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Sexual Addiction: Facts and Fallacies

Sexual Addiction: Facts and Fallacies

As someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) I try to spread the message that even practicing psychologists are often woefully misinformed about DID, and that until you’ve heard from the experts in the field of trauma and dissociation your opinions of the disorder are very likely based in misconceptions perpetuated by movies and word of mouth. So it’s with humility and a little embarrassment that I admit to having come to erroneous conclusions about sexual addiction and sex addicts without the data to back them up. Fallacies about any mental health issue foster in the absence of accurate information. But sexual addiction facts come from educated, experienced experts – not  entertainment media and anecdote.

robert_weiss2A Sexual Addiction Expert Weighs In

We were very fortunate to have Robert Weiss join us last week on the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show. In a field with very few recognized experts, Mr. Weiss is an acknowledged professional in the assessment and treatment of persons with addictive sexual disorders and sexual offending. He’s the Founding Director of The Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles, an outpatient sexual addiction treatment center and a respected writer of sexual addiction literature.

Mr. Weiss talked with us about sexual addiction facts and addressed some common misconceptions about sex addicts, including:

  • Sexual addiction is just an excuse for poor decisions and bad behavior. What do you think when you hear that another celebrity who’s been caught cheating is getting help for their sexual addiction?
  • Only men are sex addicts. Sex addict is a fancy new term for philandering husband or ladies’ man, right?
  • No one needs sexual addiction treatment – they need to exercise willpower. After all, if I can show restraint and respect for my partner and others, why can’t you?
  • Sex addicts are cold, uncaring offenders. Isn’t sexual addiction just another way of saying I carelessly objectify others for my own gratification and don’t feel an ounce of remorse?

Video on Sexual Addiction

Watch our sexual addiction video interview with Robert Weiss to get sexual addiction facts from an expert and learn the truth about the most persistent fallacies on Realities of Sexual Addiction.

And here’s the table of contents for all mental health video interviews from the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show.

Share Your Sex Addiction Experiences

Have you struggled with sex addiction? Are you in a relationship with a sex addict? We invite you to call us at 1-888-883-8045 and share your experiences and insights. (Info on Sharing Your Mental Health Experiences here.) You can also leave comments below.

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Sex After Sexual Abuse

Sex After Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse–whether it was a gentle seduction by a loved relative or a violent rape by a stranger—is an attack on a person’s sexuality. It’s no wonder that many survivors of incest, rape, and molestation report that they suffer from problems with sexual relating and intimacy. Common sexual repercussions of sexual abuse include: avoiding or being afraid of sex, having trouble being emotionally present in sex, engaging in compulsive or inappropriate sex, experiencing negative reactions to touch, having unwanted sexual fantasies, and being troubled with sexual functioning difficulties. (Information on all sexual issues and sexual problems can be found in the HealthyPlace Sex Issues Community.)

Healing From the Sexual Repercussions of Sexual Abuse

The good news is that a variety of effective healing techniques now exist to help survivors overcome the sexual repercussions caused by abuse. Sexual healing is a dynamic process that survivors chose to explore when they feel ready, at their own pace. It often includes identifying problems caused by past abuse, learning about healthy sexuality, developing a positive sense of who you are as a sexual person, healing with an intimate partner, and developing new skills for experiencing touch and sex in positive, life-affirming ways.

We discussed that in detail with our guest Wendy Maltz, LCSW, DST on the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show on April 28, 2010. You can watch the interview “on-demand.”

About Wendy Maltz

wendy-maltzOur guest, Wendy Maltz, LCSW, DST, is an internationally recognized sex therapist, author, and lecturer, with more than thirty-five years of clinical experience in the mental health field. She is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on healing the impact of sexual abuse on sexuality, and she is also a leading expert on recovering from porn addiction, understanding sexual fantasies, and developing skills for healthy sexuality.

Wendy is author of the highly acclaimed, groundbreaking self-help book, The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse. Widely used by therapists, survivors, and intimate partners alike, it contains a wide-range of sexual healing strategies and effective techniques. Wendy’s other books include:

She is also the co-producer of “Partners in Healing” and “Relearning Touch,” two videos for survivors on overcoming the intimate repercussions of sexual abuse.

An experienced conference presenter, lecturer, and media guest, Wendy is co-director with her husband, Larry Maltz LCSW, of Maltz Counseling Associates in Eugene, Oregon. Her information-rich website is: www.HealthySex.com.

