When we speak about addictions, we generally think of substance abuse and drug addiction. Currently experts recognize process addictions including gambling, gaming, video, and shopping. However, there is an often ignored and rarely acknowledged form of addiction that can destroy lives and relationships and is often rooted in severe trauma that can make it difficult to escape. Sex and love addiction are not always acknowledged or understood as maladaptive trauma responses . While acknowledged by many professionals, sex and love addiction are commonly understood by mainstream media. Love, Sex and Addiction
There are two main types of this form of addiction, love and sex. Classic signs of sex addiction include an attachment to specific forms of sex or sexual encounters. People suffering from this type of addiction will be preoccupied with sex, and may spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about, planning, and acting out sexually in spite of telling themselves they will not. Often this is accompanied by distress and anxiety as well as a deep sense of shame. Love addicts tend to focus upon emotional experiences and develop codependent relationships . They may become addicted to falling in love or seeing a certain person, even if that relationship is destructive or abusive. They may move from relationship to relationship, and there may be a sense of desperation or anxiety when the loved object is absent. These addictions cause harmful consequences and may effect other main areas of their lives and their functioning.
The Roots of This Addiction
Although the nature of the addiction may vary, there are certain commonalities such as difficulty establishing or maintaining healthy relationships . Both of these are problems related to intimacy and attachment. Stemming from developmental trauma sex and love addiction may be present with other other mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety.
Treating Addiction with Therapy
At Trauma and Beyond Center, we believe that the root source of these addictions is childhood trauma and attachment wounds. Working with our patients, we help them to understand the effects of trauma, and learn new ways of coping with their needs for connection and intimacy. Using a gentle approach our 3 phase model of trauma treatment includes stabilization, reprocessing, and re connection. To start therapy today, contact us online or by calling (818) 351-3511 now.