The media frequently headlines stories of high-profile individuals who have been involved in sexual indiscretions. This is not a new phenomenon but has occurred for centuries. These situations are not limited merely to the rich and famous but actually occur with people from all walks of life.
Many things remain the same over time. What has changed over the years, however, is the role that technology plays in our lives. Every possible detail of inappropriate sexual liaisons are broadcast– sometimes even before a confession or charges are laid. We hear more than we want or need to hear faster than we can even imagine on our televisions, radios, smart phones or through a myriad of other technical devices that we own.
Besides telling us about what others are doing, the internet also provides a variety of ways that we can get into trouble sexually. Those who go on-line with sexual addiction problems find that they are accelerated. Chat rooms, dating sites and prostitution services are readily available and pornography can not only be observed but also can lead to off-line encounters. Occasional use can move to regular use and then to full-fledged addiction all in a matter of weeks!
Sometimes what starts out as a seemingly positive thing can led to negative consequences. A person who is lonely or hurting, for example, might turn to the internet to find peace or to escape from problems and lack of intimacy in their personal lives. They experience temporary relief but, over time their need for fantasy, ritualization and sex increase. Time, money and effort are required to meet these increasing needs and, as a result other responsibilities are neglected.
Sexual addiction involves compulsive behaviours that don’t bring long-term satisfaction. Shame, self-loathing, broken relationships, suicidal thoughts and secrecy can fill a life that quickly becomes unmanageable. Unfortunately, denial often prevents the person from getting help.
It isn’t just the addict who suffers. Family members also face significant loses, isolation and sadness. Sometimes they even enable the addict by hiding the truth from themselves and the world.
Sexual addiction is an embarrassing situation that people are usually embarrassed and reluctant to talk about. Despite serious efforts to stop the behaviours, the cycle continues and unanswered questions remain unanswered. It’s not your fault unless you don’t do anything about it.
Perhaps you wondering if you are a sex addict or are involved with a sex addict. You can learn more about this and find simple, confidential assessment tools at www.sexualaddict.ca
And here’s the good news! You don’t have to keep trying to conquer this on your own without achieving long-term success. There are professionals available who have specialized training in this field. They understand what you are going through and can offer you effective state-of-the art treatment that works.
Don’t hesitate. It’s time to deal with the issue that is haunting you and take back your life!
Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email firstname.lastname@example.org