Share Your Experiences on the Issue of Sex and Being a Sexual Abuse Survivor

Whether you’re a sexual abuse survivor or a loved one of someone who has been sexually abused, we invite you to call us at 1-888-883-8045 and share your experiences and insights on the issue of having sex after sexual abuse. (Info on Sharing Your Mental Health Experiences here.) You can also leave comments below.

You can watch our interview with Wendy Maltz on the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show homepage by clicking the on-demand button on the player. The show is titled “Sex After Sexual Abuse.”

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Pain of Sexual Addiction – TV Show Recap

Pain of Sexual Addiction – TV Show Recap

While the term “sexual addiction” may not be accepted in the world of psychiatry, HealthyPlace.com Medical Director, Dr. Harry Croft, says it is very real and carries hefty consequences.

Dr. Croft, who is triple board-certified (Addiction Medicine, Sex Therapy, Adult Psychiatry), maintains that it’s a matter of semantics. “If you want to call it sexual addiction or sexual compulsion, the end results are the same,” he says.

“The definition of addiction applies no matter what the habit of choice may be. Any behavior that is chronic, compulsive, and carries negative consequences is considered an addiction. Make no mistake, sexual addiction does fit into these categories.”

“An addiction left un-helped is an addiction that will keep growing”
– Jonathan Daugherty

Sexual Addiction Can Destroy Your Life

Our guest, Jonathan Daugherty, was the definition of a sexual addict. For 13 years, Jonathan lived a secret life and stopped at nothing until he got his fix.

At the young age of 12, he recalls being introduced into the world of pornography by way of a Playboy magazine. That’s all it took for this young boy to begin searching for more. This led to excessive masturbation during middle school and high school, which later turned into something much more serious.

As he got older, Jonathan hoped getting married would resolve his addiction to sex. Little did he know it would end up tearing his life apart.

Addicted to Sex – Crossing the Lines

During the HealthyPlace TV Show, Jonathan discussed in great detail the power of his addiction and the great lengths he would go through to keep this secret life from everyone around him. He crossed lines and rationalized every step of the way. His addiction to sex took him from looking at JC Penney catalogs to soliciting prostitutes. He was at the point of no return. After countless indiscretions and thousands of dollars later, he confessed to his wife and got the help he needed.

Helping Others Recover From Sexual Addiction

Now, the founder of Be Broken Ministries, he commits his life to helping others who suffer with sexual addiction. Although Jonathan has come a long way from his days as a sexual addict, he confesses that he can’t do it alone. He credits his recovery to his counseling and group sessions, people in his life that hold him accountable, and of course, his wife. He is happy to report that after a 9-month separation, they have been back together for over 9 years.

Being Addicted to Sex is No Laughing Matter

Dr. Croft wants viewers to know that this addiction is severe. Don’t let the controversy surrounding the validity sexual addiction fool you. The pain and end results are real.

If you are engaging in illicit behavior such as countless one night stands, having affairs if you are married, soliciting prostitutes, or spending countless hours and dollars viewing internet porn, you should seek help before you spiral out of control. As Jonathan mentioned in his candid interview, it requires much more than just “saying no.”

If you think you might be struggling with this problem, take a minute to evaluate yourself with our online sexual addiction test. Together with Jonathan’s story, it could be just what you need to take that first step to freeing yourself and living a better life.

If you missed our show on the Pain of Sexual Addiction, you can watch it “on-demand”.

Next Tuesday on the HealthyPlace TV Show

Join us next Tuesday evening at 5:30 PT, 7:30 CT, 8:30 ET as we look into the fascinating world of Narcissism with our guest, Samuel Vaknin. If you have experience with this subject, either as a narcissist or someone who has been victimized by a narcissist, you’re welcome to drop me a comment or share your story at producer AT healthplace.com.

Remember, at Healthyplace.com, you’re never alone.

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Sexual Addiction – July 21

Sexual Addiction – July 21

Being an addict is difficult. The desire for drugs, alcohol or cigarettes can be so powerful that the need will disrupt the ability to lead a normal life.

Although addictions to these substances are awful, they seem to be accepted in society. Now take a minute to think about a different kind of addiction – sexual addiction. In a society that already views sex as taboo, how is sexual addiction looked upon?

Does Sexual Addiction Really Exist?

The belief that sexual addiction is a true addiction is often debated. On Tuesday’s show, we’ll explore this growing disorder and look at ways to recognize and heal from it (read Symptoms of Sexual Addiction).

