Recent studies have revealed that sex addiction may not have anything to do with sex at all. So does that make it any less of an addiction? Addiction is about a habit that brings a reward. When it comes to sex addiction, most people assume that the sex itself is the reward. The truth is, sex addiction may be more about relieving stress, shame, and other negative emotions than anything else. It’s still a behavior that a person turns to against their will, and help is needed to resist the injurious lifestyle.
Obviously, frequent sex behavior can increase libido and lead to even more sexual escapades, but people who are diagnosed with hypersexuality aren’t necessarily driven to have sex because they have a stronger drive. Most individuals when their brains were scanned revealed additional triggers that have nothing to do with hormones or sex drive. So just to be clear, we are not talking about people who just really love sex and hook up all the time. These are people who want to stop before they hurt themselves, their families, and others but they simply can’t.
While sex addiction may not be what everyone once thought it was, that doesn’t mean that you can simply tell a person that if they want to stop their risky behavior bad enough that it will work. The underlying issues still need to be addressed. It isn’t simply a matter of willpower, it’s a matter of deep seeded emotional damage that leads to uncontrolled and possibly dangerous behavior.
A related topic is pornography addiction. Unlike drug addiction, withdrawal doesn’t stop after a few days or weeks. Even one glimpse at pornography creates a new neural pathway. Individuals who have become addicted to pornography have no way to detox, and a long road ahead of them for recovery. While many today view pornography as a harmless diversion, the science behind it shows the irreparable damage that is done to the human mind by it. Children especially can be permanently stunted emotionally by early exposure to porn, making it vital for parents to protect their children.
In the end, sex addiction (or whatever it is that the person is actually addicted to) is more than just an issue of self control. There is sex addiction treatment that can help in order to confront the underlying issues that can potentially destroy a family, end a career, or even result in jail time.