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A way to understand sexual addicts is compare them to other types of addicts. Alcoholics have a pathological relation with a mood-altering substance. The alcoholics relationship with alcohol becomes more important than family, friends, and work.
Sexual addiction is parallel. The addict substitutes a sick relationship to an event or process for a healthy relationship with others. The addicts relationship with with this mood-altering experience becomes an integral part of his life.
The Addiction Cycle
Preoccupation- the trance or mood wherein the addicts' mindsare completely engrossed with thoughts of sex.
Ritualization - the addicts' own routines that lead up to sexual behavior.
Compulsive sexual behavior - the actual sexual act. Sexual addicts are unable to control or stop this behavior.
Despair- the feeling of utter hopelessness addicts have about theirbehavior and their powerlessness.
The Struggle is Real
Approximately 6-10 million men and women suffer an addiction to pornography or other sexual addictions. The Internet has made it much easier for individuals to anonymously obtain addictive pornography.
How does someone known if they are addicted to sex? The main indication is whether a person is using sex to medicate feelings of anxiety, pain, loneliness, stress, or disappointment. Instead of facing pain, a sex addict develops a pattern of numbing himself with false images of being accepted, affirmed, or receiving affection.