Identifying Sex Addiction
When a person engages in compulsive sexual behaviors, which is well documented to have severe negative effects, then it is known as sex addiction. When it comes to sex addicts, they tend to have sexual fantasies and obsessions about people, situations, and even objects. When someone suffers from a problematic sexual disorder, it can lead to spending large sums of money and/or time pursuing this sexual and mental gratification. Sex addicts are found to get involved in promiscuous relationships with; escorts, strippers, people they meet on dating apps with the intent of intercourse, and sex-related activities to fulfill these fantasies and desires. This obsession becomes on a regular basis.
Healthy Sexuality vs. Risky Sexual Behavior
To determine whether the sexual behavior of a person is compulsive and problematic or not, it becomes extremely significant to understand its context. This is imperative because each and every person is unique, and for some people, the benchmark of healthy sexual behavior can be different, and for some people, those same benchmarks may become unhealthy. This is the same as drugs and alcohol, for some people, addiction to drugs and alcohol creates many adverse results, and for some, there are no problems caused by the consumption of drugs or alcohol.
According to multiple studies, it has been observed that the sexually addicted person feels similar effects after getting involved in sexual activities as that a drug addict or alcoholic feels after taking drugs or consuming alcohol. In case of any addiction, in the brain of the affected person, chemicals are released, pleasure sensors are stimulated, and create an increase in endorphins. Research shows according to which sexual addiction is also known as arousal addiction because of its impact on the brain of a person. The impact is parallel to the effects of amphetamines, compulsive gambling, cocaine, and other such behaviors. On the other hand, addiction to sedatives, alcohol, hypnotics, and food is known as satiation addiction.
Distorted and Irrational Effects of Sex Addiction
Sex addicts get involved in rationalizing, defending, distorted thinking, justifying their problematic behaviors, and in return, they blame other people for creating issues. They lie about having a serious issue, and then they give various excuses for their behavior. When a person succumbs to the trap of sex addiction, most of the time, it leads to a life of self-destruction. The damage can come in very different forms, manifesting itself into disorders like alcoholism, drug addiction, and other compulsivity-driven lifestyles.
The Comorbidity of Sex Addiction, Alcoholism, Drug Addiction and Mental Health
In most cases, addiction to sex and addiction to alcohol and drugs is very common, and they are usually present with one another. These addictions make each other comorbidity and disorder more destructive. Both of these have common detrimental effects on mental health and the individual’s personal and professional life. Mental health issues can include anxiety, depression, and feelings of isolation, etc.
Following are some of the disadvantages of living with these co-occurring addictions:
- Weakened immune system
- Increased risk of infection and illness
- Increased chances of heart diseases such as abnormal heart rates, collapsed veins, heart stroke, blood vessel infections
- Weight loss
- Change in appetite
- Liver failure or strain on the liver
- Mental confusion
- Brain damage
- Brain stroke
- Decision-making problems