When a person experiences sexual addiction, they spend time thinking about or fantasizing about sex. These thoughts can become obsessive and interfere with their daily life activities. They may also develop a sexual urge that they can’t control and engage in behaviors they know are harmful or destructive, such as binge watching pornography.

The causes of sex addiction vary, but most of them are tied to trauma from childhood. The patterns of behavior exhibited by people with sex addiction often stem from attachment-related trauma, such as physical, emotional and sexual abuse or parental enmeshment (where parents derive all their happiness and self-worth from their children). A therapist who is certified in sexual addiction treatment, or CSAT, can help you identify the triggers for these negative patterns.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for sex addiction, especially in combination with psychosocial treatments like group therapy and support groups. CBT can help you identify the behavior triggers that can lead to addictive behavior, and replace them with prosocial and positive coping behaviors. Group therapy provides a supportive environment to share your experience and to learn from others. It can also be helpful to attend a recovery program that focuses on sex addiction. Programs like Sex Addicts Anonymous follow the same recovery model as Alcoholics Anonymous, but focus on addressing issues related to sexual addiction.

Recovery from sex addiction takes time. Be patient, and keep your focus on healing and repairing damaged relationships, as well as your finances and physical health.

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