More About Best Sex Addiction Treatment Centers
Sex is an intimate and powerful expression of love and a vital source of pleasure that triggers feelings of ecstasy within a person. Due to its significance in everyday life for almost everyone, it is not uncommon to misunderstand and undervalue sex addiction. To many people, sex addiction seems implausible because most people find it enticing and enjoyable. Nevertheless, in the United States alone, many people continue to suffer silently from it.
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Estimates suggest that approximately 12 million people in the U.S. suffer from an addiction to sex. This number is anticipated to increase due to the easy availability of sexually explicit content on online platforms. Furthermore, some researchers also estimate that this number is much higher than the reported figures, as many individuals with underlying sex addictions do not report their issue due to the stigma attached.
Like other addictive behavior, sex addiction requires professional treatment before this obsession leads to unhealthy behaviors and attitudes that impair other significant parts of life. Fortunately, plenty of sex addiction treatment centers are successfully working across the United States to help such people get through this difficult time and get on the road to recovery.
Recognizing the Signs of Sex Addiction
Unfortunately, there is no one universal sign that may suggest that someone is addicted to sex, primarily because this addiction manifests differently in different ways. Nevertheless, look out for the following signs if you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from sex addiction.
- Overwhelmingly obsessive thoughts regarding sexual activity
- Persistent urges for sexual behavior
- Engaging in sexual activity because you feel like you have to instead of attempting to seek intimacy or pleasure out of it
- Excessive engagement in watching pornography
- Increased engagement in phone sex
- Excessive masturbation
- Regular participation in sex parties
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Frequent indulgence in hiring prostitutes
- Repeatedly engaging in sexual behavior despite recognizing its harm to you and your loved ones
- Cheating on a partner
- Excessive masturbation
- The realization that sex is dominating your life
The obsessive behavior related to sex often results in deep shame, guilt, and low self-worth as it continues to play on the victim’s mind. With time, this behavior starts affecting their relationships with loved ones while damaging their mental health and overall quality of life. As with other types of addiction, recognizing this problem and seeking sex addiction therapy provides an important cornerstone to support healing.
What does a Sex Addiction Treatment Center Do? Exploring the Treatment Options
Sex addiction treatment centers provide multiple therapy options to people with this behavioral issue to help them recover quickly and more effectively. Some common examples of treatment modalities typically offered in a luxury sex addiction rehab include the following:
Addiction Screening and Assessment
Screening is the very first step in treating sex addiction. Some common assessments that experts usually use include PATHOS screening, the Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST), and other similar tools to obtain a more comprehensive outline of someone’s sexual habits. These methods assist them in evaluating the severity of their addiction and the longevity of their unhealthy behaviors. The assessment staff can then utilize these assessment results and create an individualized treatment plan through collaboration with patients.
Following an initial assessment, most people struggling with sex addiction often enter a detox period where they completely abstain from sexual activity. This time can be harrowing for most patients as their mind constantly craves to engage in sexual behavior; however, they do not get an opportunity to satisfy this craving. The compassionate and well-trained staff members at sex addiction treatment facilities are with their clients during this relaxing time. They are also willing to extend emotional support to help them as needed.
Residential Treatment Programs
A residential or inpatient sex addiction treatment center provides every patient with a safe and secure environment for recovering in privacy and peace. These facilities require clients to stay onsite in dedicated accommodations for the entire treatment length. As a part of treatment, they work with trained therapists and counselors in a distraction-free environment to understand more about their addiction, find triggers, and learn coping mechanisms to overcome this behavioral issue. Residential treatment for sex addiction may last for different durations, depending on each client’s circumstances. However, a typical plan runs for six weeks.
Intensive Outpatient Program
An intensive outpatient program is the most appropriate treatment option for people who cannot afford to join a residential treatment program or cannot leave their home for a long time to work on recovery. Most intensive outpatient programs (IOP) run for two weeks and follow a well-structured curriculum of classes and therapy sessions that assist the patients in eliminating their obsessive sexual behaviors. A typical IOP schedule at a rehab for sex addiction includes five days of therapy per week, with up to eight hours of daily treatment engagement.
An outpatient program helps sex addicts attend sessions at the rehab while continuing to stay at their homes. The intensity of these programs is much lower than IOPs, including 12-step meetings and family counseling.
