Sex and Love Addiction

It wasn’t until roughly 1983 that love and sexual addictions were viewed as an actual, treatable, psychiatric problem. With more acceptance of these problems came more treatment options and understanding.

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Sex addiction and love addiction, while they are two different things, are both addictions that surround concerns of intimacy. Individuals who suffer from sex addiction search for specific sexual acts that help them feel good. It’s less about the person that the act is with, but about the act itself. Psychology Today define the following as some of the typical criteria for sex addiction:

  • Preoccupation with sexual behavior
  • Inordinate amounts of time spent in obtaining sex, being sexual, or recovering from sexual experiences
  • Distress, anxiety, restlessness, or irritability if unable to engage in the behavior.

Love addiction is less about sexual activities and more focused on the romantic interactions that trigger a feeling of intimacy and want. It’s about the need for flirtation and being wanted.

Psychology Today also looked at love addiction, and some of the criteria can include:

  • Unable to stop seeing a specific person even though you know that person is destructive to you.
  • Gets “high” from romance, fantasy, or intrigue
  • Feeling desperation or uneasiness when away from your lover or sexual partner

Both of these addictions are a type of chemical dependency in the brain. Satisfying compulsions or urges associated with these addictions releases chemicals in the pleasure center of the brain. Oxycotin, dopamine, and endorphins are all released in the brain after a sexual act or positive romantic encounter. Because of this, there becomes a need or compulsion to search out sex or search out romantic fantasies in order to fulfill the need for these “highs.”

Here at Treatment Partners of America, we can help treat both love and sex additions in order to help you find a more fulfilling and healthy lifestyle.

We treat underlying conditions, as well as the addiction that you are facing. Contact us today to learn more about your treatment options in Boca Raton today!