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With the disgrace of Hollywood sex scandals and the Me Too movement that has transpired over the last few years, sex addiction has been brought to the forefront by the media. Sex addiction, however, is much deeper than just wanting to gain pleasure through sexual activity. Sex addiction is considered a legitimate mental illness. 

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in the DSM-III-R defines sexual addiction as “distress about a pattern of repeated sexual conquests or other forms of nonparaphilic sexual addiction (NPSAs), involving a succession of people who exist only as things to be used.” The characterization of NPSA is “repetitive sexual thoughts and behaviors” with higher levels of sexual arousal associated with their thoughts and a higher degree of sexual pleasure from performing compulsive behaviors. 

How Does Trauma Fit Into Sexual Addiction? 

Many people who suffer from sex addiction may have been involved in developmental trauma that happened as children. They could have endured sexual abuse, had a lack of guidance regarding sex in their adolescence, had early access to sex during puberty, or had environmental issues of abandonment. These dysfunctional scenarios can generate sexual addiction during the developmental years that can carry on for years to come. Self-destructive behaviors occur because a person struggling with sex addiction may not have any self-respect or self-worth to care about others. Sexual behaviors are a way to numb the traumatic past instead of repeatedly relieving the pain. 

How Does Recovery Fit Into Sexual Addiction?

For someone to recover from sex addiction, healing from the past must begin to happen. There are treatment centers for sex addiction and trauma, as well as therapeutic modalities that can identify impulses and triggers associated with your trauma. Individual and group therapy can be instrumental in addressing challenges and gaining support to find ways to cope without using sex as an outlet. Instead of engaging in risky behaviors and putting themselves, or others, in unsafe circumstances, they can learn about their addiction and deal with the shame and guilt ongoing. Sexual addiction can be about having control over others, but in recovery, they can find knowledge is a better way to gain power for a healthier perspective in life. 

With recovery from trauma and sex addiction as a priority, an individual can find freedom from destructive behaviors by dealing with the triggers and impulses through therapeutic measures. The goal is to find the self-worth and self-respect that is lacking to help overcome the obstacles of addiction and move towards a means to recover.


At The Guest House Ocala, we offer residential treatment programs specialized for the care of traumas, addictions, and related mental health issues. Call us today for information on our trauma treatment programs and our concierge-style customization for every guest at (855) 483-7800.