What Is the Treatment for Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction (also known as hypersexual disorder) is when a person becomes overly concerned with sexual ideas and practices. They may become so obsessed that it interferes with their regular activities in some cases.

They’ll also continue to engage in sexual behaviors despite the potential for unfavorable repercussions. Compulsive sexual conduct is another term for sex addiction.

It’s crucial not to confuse a high libido with sex addiction. Sex addiction will, in most situations, disrupt a person’s day-to-day existence and may have an impact on personal relationships. A person with this condition will devote a significant amount of time and resources to satisfying their sexual desires. They may engage in the following sexual behaviors:

Masturbating or viewing pornographic content for an extended period

Cheating on partners by paying for sex

Going to strip joints regularly

Many people struggling with sex addiction believe they can control their symptoms. The disease, however, will not go away without proper therapy. This post examines some of the most frequent indications of sex addiction and treatment options.

Sex Addiction Symptoms

Sex addiction is not listed as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), defining and categorizes mental health problems. As a result, sex addiction signs and symptoms may be difficult to see.

The following are a few of the most prevalent signs that you may have a sex addiction:

Being unable to refrain from engaging in certain sexual activities

You become upset when you cannot engage in sexual actions and behaviors.

Neglecting important elements of your life like work and personal connections to participate in sexual activities and behaviors

Taking part in high-risk sexual behaviors, such as having sex in public

Continued unsafe sexual conduct at the expense of your physical and mental well-being

Masturbation is compulsive and frequent behavior.

Sex Addiction Causes

Biological and physiological causes could cause a person’s sex addiction. There is, however, no single cause. According to several studies, sex addiction is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. However, there isn’t enough information to determine that this is the case.

Certain drugs, such as those used to treat Parkinson’s disease, have been related to the onset of compulsive sexual behaviors.

Sex Addiction Treatment

You must first be diagnosed with sex addiction by a doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner before you can begin therapy. Sex addiction, like many mental health disorders, is difficult to diagnose.

Your medical history will be thoroughly examined to make a definitive diagnosis and guarantee that you are not experiencing signs of another condition. Identifying the underlying cause or trigger for your compulsive sexual cravings and actions is the first step in sex addiction treatment.

Psychotherapy and medication are the most popular treatments for mental health issues like sex addiction. While psychotherapy is usually the first line of treatment for sex addiction, depending on the type and intensity of symptoms a person with this illness exhibits, medication may be administered in addition to therapy.

Treatment can be complete in the comfort of one’s own home or in a treatment center specializing in treating addictions, depending on the severity of one’s disease. Treatment centers provide the benefit of allowing you to concentrate entirely on your rehabilitation.


In the treatment of mental illnesses, there are many different types of psychotherapy. The following are frequently utilized in the treatment of sex addiction:

Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy used to address various mental health issues. When it comes to sex addiction, CBT seeks to help people understand what drives their compulsive actions and beliefs and how to stop them. Healthy coping skills are also provided to assist you in dealing with your stressors.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is a type of therapy in which the person with the disease and their therapist work together to develop a treatment for their symptoms. It focuses on eliciting a person’s desire to modify their undesirable habits.


There is currently no medication that has been created to treat sex addiction. Off-label drugs like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been used to help people with this disorder manage the disorder’s more disruptive symptoms.

The following medications may be administered to assist treat some of the symptoms of sex addiction:

Mood stabilizers: Mood stabilizers are commonly used to treat bipolar illness and obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms (OCD). They may also assist a person suffering from sex addiction to reduce obsessive sexual desires. Lamictal and Tegretol are two common mood stabilizers.

SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) were created to treat depression and anxiety disorders. They may also aid in the control of compulsive behaviors that a person suffering from sex addiction may display. SSRIs include Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, and Celexa, to name a few.

Programs of Treatment

In most treatment programs, sex addiction is treated with medication and psychotherapy. Treatment programs are available in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

While you have greater control over the pace of your therapy in an outpatient clinic, inpatient facilities are highly recommended. Choosing an inpatient treatment program also allows you to receive the treatment you require in a largely devoid of triggers set.

An inpatient treatment facility also allows you to connect and talk with other people who understand your situation.

Managing Sex Addiction

Admitting that you have a problem with sex addiction is the first step toward recovery. It can be difficult to diagnose sex addiction because it is not a recognized mental health disease, and its symptoms can also be subtler than those of other mental illnesses. If any of the disorder symptoms listed above apply to you or someone you know, it’s critical to seek medical advice and receive a definitive diagnosis.

Other things that may assist you in coping with this disease are:

Joining a support group: If you or someone you know is struggling with sex addiction, a group like Sex Addicts Anonymous can be extremely beneficial. Seeing and conversing with other people who have the same disease can help you feel less ashamed or embarrassed.

Remove your triggers: Removing them from your house can be beneficial if you have a stockpile of pornographic content or any other triggers that cause you to indulge in compulsive sexual activities.

Distract yourself with practical activities: Find a healthy diversion that you can use anytime the impulse to perform a sexual act arises. This could be something as easy as jogging or meditating.

Verywell’s Message

People addicted to sex frequently feel a great deal of guilt and embarrassment. They may also feel, incorrectly, that keeping their symptoms to themselves will help them recover from their illness. However, because sex addiction can hurt your physical and mental health, it’s critical to seek help from a qualified healthcare provider.

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