Sex and Love Addiction
Sex and love may be addictive to the point that relationships are affected as well as careers and finances destroyed.
The reward area of the brain works the same regardless of the addiction. When an addict engages in the behavior, whether drinking, drugging or sexually, the brain processes the good feeling and shouts out for more.
The cycle of addiction is the same too. One thinks about getting high, having sex, falling in love, to the extent of the thought turning into a mental obsession. Eventually the obsession initiates a behavior that is ritualistic in nature. Then the act occurs and instantly the addict feels better, temporarily. Next come feelings of guilt, shame and remorse for a period of time until one thinks about doing it again and the cycle starts over.
For a sex addict, arousal and instant pleasure are the driving forces rather than intimacy. For a love addict, the chase and “falling in love” replace a healthy long-term relationship.
Often a sex addict is in a committed relationship. When he/she gets caught, they often say: “It didn’t mean anything.” And often it doesn’t.
Many sex addicts and love addicts have a co-occurring mood disorder. Their impulsivity occurs in a manic state. Which occurs first is a mystery; however, mood disorders must be treated for successful treatment of a sex or love addiction.
Like any addiction, it gets worse, never better. The addict needs more and more to satisfy his/her obsession. Whether its greater intensity or greater frequency or both, it will always get worse and lead to incarceration and/or death.
Arrowhead Lodge has helped many men begin or restart their recovery from sex and/or love addiction.