Last week I wrote about sex addiction and some of the signs that could indicate you are struggling with it. Like any mental health issue, there’s a continuum with regards to symptoms and diagnosis. You might have read a few of the points I presented and thought, that sounds a bit like me, but I’m not too far gone. In truth, we probably all show signs of sex addiction at some points in our lives. It’s up to you to decide how comfortable you are with the degree to which sex influences your life. If you find it’s having a damaging impact on your health and relationships it might be time to make some changes. Here’s a few suggestions.
See a Therapist
Sometimes sex addiction can be the outcome of a larger issue related to low self-esteem. You might be craving huge amounts of physical intimacy because you feel horrible about yourself and your life and want to fill the void with some kind of pleasurable connection. A therapist can help you tease apart the reasons for your addiction, be it loneliness, self-loathing or something else. Going to therapy can provide you with lots of resources to help you feel better about yourself and by extension, rely less on other people to make you feel good.
Avoid Your Triggers
What are some of the things that make you engage in sexual behaviours that you feel are damaging to you? Is there a particular person (or people) who you just can’t resist fucking and who enable your addiction? Remove their contact info from your phone. Is there’s a certain bar or club that you fall back on as a place to meet hookups? Stop going there. Think about all the rituals you keep for the purpose of getting laid, and try to limit them so that you’ll feel less tempted to fall back into unhealthy patterns of behaviour.
Find another Physical Outlet
Another good way of keeping yourself focused on overcoming your addiction is to find an activity that will keep your body occupied and give it an alternate way to expend energy. Try taking up a sport or start an exercise program. An additional benefit to being more active is the positive impact that exercise has on your brain. Being active helps to combat depression, which may be a contributing factor in the resiliency of your addiction. The better and more hopeful you feel about life, the less likely you are to use sex as a reward.
Join a Support Group
Sometimes it can really help to surround yourself with people who know exactly what you’re going through. There are lots of people who feel they are addicted to sex and want to make a change. Having regular meetings about it with people who are supportive and non-judgemental can be a really effective course of action, especially if you’re craving a connection with people. Support groups are a great way to learn how to be accountable for your actions and to develop compassion for yourself and others. Knowing you’re not alone is an important aspect of the healing process, so don’t be afraid to seek the help you need.
Also read: Are You a Sex Addict?