Sex addiction, or hypersexual disorder, refers to self-control difficulties with sexual acts. This involves excessive and persistent sexual behaviors that involve impulsivity and a loss of control. These behaviors can result in an uncontrollable desire to engage in sexual acts or thoughts. Extreme preoccupation with sex can negatively impact the quality of one’s life.
An individual may engage in various sexual behaviors, including compulsive masturbation, pornography, or ritualistic sexual acts. One may be overly consumed by thoughts and images related to sex and find difficulty maintaining intimacy with others. Relationships with loved ones often become damaged. Feelings of guilt and shame frequently accompany sex addiction. It is estimated that nearly 12 million people in the United States struggle with sexual compulsions.
Pornography addiction (porn addiction) often occurs in those with a sexual compulsion. Individuals may be consumed with viewing sexually erotic images for hours. Frequently, the intensity of these images escalates or internet relationships are established to satisfy the desire. For some men, this may even lead to porn-induced erectile dysfunction.
Sex addiction is a complex disorder involving the mind and body, as well as environmental influences. Genetic makeup may predispose an individual to engage in impulse and reward-seeking behavior, which is common in those with sex addiction. Sexual compulsion also involves brain physiology, specifically that related to motivation, learning, and behavior. Lastly, childhood experiences and social environment may influence the development of sex addiction. Understanding and identifying the triggers of sex addiction is an important aspect of treatment. Other mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, accompany sex addiction. These issues must be addressed for successful treatment.
Hypersexual Disorder Treatment and Porn Addiction Treatment
Dr. Mazzei’s philosophy is to work collaboratively with you to develop customized and confidential treatment. She aims to create a non-judgmental and supportive space to explore your issues and create positive changes. Engaging in psychotherapy with an addiction counselor has been shown to be an effective treatment for sexual compulsions and porn addiction. The goal of psychotherapy is to help you identify the causes of your struggle, develop the necessary skills to cope with sexual self-control issues and other mental health concerns, establish relapse prevention strategies, and foster positive life changes. Participating in therapy helps facilitate appropriate changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior and can help to treat the devastating effects of sex addiction and pornography addiction. Dr. Mazzei also incorporates lifestyle guidance, so you not only overcome your compulsions but can also go on to lead a healthy life.
Treatment components may include:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a form of psychotherapy that includes a range of therapy techniques to facilitate positive changes in thinking, feeling, and behaving. Addressing triggers, thinking, and behavioral patterns helps you overcome your trouble controlling sexual desires. Relapse prevention includes recognizing the feelings, thoughts, and situations that lead to a relapse.
- Couple’s Counseling/Marital Therapy: Relationship conflict is common when you are struggling with sexual self-control. Resentment, avoidance, jealousy, and betrayal are just some problems that couples/partners experience. Couples therapy can help heal relationships by improving understanding and communication.
- Lifestyle Guidance: Eating nutritious foods, getting quality sleep, and exercising are just some of the activities that are important to incorporate into your life as you heal. Participating in adaptive pleasurable activities will help to improve your mood and make any feelings of withdrawal more tolerable.
- Group Counseling or Support Groups: Talking with other individuals who have experienced similar issues with sexual self-control may be helpful in your recovery. Group counseling and support groups provide you a safe space to receive encouragement and advice from people who can relate to your situation.
How Dr. Mazzei Can Help
If you are suffering from sexual self-control issues, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how Dr. Mazzei can help you, follow these simple steps:
- Text today at (480) 448-6755 or e-mail us for a consultation
- Or, you can book directly online with Dr. Mazzei
- Begin your journey towards a fulfilling and healthier life
Dr. Mazzei offers both in-person and online sex and porn addiction treatment for residents of Arizona, Illinois, Tennessee, and from PSYPACT states. Her private practice is located at 3377 S. Price Rd., Suite 2104, Chandler, AZ.