Worldwide, millions of people struggle with sexual addiction. Sexual addiction is an intense focus on sexual fantasies, urges, or activities that can’t be controlled and causes distress or harm to your health, relationships, profession, or other aspects of your life. It is difficult to recover from sexual addiction. The Road to Recovery from Sexual Addiction is a guide with steps for sexual addiction developed for the many men and women seeking recovery from addictive and, in many cases, destructive sexual behaviors.
Initiating Recovery from Sexual Addiction: First Steps
The journey of the sexual addiction recovery process can be both challenging and rewarding. Taking the first step is always difficult, but the courageous decision to regain control over your life deserves praise. Overcoming sexual addictions requires a comprehensive strategy and support along the way. It’s important to realize that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but strength and self-awareness. The first tip to overcome sexual addiction is to admit that you have an issue.
One of the first and most essential steps for overcoming sex addiction is acknowledging the issue and accepting responsibility for one’s actions. Once you admit you have a problem, you take the first step towards breaking free from sexual addiction, and your journey to heal and recover begins. Admitting your issue makes you aware of your problem, and you are more likely to take steps to fix it. You won’t likely take action to solve a problem if you don’t believe you have one. Taking the first step is something to be proud of.
The next step is to choose the type of treatment you desire. Through the course of recovery, consulting with certified sexual addiction therapists (CSATs) or organizations that specialize in sexual addiction can be quite helpful for recovery from sexual addiction. These experts can provide you with specific techniques for overcoming sexual addiction. There are numerous viable therapy options, such as individual and group counseling, 12-step programs, holistic therapy, and pharmaceuticals. In addition to therapy, many people find success using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) strategies. CBT helps you recognize destructive thoughts and actions that lead to addiction and replace them with constructive ones.
How to Overcome Sexual Addiction – More Steps
After following the first steps mentioned above, you can not just sit back, hoping you will overcome sex addiction. Recovery will take time, and the above mention steps are just starting the process of the journey toward overcoming sexual addictions. Following are the steps and tips which will help you further in the journey:
Put Shame or Embarrassment Aside
Many people, including sexual addicts, desire to overcome their sexual habits, yet often face embarrassment when considering therapy and treatment. It is important to put your shame or embarrassment aside, unless you do this, you will not be able to express yourself completely about your problem to the therapist. Always remember that the therapist is there to help you. And for that, they need to know about your problem in detail. They are not there to judge you.
Think of Therapy like any other form of treatment, including mental health. For example, when you are suffering from an illness, you will visit a doctor at that time. You probably won’t feel ashamed; you do your treatment, same goes for therapy too. If you are still struggling because you feel ashamed, find a therapist you feel comfortable with and you can trust.
Discover the value of individual therapy in your journey to overcome sexual addiction. Explore more about this effective approach in our article on What Is Individual Therapy.
Seeking Support from Loved Ones
Creating a support system is another essential step in recovery from sexual addiction. Having supportive friends, family, or other recovering people close by can offer inspiration, responsibility, and empathy when times are tough. The journey to stop your sex addiction can make you feel lonely. You might miss the physical closeness with your people. It is always essential to spend time with the loved one. This will help you to remember why you are quitting and motivate you to stop.
If you do not have any loved ones who understand sex addiction or they are angry with you, then try to find people who can understand. You can join a support group for people with sex addictions. It is always a good idea to connect with another patient. This will make you feel you are not alone in the problem, making it easy to share. You can find these support groups either online or you can also ask your doctor for recommendations. Never spend time with negative people who do not understand your problem. It’s always a good idea to avoid them.
Self-Reflecting on Sex Addiction
Note down all the harmful effects caused by sex addiction in your life. Write done how sex addiction has impacted your mental and physical health, including any potential mental disorders. Think about all the negative changes in you, like what areas of your life are affected most by sex addiction, and journal all this. This is the best method for personal recovery. Journaling about your sex addiction will help you to realize all the negativity caused by sex addiction in your life, which will give you extra motivation for sexual addiction recovery.
Also, list out all the positive changes you want to make, how you want to see yourself, and how you want your life to look once you’ve overcome the challenges as an addict. Make a list about what are the positive changes that will come in your life after you gain control over your sex addiction. And also, make a separate list of reasons why you are fighting your addiction. This will remind you of situations when you feel doubtful.
Set proper timed goals that can be achievable and guide your actions. Include objectives like attending therapy or joining a support group. Choose the appropriate time for your therapy sessions, joining a support group.
Stopping Addiction-Producing Behavior
Make a committed effort towards your sexual addiction recovery by avoiding the triggers thoughts of sex. Remove each and every item, such as pornographic pictures, videos, and any of those small things that trigger you for sex. Delete all the porn videos from your smartphone and computer, and clear the history and bookmarks of all the pornographic sites you visit. You can also use internet filters to block those pornographic sites, also delete your sexual partner’s phone contacts. Stay away from people and places that trigger addictive behavior, such as red-light districts and sex shops. If your friends want to go to such a place, convince them to go elsewhere.
Here take a look at Sex Withdrawal symptoms.
Work Toward a Healthy Lifestyle and Relationship
A healthy lifestyle will always keep you away from addiction. To live a healthy lifestyle, you have to follow proper discipline. This will help you to stay away from your bad addiction. Try healthy activities like going to the gym, eating healthy food, taking art classes, and taking music lessons. Also, you can do yoga which will reduce your stress level. These activities will keep your brain engaged and focused and help you in achieving your goal of sexual addiction recovery.
For a healthy relationship, first try to work towards repairing relationships that need to be fixed, invest in the people around you, and give proper time and attention to your people, particularly if you’re among sex addicts. Overcoming sexual addictions doesn’t mean you can never have sex. It simply means you are in charge of your sexual behavior. You will not let compulsive behavior control you. You have to learn a healthy way to integrate sex into your overall life that makes you feel happy instead of guilty or ashamed. Such as, Instead of having one-night stands or watching porn, it’s fine to have sex with an intimate partner. One-night stands or watching porn could easily return your addiction and could ruin your goal for sexual addiction recovery.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From Sex Addiction
If you wonder how long it takes to recover from sexual addiction, remember that the time frame might differ. However, on average, it might typically take a few months to a few years to achieve significant progress and maintain a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle. It’s important to know that there is no set period for sexual addiction recovery because each person’s road to overcoming sex addiction is different, and it is dependent on various elements, including the severity of the addiction, the willingness to seek help, and the commitment to making positive changes.
You can take help from a therapist to achieve your ultimate goal of recovery from sexual addiction. We are here for you as we wish to support you on your journey.
Can sex addicts recover
Yes, they can. Sex addicts can recover with the proper treatment and support. Sex addiction is one of the toughest addictions to overcome. People who have this addiction might have a really tough time getting better. It can take a long time, like several years of therapy and trying other different things to change.