Yes, sometimes the card is over-played and used as an excuse, but it's a real disorder. And yes, sex addiction can be destructive to relationships as compulsive substance abuse (drug addiction). The high hinges on physical or psychological arousal, and relationships can be marked by desperation. Love addicts go through life with desperate hopes and constant fears. Fearing rejection, pain, unfamiliar experiences, and having little faith in their ability or right to inspire love, they wait and wish for love, perhaps their least familiar real experience. The sex addict follows a routine or ritual leading to acting out on desires, and is then fraught by feelings of denial then shame, despair, and confusion.
Sex addiction is like most other compulsive behaviors: a destructive twist on a normal life-enhancing activity. Defining sex addiction depends less on the behavior itself than on the person's motivation. Sex addicts lack the ability to control or postpone sexual feelings and actions, with the need for arousal often replacing the need for intimacy. Eventually, thrill seeking becomes more important than family, career, even personal health and safety.
Addiction is characterized by the repeated, compulsive seeking or use of a substance or activity despite negative social, psychological and/or physical consequences. It is often (but not always) accompanied by physical dependence, withdrawal syndrome and tolerance. Withdrawal consists of a predictable group of signs resulting from abrupt removal of, or a rapid decrease in the dosage of, a psychoactive substance or activity. The syndrome is often characterized by over activity of the physiologic functions that were suppressed by the drug and/or depression of the functions that were stimulated by the object of addiction.
Signs of Sex & Love Addiction
Signs of Sex Addiction
•Preoccupation: continual fantasies about sexual prospects or situations, which can trigger episodes of sexual "acting-out"
•Ritualization: a preferred sexual activity or situation is often stereotyped and repetitive
•Compulsion: continual engagement in sexual activity despite negative consequences and desire to stop
•Despair: guilt or shame over inability to control behavior or feel remorse
•Other behavioral problems, particularly chemical dependency and eating disorders
Signs of Love Addiction
•Is all consuming and obsessive
•Avoids risk or change
•Lacks true intimacy
•Is manipulative, strikes deals
•Is dependent and parasitic
•Demands the loved one's devotion
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