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Sex addiction is a condition that involves a preoccupation with engaging in sexual activity. That activity may involve a partner or partners, or take place when the patient is alone. The key factor in determining if an addiction is present has to do with the impact of the activity on the person’s quality of life. By being aware of the more common sex addiction symptoms, it’s possible to determine if there is a problem and what approach to treatment would be in the best interests of the patient. Here are some examples of symptoms to consider.
Is There Really a Problem?
Can there be such a thing as too much sex? Many professionals who offer treatment for sex addiction Toronto would say yes. Like many activities that are healthy when balanced with other activities, there is no doubt that sex is good for the heart, the mind, and the body in general. It’s when that balance no longer exists that the situation is no longer a healthy one. Treatment under the care of a trained counsellor helps restore balance and allows the patient to enjoy all the benefits once more without the drawbacks.
The Symptoms Most Often Cited by Professionals
There is not currently any one test that is used to diagnose sex addiction. Instead, a sex addiction therapist relies on the collection of evidence to arrive at the diagnosis. Much of the evidence rests on the type and number of sex addiction symptoms the patient exhibits.
Shame for sexual activity is definitely found on any sex addiction symptoms checklist created by counsellors. The addict seems to crave more and more activity. When a partner cannot provide the outlet or there is no permanent partner available, the addict seeks out stimulation via watching porn online while engaging in solo activities, or devotes a lot of time to finding a partner for the moment. While the activities bring short-term satisfaction, they are often followed by a sense of emptiness and regret. Even so, the patient begins the search for the next round of activity almost immediately.
Withdrawal from typical social activity is also one of the more common sex addiction signs. Since the patient is devoting more time and resources to finding opportunities to engage in some type of sexual activity, pastimes like hobbies, going to parties, meeting friends for an evening out, or even spending time with the family are no longer as important.
Mood swings are also among the more commons signs. As with any addiction, the inability to satisfy a craving leads to feeling depressed, angry, and highly irritated. For example, it’s not possible to slip away for a long lunch hour to engage in sex of some type. That’s because a client is visiting and must be entertained. As a result, the patient may become short with others, including the visiting client.
Problems with intimacy may also develop. That’s because a sex addict is focused primarily on the release and not the emotional and physical closeness that takes place between loving partners. As with any addiction, more and varied ways of achieving that release could render healthy sexual activity less than satisfactory. In this scenario, relationships are damaged and may be lost.
Various studies indicate that up to 30 million people in the United States alone are sex addicts. Counsellors in Toronto and other areas of Canada also indicate more patients are seeking them out because of their seeming preoccupation with sex. If you are exhibiting these and other sex addiction signs, now is the time to contact a counsellor. As with any addiction, you can learn how to control it and begin to enjoy all aspects of your life again.
Ryan Yarbrough is a small business consultant, speaker, and the manager at Davis Financial Services, a small business consulting firm.