Sex and love addiction
Relationships are the key themes of many movies, and love is celebrated as one of life’s biggest milestones. But unfortunately, sex and love can also have a darker side and cause a range of issues, including addiction.
If you are suffering from sex or love addiction, it can be a lonely place. However, through a greater understanding of these conditions and the right professional approach to recovery, it is possible to overcome and rebuild your life.
What is sex and love addiction?
Sex and love addictions and both forms of behavioural addiction. Sex addiction refers to a compulsive need to perform sexual acts even though they may pose risks to your health, happiness or relationships. Likewise, people addicted to love want to experience love at any cost and face various struggles when their romantic life is uncertain. As with all types of addiction, sex and love addiction are accompanied by intense urges, also known as cravings or compulsions.
How do sex and love addictions develop?
Sex and love addiction can develop in many ways and differ from person to person. On a physical level, both sex and love are associated with high levels of dopamine. We quickly become used to this feeling, and life can feel boring when we don’t experience it. In some people, this search for pleasure can eventually lead to a dependence on those feelings. Sex and love can also confer validation, making us feel appreciated or admired by someone.
Other key underlying elements and risk factors can play an important role, such as mental health disorders or certain genetic predispositions. One of these is trauma, especially childhood trauma, which is a common trait in all addictions. For example, if a child has been exposed to sex and love in a harmful way (e.g., child sexual abuse), they may be drawn to it when they are older. This can either be because it is all they know or because they end up using it as a coping mechanism.
Am I a sex or love addict?
As sex and love are considered normal parts of everyday life, it can be difficult to know whether you have an addiction.
Here are some of the signs to look out for:
- Engaging in risky sexual behaviours or having sex at inappropriate times/places
- Being unproductive as a result of constant sexual thoughts
- Prioritising sex over your health or relationships
- Never being single or not staying single for long
- Obsessively thinking about the person you love
- Feeling deeply lonely when you are not with the person you love
If you recognise any of these signs, you should speak to us straight away, so get in touch.
How are sex and love addictions treated?
Effective treatment for sex and love addiction requires comprehensive rehab treatment. While there is no detox for sex and love addiction, as you are not putting any substances into your body, you will still need to abstain from sexual intercourse and romantic relationships. This is important as you will need to learn how to process your emotions without numbing them through sex or infatuation.
At Oasis Bradford, our team of expert therapists are on hand to provide you with evidence-based treatment for your addiction. Therapy-based treatment methods such as dialectical behavioural therapy can equip you with the tools you need to not only manage your sex or love addiction but also to understand what caused them in the first place.
Our group therapy sessions provide the perfect opportunity to learn from others suffering in a similar way and to draw on each other’s strengths, while holistic therapies like yoga and meditation can help you manage and explore difficult emotions.
Sex and love addiction treatment continues even after you’ve finished rehab, as we also offer long-term aftercare and life-long involvement in our Alumni programme to help you maintain your successful recovery from sex and love addiction.
Get help for sex and love addiction
At Oasis Recovery, we can help you overcome your sex and love addiction and start a healthier, happier life. We are experts at helping people identify and address the underlying causes of addiction and developing effective coping strategies. If you’re ready to take the first step towards a brighter future, call us today.
Sex and love addiction — True or false?
There is a lot of stigma and myths surrounding sex and love addiction.
Sex and love addiction are the same……
False – Although there are many similarities between sex and love addiction, they are not the same thing. Being addicted to love means being dependent on the feeling of love itself, whereas sex addiction involves sexual intercourse or gratification.
Someone with a sex addiction may not be interested in being in a relationship, and someone with a love addiction is not necessarily dependent on sex in an unhealthy way.
Love addiction only applies to toxic relationships……
It is a common misconception that love addiction only occurs in toxic relationships. In fact, you could be perfectly happy in your relationship while having a love addiction.
This manifests in different ways. You may want to be in the honeymoon phase for as long as possible or jump between relationships to keep experiencing love. You may also want to stick to the same partner to avoid not feeling loved.
Love and sex addiction love can lead to depression…
One of the common symptoms of sex and love addiction is depression. This may occur because you are unsure of where to turn to for help, you realise that sex won’t fulfil you or you are rejected by someone.
People with love addiction are always happy…
Someone going from one relationship to the next one may look happy from the outside. However, they may be dealing with shame and suffering from low self-esteem.