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What is wrong with you?


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What is wrong with you?

So you believe you may be a sex and/or porn addict. But it is difficult to own up to this and seek help? Perhaps because you feel that there is something wrong with you?

There isn't! 

You are not mad or weird and you don't have a sex drive that's out of control.  Medically sex addiction is classed as a mental disorder - not an illness as such. Acting out with sex and porn is a symptom of the mental disorder.  Usually, the disorder is largely about a dependency on unhealthy behaviours. This dependency has come about due to a need for relief from other underlying factors such as stress, anxiety, isolation and low self-esteem amongst many others

I can say this with confidence because I know from working with many sex addiction and porn addiction clients that beneath the sexually-focused behaviours there is at least one and often several other significant things going on.

What is actually he matter with you is NOT that you are compulsive about sex and porn but that you have a need for a coping strategy from something else.  This is probably the most commonly accepted explanation for addictive behaviours.  The key to full-term recovery is finding out what that need is about. 

In the same way that other complusives turn to gambling, over-eating or spending, you are using sexual activities and pornography to self-medicate some issues which reside in your past or because you are struggling with something in the present, such as work stress or relationship difficulties.

Here are some examples of how this works.  A common underlying difficullty that my mostly male clients bring is an inability to moderate very high expectations they, often compulsively, strive towards. Such a drive for achievement eventually takes its toll, often giving rise to stress and anxiety about not meeting those magnified standards - fertile ground for compulsive behaviours.

The inability to talk through problems, which is exascerbated when they relate to conventionally taboo subjects such as feelings, sex, a sense of failure and so on creates a secret and anonymous environment where the behaviours can escalate and take roots.

A second example of a more present-day nature is not having mechanisms to deal with daily pressures of family life and work. Stess builds and ultimately needs a vent as in the above example.  Sex and porn seem like a helpful escape or self-soother initially but eventually become compulsive as the brain becomes de-sensitised to the positive benefits and pushes for more to achieve the same effect (this explains the high sex-drive idea ie the brain has elevated the role of sex in a compulsive's life to meet the desired level of self-medicinal potency).  This explains why sex and porn compulsives take risks which they would never do when in a rational state of mind.

So this is what is the matter with you!  You are struggling with something in a dysfunctional way.  This is a normal and natural form of self-protection.  It gets outside the 'norm' when serious negative consequences are experienced and yet the compulsion still goes on.

What would therefore be weird and mad is NOT to take action before you or someone close to you gets harmed or pushed away for good.

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