Understanding Your Approach to Sex Addiction Counseling: Are You Suffering from a Compulsion or the Consequences of Abuse?

10 July 2020
 Categories: , Blog


There's a significant difference between having a compulsive disorder, such as sexual addiction, and suffering the consequences of some form of abuse. You may be experiencing self-degrading promiscuity as a result. When you need sex addiction counseling, making this distinguishment is the key to your recovery.

If You Were Abused

Unfortunately, many victims of abuse, be it sexual, physical or psychological, act out the devastating consequences in their own lives. They'll abuse themselves in one form or another, as a sort of silent call for help. For example, a child sexually abused by a relative or family friend may tend to throw themselves at any and every lover they can find. While it looks to an outsider that the person is promiscuous or flagrant, they're actually in need of help.

If you endured abuse in your past and are now using sex in any way to self-medicate, a sex addiction therapist can navigate you through this painful path of emotions and memories, to figuring out why you're engaged in your current behavior and how to stop. This process, because it may involve regressive therapy, where you're forced back into the horrendous events, can be quite overwhelming. However, it's a necessary part of becoming healthy so you can become your true self, not some impostor who secretly self-destructs.

When You Have an Actual Compulsion

Although you could have any kind of abuse in your past and have a sexual compulsion, compulsion without abuse is a separate affliction all together. Having any compulsion means you're excessively preoccupied, engage in behavior that's seemingly not under your control and some or all parts of your life suffer for it. Compulsions are most often treated with cognitive behavior or some other effective psychotherapy. 

You may feel compelled to view pornography all the time or otherwise engage in some kind of sexual activity or stimulation at a constant rate. A sexual compulsion, as opposed to experiencing the consequences of abuse, is similar in its effects to most other addictions, in that the need prevails over all other aspects of your life, including working, maintaining a monogamous marriage and taking care of yourself. Without help, you risk losing everything in your life that matters, all that you've worked hard for, and things and people that are not replaceable.

Sexual addiction isn't usually freely or comfortably discussed; however, it can be just as damaging to a person's life as gambling or drug abuse, necessitating professional intervention at some point. Whatever the reasons behind your hypersexuality, the sooner you seek treatment with a sex addiction therapist, the sooner you can begin to lead a life that's more constructive than it is destructive. You may be hurting others or you may be hurting yourself, but either way, a counselor can help you figure out your motivations, resolve them, and help you put the pieces of your life back together again.