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ARISE® Sex Addiction Intervention

Sex addiction is the compulsive participation or engagement in sexual activity. Despite negative consequences, those suffering from this addiction are not able to stop. Often, those with a sex addiction are unable to control their sexual behaviors, urges, and thoughts.

A Misunderstood Addiction

Sex addiction can often be misunderstood. Like many other process addictions (such as gambling, gaming, or shopping) can often go unnoticed and undiagnosed for long periods of time. As sexual behaviors become more obsessive, they become more disruptive. Additionally, these habits may cause severe damage to one’s life. Hiding the repercussions may be impossible for the person suffering from the addiction.

Sex addiction affects both men and women. The person suffering may feel embarrassed and shameful. Sex addiction, even more than other addictions, often goes hand-in-hand with excessive lying. Covering up actions that the addicted individual may otherwise be ashamed of, can become a top priority. Our specialized Certified ARISE® Interventionists can assist your loved one, and your family to get the help they need to heal. Rebuilding trust is possible.

Sex addicts, like many other addicts, are often survivors of past trauma. When someone survives a terrible event, they seek ways to soothe themselves. Sometimes drugs or alcohol are the substance of choice. However, in some cases, particularly if sexual trauma occurs in youth), some turn to obsessive-compulsive sexual behavior.

If your loved one is regularly using sex or sexual behavior as a way to avoid uncomfortable emotions, they more than likely qualify as a sex addict.

Signs of Sex Addiction

Unfortunately, by the time most sex addicts reach out for help, there are already profound consequences at play. Your loved one may already see profound negative life consequences directly related to their sexual behavior. These may include relationship losses, trouble at work or school, STDs/STIs, arrest, financial loss, public humiliation, and more. Similarly, as with other addictions, their behavior continues despite serious negative consequences.

Common signs of sex addiction include:

  • excessive sexual engagement
  • dangerous sexual practices
  • excessively viewing online pornography
  • illegal behavior, indecent communications
  • prostitution
  • secretive behavior
  • compulsive masturbation

Help IS Available

If your loved one appears to be struggling with sex addiction, an ARISE® Sex Addiction Intervention can be an effective way to get your loved one and your family the help they need. Our specialized Certified ARISE® Interventionists are here to help you and your loved one wherever they may be in their addiction. Your loved one does NOT have to reach “rock bottom” to before they can seek help.

ARISE® gets over 83% of individuals into treatment within three weeks, 96% into treatment within six months and 61% in recovery by the end of the year. Your Certified ARISE® Interventionist will help you select a treatment facility that serves those with sex addiction and fits the needs of your loved one.

Once your loved one enters treatment, your Certified ARISE® Interventionist will continue working with you and your family throughout a six-month period. He or she will work with your loved one, your family, the treatment facility, and other treating professionals to determine the appropriate next steps for the next phase of their recovery.

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Frequently Asked Questions

PLEASE NOTE: This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment to you or to any other individual. This site provides general information for educational purposes. The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care. ARISE® is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this site. If you are having a medical emergecy please call 911 or your physician.

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Q: Is sex addiction real?

A: There is often a debate about whether sex addiction is truly an addiction. Many experts prefer to refer to sex addiction as “hypersexual disorder” rather than sex addiction. Regardless of the name, the condition is described as someone who compulsively engages in sexual behaviors to the point that they are having negative consequences on themselves and their families.

Q: Why can’t the person control his or her sexual behavior?

A: Often someone suffering from sex addiction is driven by underlying problems such as stress, anxiety, loneliness, isolation, depression and/or a history of abuse/trauma. They use sexual behaviors as a self-soothing mechanism to pre-occupy their brains from these underlying problems.

Q: How do I know if I, my partner, or a loved one, is a sex addict?

A: Someone suffering from a sex addition may struggle to set healthy boundaries, they may stay in unhealthy relationships longer than they should for fear of being abandoned. Those with a sex addition may sexualize feelings of loneliness, guilt, shame and fear. Sex addiction likely has a negative impact on many areas of the afflicted individuals life, including but not limited to: a decline in personal relationships, decreased productivity at work, a decline in social life, a decline in family life, and physical consequences (i.e. sexual dysfunction, STDs or unwanted pregnancy).

Q: How much sex is “too much”?

A: There is no real set or definitive answer to how much sex is “too much”. It is a complicated question and the answer will vary depending on the individual and the situation. There is not set amount that qualifies someone as having a sex addiction. Sex addiction is determined by the quality of life, rather than the amount of sex. If the amount of sexual activity someone is participating in is causing negative consequences for themselves and others, there is a loss of control over their behaviors and there is a preoccupation with the actives to the point of obsession – then at this point someone may feel that they have reached “too much”.

Q: Can masturbation and pornography be a part of sex addiction?

A: Excessive consumption of porn and excessive masturbation are two aspects of sex addiction. While they may not apply to every person suffering from a sex addiction, for some people they may be the primary aspect of their addiction, or just one component.

Q: If I turn out to be a sex addict, why can’t I just take prescription medications to reduce my sex drive or compulsiveness??

A: Currently there is no medication or pill that exists to cure sexual compulsion or addiction, although there are many medications to treat underlying problems such as depression and anxiety. With proper support sex addiction can be effectively treated and managed. Treatment for sex addiction includes working with a skilled and qualified therapist, inpatient treatment centers, and support groups (such as Sex and Love Addictions Anonymous). A Certified ARISE® Interventionist can help your loved one and your family find the treatment solutions that best fit your needs.