a family member or friend you trust so that even on days when you feel like giving up on your sobriety, they are quick to lift you back on track.3
Ultimately, any addiction develops as a coping mechanism to solve some form of emotional hunger. Any individual who has overcome sex addiction is somebody who has successfully identified what they were lacking and found ways to rise above it with a lot of determination and patience.
|↑1||How To Treat Sex Addiction. TOTALHEALTH|
|↑2||The Relevance of Twelve-Step Recovery in 21st Century Addiction Medicine. ASAM|
|↑3||Carnes,J, Patrick. Don’t call it love: Recovery From Sexual Addiction. Bantam. 1991|