I was wrong on this one. I used to think that Sex Addiction was just something that people told their wives when they were caught cheating. “No it’s not me its the disease”. Or it was a value judgement that killjoys put on anyone whose sex-life was better than their own. I now throw my hands up on the air and admit I was wrong. I’m a believer, Sex addiction is real, its easy to get into and its thriving. Let me break it down for you.
The nature of addictions
To understand any mental illness you have to appreciate one thing – what you are looking at is not the issue – its the body/psyches answer to the real issue. It’s a coping mechanism, a way of managing feelings like depression or anxiety. Addictions however have a life of their own because the substance or activity to which we are addicted gives us a fresh problem.
Here are the classical addictive substances, Tobacco, Alcohol, Opiates (Heroin and a plethora of derivatives) and Coffee. Few people come to therapy with a bad coffee problem but its classified as an addictive substance.
Russell Brand described Heroin as “A bit Moorish” and that a perfect description because all these substances are very pleasurable but as time goes on you need more and more to give you that original hit.
These are substances that are addictive but there are also activities that are addictive. Eating can become addictive – you develop what is politely called a ‘disorder’. I resist that word because we are now on my territory. I am at least two stone overweight and I am preter diabetic and I still can’t keep my face out of the fridge. I will write about that in another piece.
Well Sex addiction is similar to having an eating disorder because its an an addiction to an activity rather than a substance.