Counseling and Therapy Services
Counseling or therapy for sex addiction takes place under the supervision of a trained therapist, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Following are some common types of treatments that a sex addict may benefit from:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy involves private sessions where a therapist helps clients explore their beliefs and thoughts contributing to compulsive sexual behaviors. This is followed by learning new techniques for changing these beliefs and ideas to break the cycle of addiction.
- Psychodynamic therapy helps clients become more aware of their unconscious thoughts and behaviors while gaining insights into the root cause of their problems.
- Trauma therapy is for sex addicts whose addiction stems from a trauma they experienced on the path. For such people, experts use a well-known technique called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to reduce their trauma’s emotional impact and allow them to move past it.
- Couples counseling provides a platform for sex addicts to work closely with their partners and rekindle their relationship. Both partners work towards improving their communication while finding a way to re-establish trust in their relationship.
Follow-up and Aftercare
Like with any other addiction, follow-up and aftercare form a critical part of recovery for sex addiction. Aftercare aims to help clients avoid relapses by receiving continuous support even after they leave a treatment facility. In some cases, aftercare may last for as long as twelve months following formal treatment, making it easier for patients to transition into everyday life. At the same time, follow-ups also help them increase their confidence and self-esteem.
How does sex addiction develop?
In general, a sex addiction begins with normal sexual activities. However, with time, the brain becomes obsessed with this activity, sometimes to the extent that an individual may feel that their survival depends on continuing this behavior.
This happens as soon as the reward system within the brain changes and preoccupies itself with thoughts about sexual activity. As this takeover occurs, the victim stops taking an interest in other activities and hobbies they used to enjoy. Their addiction starts overruling everything else in their life, and it can only get under control through sexual addiction therapy.
What are the causes and risk factors for developing sexual addiction?
Most mental health experts agree that sex addiction can have multiple causes and risk factors. Years of research investigating this behavioral addiction have concluded that many people addicted to sex have a prior history of experiencing trauma or abuse that might be fueling this behavior of behaving in sexually explicit ways. Others argue that the human brain becomes addicted to sex in a similar way it becomes addicted to alcohol or drugs.
It has also been found that consuming alcohol, drugs, and certain food items, along with engaging in sex, stimulates the same reactions in the brain to release dopamine neurotransmitters. When the level of this dopamine rises to a high level, the person experiences pleasurable sensations. These pleasurable sensations are what force them to keep engaging in similar sexual activities, ultimately turning into an addiction.
Why should I join a rehab for sex addiction?
Seeking inpatient sex addiction treatment is extremely important as this type of addiction comes with several negative consequences. Contrary to what many would believe, it is not a harmless addiction because it involves no drugs or alcohol. People with a sex addiction who do not seek treatment are at risk of several issues, such as:
- The breakup of a relationship or family
- An unwanted pregnancy
- Acquiring a sexually transmitted disease
- Loss of employment
- Inability to have a healthy sex life
- A tendency to engage in risky behaviors, such as gambling or drug use
- A higher vulnerability to other mental illnesses, such as eating disorders and depression
Do sex addiction treatment facilities accept insurance?
Since the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the journal used by mental health experts to study psychiatric issues, does not recognize sex addiction as a formal diagnosis, most insurance companies do not cover any treatment for it. A few may provide benefits to cover this treatment program, but their number is limited. If you present with sex addiction as one of the symptoms of another primary psychiatric condition, the insurance will likely cover the treatment of all problems together.
For example, some individuals with bipolar disorder engage in compulsive sexual behavior. In such cases, if these people seek treatment for their bipolar disorder along with co-occurring sex addiction, their insurance is likely to cover the treatment cost for both diseases.
Similarly, a person seeking treatment for drug addiction with secondary symptoms of sex addiction can also avail of insurance benefits. It is always a good idea to call your insurance provider ahead of time, explain your circumstances, and inquire if they can provide financial assistance.
Should I go for short-term sex addiction treatment or choose a more extended plan?
Short-term treatment for sex addiction is more intense and briefer. It may be a good option for those who have recently started developing a growing addiction to sex, have an awareness of their underlying issue, and feel a strong motivation to stop it from growing at once.
Short-term treatment can help such people boost their self-esteem and continue working on their recovery by giving them a break for a few days or weeks. Long-term plans, however, require more commitment and usually include living away from the regular life routine for a longer duration. Such programs are more appropriate for those with deeply-rooted addictive behaviors to train themselves for the future systemically. Long-term plans also serve chronic sex addicts who have relapsed in the future.