Many people living with sex and love addiction find it difficult to define their addiction, which in turn makes it almost impossible to accept it and look to a healthier, happier future. Having a high sex drive, looking at porn or having lots of different sexual partners does not make you a sex addict.
Problems occur when your sexual activity feels out of control and could end in harm to you, your partner or family. For love addiction, issues may manifest as low self-esteem, loss of identity, depression and anxiety.

Ultimately, these addictions are not defined by sex and love themselves but by the potential negative impact on your quality of life (and your loved ones).

If you’re worried that you’re addicted to sex and/or love, it’s important to get help as soon as you can. They are genuine addictions that can lead to intense feelings of despair, hopelessness and helplessness. Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand with sex and love addiction, as do co-occurring addictions such as alcohol and drugs.

Understanding symptoms

Like all addictions, it’s often easier to brush the signs of sex and love addiction under the carpet. But being aware of the symptoms is an effective way to begin to accept your sex and love addiction and get the support you need.

Signs of sex addiction can include:
• Feeling that your behaviour is out of control and that you can’t stop
• Taking considerable risks with sexual activities that could lead to serious consequences
• Needing more and more of the sexual activity to feel ‘high’
• Mood swings, shame and depression
• Spending increasing amounts of time planning and engaging in the activity
• Neglecting work, family and social life

Love addiction is extremely complicated and can vary a great deal from one person to the next. But controlling and obsessive behaviours are common, and symptoms can include:
• Falling into destructive relationships over and over again
• Falling in love with people who are unattainable or not interested
• Rushing into relationships without getting to know the other person
• Feeling frightened of being single
• Needing constant approval and reassurance from your partner
• Demanding; suffocating and smothering behaviour
• Constantly putting your partner’s needs first
• Tolerating destructive behaviours in your partner

A way forward for sex and love addiction

Although there’s potential for sex and love addiction to spiral out of control, it’s not inevitable. If you find help it is possible to recover and make a new start. From London-based recovery centres to executive rehabilitation centres, there are experts out there who can help you get your life back on track. Even if your addiction seems completely out of control, it’s important to understand that the situation is not hopeless.

Treating sex and love addiction at Step One Recovery

At Step One Recovery, we’ve treated many of our clients for sex and love addiction. Our treatment programme is based on AA’s renowned 12 steps, but importantly it’s also completely tailored to each of our clients.

From the moment you make your first call to Step One Recovery, you can be certain you’re in safe hands. Our expert team will talk through your concerns and organise a seamless transfer to our recovery centre if you decide that’s right for you. Once you arrive at our recovery centre, your treatment team will devise a bespoke treatment programme that includes a range of therapies to help you make positive associations with sex. Your treatment doesn’t mean that you’ll need to give sex up forever – instead, you’ll have a healthier approach and attitude towards sex.

Putting the past behind you

Historical reasons are often at the heart of sex and love addiction. Your psychologist and counsellors will work you to help you resolve any issues so you can move on to a happier future. Treatment at Step One Recovery is holistic and we’re highly experienced in treating any co-occurring conditions such as anxiety, depression, and alcoholism and drug addiction.