Sex and Love Addiction

The highs of love and sex hinge on physical or psychological arousal, and relationships can be marked by desperation. However, there is some debate over whether sex addiction exists. 

Definition

For people hopelessly in love, they go through life feeling desperate longing and constant fear. That is the fear of rejection, pain, unfamiliar experiences, and having little faith in their ability or right to inspire love. They wait and wish for love, but suffer a destructive twist on a normal life-enhancing activity. 

For those who crave lots of sex, the need for arousal often replaces the need for intimacy; and the cravings can mask other issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress.

Symptoms

For the lovelorn:

  • Love is all consuming and obsessive
  • Is inhibited
  • Avoids risk or change
  • Lacks true intimacy
  • Is manipulative, strikes deals
  • Is dependent and parasitic
  • Demands the loved one's devotion

Causes

Treatments

If you are in an unhealthy relationship, you may want to seek professional assistance. Specialized counseling is available for those dealing directly or indirectly with these issues.

Treatment should probably involve at least some of the following:

  • Rebuilding relationships
  • Managing stress
  • Self-help

The creation of an environment that supports the therapeutic process is essential. A thorough assessment is conducted, and any problems or blocks to treatment are noted. The counselor begins the bonding with the client during the assessment, and then prepares a therapeutic or treatment plan (the change model) to help the client deal with any blocks that will prevent response to the treatment process.

Find a Treatment Program here.

Sources

  • North City Psychological Group, San Diego, CA
  • Addicted to Love: Sex, Love and Compulsion
Last reviewed 12/27/2015