There is a unique complexity to an addiction to sex and to this day many psychologists have difficulty determining if it is an obsessive-compulsive disorder or an addictive disorder. As of this point in time, there has not been any extensive research done into this condition, however, it does express the same processes that underlie most compulsive behaviours:
A strong tendency to engage in some form of pleasure-producing behaviour to regulate unwanted emotional states that can be painful and in some cases extremely overwhelming.
As is a common symptom of sexual behaviour and is common to almost all addictions is a problem with self-care and self-regulation. Achieving a sense of self-governance is a part of the treatment to sex addiction among others.
Many people are trapped in the never ending cycle that is their addiction with its loss of control, shame, distress and severe negative impacts on work, relationships, finances and self-esteem. Yet the pros seem to somehow outweigh the cons as they crave the irresistible sexual rush, regardless of the ever apparent consequences.
Treating sex addiction is far more effective when the addict is completely immersed and integrated in the programme. They will need a variety of counsellors and different methods to ensure they recover and as no two people are the same every programme must be unique and bespoke to the individual’s requirements.
If sex addiction is just the tip of the iceberg, then personal shortfalls, a self-defeatist attitude, trauma from past relationships with family and other, and personal conflicts they may not even be aware of must represent all that cannot be seen otherwise known as the bottom of the iceberg. There will be no freedom from their sexual addiction until all issues from the bottom of the iceberg have been effectively resolved.