Sex and Love Addiction

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Sex and love addictions are classed as process or behavioural disorders. As with any addiction the patterns of behaviour are compulsive and out of control and continue time and time again despite there being negative consequences. Sex and love addicts seek out emotional and physical fulfilment from others, even when it its hurtful or even dangerous to them. With any addiction the behaviours and thoughts get progressively worse, eventually leading to the loss of relationships, finances or even their profession.

Addicts will carry on even with the risk of losing something they value in life. All addicts have underlying emotional problems and/or have suffered from trauma. Nearly all of them experience a lack of self-esteem and lack of self-love. Sex and love addicts have learned to escape painful emotions such as shame, fear, depression and anxiety with the intense rush of sex, love or romantic fantasy. Sex and love addiction is not about physical intimacy or romance but is all about finding a way to control painful and difficult emotions.  The persistent need and pursuit of a sexual or romantic “high” often gets in the way of any authentic intimacy with other people and can leave the addict feeling very lonely. Although sex and love are two separate behavioural addictions, they have several similar overlapping characteristics and some individuals suffer from both addictions concurrently.

Sex Addiction is typically characterized by the compulsive need for and obsession with the sexual act. This could involve sex with multiple partners, sex with prostitutes or sex in risky situations.  This can be combined with excessive masturbation and/or use of pornography.

Often the sex addict doesn’t need to feel any emotional connection and they are cold and aloof with sexual partners, merely using them to obtain gratification.
Any relationships they are able to form will be put under enormous strain as their constant and overwhelming need for the sexual act comes before anything else, leading to infidelity and lies.

Love Addiction is the compulsion to be loved. Love addicts will stay in toxic or abusive relationships because this is preferable to them than being alone. Love addicts can become obsessive about their partners, often displaying excessive neediness or control in a relationship, becoming overly jealous or unreasonable in their demands for time and affection.

Some love addicts crave the feelings often found in the early stages of a new relationship and will have lots of intense brief relationships attempting to satisfy their need.


Symptoms of Sex Addiction - Sex Addiction Problems, Rehab & Addiction Treatment Centre in Spain
Symptoms of Sex Addiction

  • Being obsessed with sex and sexual experiences
  • An unhealthy amount of time spent on obtaining sex, being sexual, or recovering from sexual experiences
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Excessive masturbation and/or pornographys
  • Engaging in risky sexual behaviour, visiting prostitutes or taking part in voyeurism
  • A continued increase in the intensity, frequency, number or risk level of sexual behaviours required to achieve the desired effect
  • Distress, anxiety, restlessness, or irritability if prevented from abstaining, reducing or trying to control sexual behaviour

Symptoms of Love Addiction - Love Addiction Problems, Rehab & Addiction Treatment Centre in Spain
Symptoms of Love Addiction

  • Being obsessed or overly needy in a relationship
  • Staying in a relationship that is toxic or destructive
  • Continuing in or returning to a damaging or abusive relationship
  • Craving attention from lots of short-lived intense relationships, and constantly repeating the behaviour
  • Getting "high" from romance, fantasy or intrigue
  • Placing personal value in being in a relationship

Treatment for Sex & Love Addiction
At Phoenix Programmes we understand that every client is different, and their illness needs individualised treatment and care. An enormous part of recovery for sex and love addicts is establishing healthy boundaries. As well as working with the client on the underlying emotions behind their addiction we give them a set of tools to deal with life going forward.
Following a detailed consultation with our specialist’s our clients will be given a complete plan of our recommended course of treatment.

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