Our guest, Jonathan Daugherty, will share how his life and belief system were challenged during a 13 year intense battle with sexual addiction. Despite being a married man, he continued to feed his sexual addiction; first by engaging in internet porn and ultimately by soliciting sex from prostitutes. Feeling alone and with nowhere to turn, Jonathan flirted with thoughts of suicide.

Fortunately, he’s been able to manage his addiction to sex and is now the founder of Be Broken ministries, an organization that that reaches out to men and women who are affected by sexual addiction.

Tune in Tuesday at 7:30 pm CST, 8:30 ET as Jonathan tells his story of surviving sexual addiction and how difficult the desire for sex is to manage on a daily basis. Our Medical Director, Dr. Harry Croft will also be on hand to discuss the causes of sexual addiction and various treatments for sexual addiction. He’ll also answer any questions you may have on this or any mental health topic. Watch the video on Sexual Addiction Recovery.

If you have any questions, or if you would like to share your story on sexual addiction, e-mail me at producer AT healthyplace.com. If you are concerned that you may be addicted to sex, take our online sexual addiction test for additional insight.

See you Tuesday! Watch the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show live on our site or “on-demand”.

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More on Guest for Sexual Addiction Show

More on Guest for Sexual Addiction Show

On the HealthyPlace TV show, airing live tonight at 7:30 PM Central, 8:30 Eastern, the topic is Sexual Addiction . It’s a difficult one and…

Some of the points we’ll be addressing include:

  • How to tell if your sexual impulses are normal
  • Where to find help if you have a sexual addiction
  • What it means to maintain sexual sobriety

Our guest is Brittany who will be sharing her real story of hope and struggle. She has suffered with sexual addiction since she was a teenager, and she is now in her forties. Her sexual sobriety has not been without pitfalls. She experienced numerous relapses. After working with her therapist and seeking treatment for her depression (link between depression and sexual addiction ), Brittany, has been in remission from her addiction for over eight years. (read Dr. Croft’s blog post on “Treating Sexual Addiction .”)

During the show, you’ll have the opportunity to ask Brittany questions about her experience with sexual addiction, and during the second half of the show, Dr. Harry Croft, HealthyPlace.com’s Medical Director, will answer any mental health question you might have. If you would like to submit your questions in advance, email me at: producer AT healthyplace.com.

If you are concerned that you might have a problem with sexual addiction, our sexual addiction tests are available here.

We’ll see you tonight.

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Sexual Addiction TV Show: April 28

Sexual Addiction TV Show: April 28

Recently, several celebrities including, most famously, David Duchovny, have publicly faced ‘sexual addiction‘. What does it mean to have a sexual addiction? Isn’t it normal to love sex?

Unfortunately, just as many people have a problem with alcohol, there are those whose sexual behavior consistently causes them trouble in their personal and professional lives. Sometimes referred to as hypersexuality or sexual dependency, sex addiction is a serious mental illness that can have serious consequences for its sufferers. Sex addicts display an incapablity to control their sexual impulses and a long-term history of behavior centering around acting on their impulsive sexual desires (symptoms of sexual addiction). Often sex addicts report in their histories numerous failed attempts to stop.

Crossing the Line Into Sexual Addiction

It can be difficult to determine where normal sexual behavior deviates over into abnormal or unhealthy behavior, and the distinction is highly subjective. If you are concerned about whether or not you’re dealing with sexual addiction, take our sexual addiction test.

During the live HealthyPlace TV show airing April 28th, our guests will describe what it’s like living with sexual addiction and HealthyPlace.com Medical Director, Dr. Harry Croft, will provide guidelines to help distinguish healthy sexual behavior from the unhealthy and what the treatment is for sexual addiction.

Identifying the unhealthy sexual behavior is only one part of the recovery process, and patients still need to know where and how to seek treatment. Not all psychologists and psychiatrists specialize in sexual behavioral issues. Friends and family of the patient may ostracize them because of the stigma associated with the problem or write off their diagnosis as unnecessary.  Dr. Croft and our guests will address these issues and any other questions you have about sexual addiction during the live HeatlhyPlace TV show Tuesday at 7:30 PM CT, 8:30 ET.

If you have a story about sexual addiction or any mental illness please email us at Producer AT healthyplace.com or create a video about your story and email us the link. Your story might be able to help someone still suffering in silence. During the second part of the show you will be able to ask Dr. Croft any question about mental health. He always gives a straight answer.

For more information about the HealthyPlace TV show or how it works, please click here.

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