Sex and Love Addiction
Thanks to a few high-profile cases, you are no doubt familiar with the concept of sex addiction. Someone who is addicted to sex has a massive craving for arousal, which they often prioritize above intimacy and love. Sex addiction can come about as a coping mechanism for anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, and other issues. However, did you know that there is such a thing as love addiction, too? To understand the two, how they differ, how they are similar, and how they can affect someone’s life, we’ll first define each of them and then discuss their effects and your options for treatment.
What Is Sex Addiction?
For some people, sex addiction is equivalent to arousal addiction, and for others it’s closer to addiction to sexual attention. If you have a sex addiction, you will constantly look for new sexual partners or sexual attention from others. Instead of taking the time to become truly intimate with others, you will move from one partner to another.
What Is Love Addiction?
Instead of going from one partner to another, constantly seeking the thrill of arousal and attention that drives a sex addict, a love addict will focus all of their energy and efforts on one person – the object of their love. Love addicts feel a combination of fear of rejection and desperate longing. They will often wish, hope, and wait for love, but they’ll neglect themselves and their other relationships in the process.
Different Behaviors – Similar Drives
A sex addict will often lose control over their sexual behavior and compulsively seek out new partners, use pornography, engage in cyber sex, and/or use prostitutes or escorts to get their fix. On the other hand, a love addict may lose themselves in fantasy, seek out intimacy with the wrong people, look for validation in others, and may even stalk the object of their affection.
While these behaviors differ, both are usually driven by the fear of rejection, anxiety, and/or depression. Unconsciously, the love addict and the sex addict are both behaving in ways that will keep them from ever getting truly intimate with someone. Because they lose themselves in their addictive behavior, they never open themselves up to the risk of rejection, and so they’ll never have to face that fear.
The Dangers of Sex and Love Addiction
Both sex and love addiction can be dangerous to your health and your relationships with others. Both sex and love addicts tend to neglect their own care, health, and safety, including engaging in risky sexual behavior with people they don’t know well.
If you believe that you may have a sex or love addiction, help is available. Many sex and love addicts do not need residential rehabilitative care, but outpatient care is often a good idea. Furthermore, ongoing aftercare through support groups and individual counseling can help you develop better coping skills and learn to open yourself up to real intimacy in the future. Contact The Care Centers today and find a mental health facility near you where you can get help for your sex or love addiction.
Tags: Mental Health