Research has also shown that the inability to control sexual impulses is associated with neurochemical imbalances in the norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine systems.
The use of certain antidepressants (SSRIs) has proved to be very effective in treating the impulse control problems of many sexual compulsives.
Sex addicts use behaviors rather than substances as coping mechanisms.
These might include masturbation, compulsive viewing of pornography, infidelity, one-night stands and a host of other ‘acting out’ practices that undermine the ability to form intimate bonds with another human being.
Sex addiction is an obsessive relationship to sexual thoughts, fantasies or activities that an individual continues to engage in despite adverse consequences.
If an individual meets three or more of these criteria, he or she could be considered a sex addict: How do I know if my partner is a sex addict?Sometimes the addict has been off the dating scene for years and is returning as an older person.It’s natural to be confused in this case about one’s age and to find only younger people attractive.Individuals who are highly disciplined, accomplished and able to direct the force of their will in other areas of life fall prey to sexual compulsion.More importantly, people who love and cherish their partners can still be enslaved by these irresistible urges.Compulsive sex is the fast food of relationships, and developing a taste for the slow-cooked meal may take some time.Here the experienced therapist can be of huge assistance by reminding the sex addict that dating is not a race, nor a competition, but rather an adventure into the complete unknown where everything the addict thought they knew about intimacy turned out to be false, and a whole new universe must open up in order to move forward. Before recovery, the sex addict made decisions independently, choosing who to date, whom to have sex with, who to contact and what acts to participate in.Central to the disorder is the inability of the individual to adequately bond and attach in intimate relationships.The syndrome is rooted in early attachment failure with primary caregivers.Distress, shame and guilt about the behaviors erode the addict’s already weak self-esteem.Sexual addiction can be conceptualized as an intimacy disorder manifested as a compulsive cycle of preoccupation, ritualization, sexual behavior, and despair.