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Sex Helps to Manage Anxiety

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Sex Helps to Manage Anxiety

But...its not the right way to do it!  What do I mean?

If you experience one or several of the many forms of anxiety such as social anxiety or general anxiety then you may have developed a coping mechanism.  This might be compulsive sex or porn use which helps to relieve anxiety through the production of extra doses of dopamine which act as a soothing medication.  So whilst you can cope just about with the anxiety using this method, you are doing two dangerous things.  Firsty, you are adding to you anxiety in the long-term because the compulsive behaviour will eventually be a source of anxiety and have a negatively reinforcing effect on your original anxiety issue.  Secondly, by turning to a dysfunctional coping mechanism (drink, drugs and gambling are other examples) you are avoiding the root cause of the anxiety allowing it to continue to wreak its debilitating consequences on you year after year.

Many clients I see come with sex and porn addiction issues as the main problem but often underlying these are things like anxiety, worry and stress which hide another layer, the original causes that give rise to anxiety etc.  First we work on stopping the addictive behaviours then we quickly move on to looking at the underlying causes of anxiety whch might be about low self confidence in social situations or relationships or re-living the scripts given to them by parents during the many years of growing up which are often creating irrational fears about the world, people and situations.

Looked at it in this was, a compulsive behaviour can be a signal that it is time to do something about the other things that have been bothering you for a long time.

 

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