As open-minded as today’s society is, sex addiction is still considered by most to be something of a ‘less serious’ addiction than the average. They see it as something that is well within the power of those affected to control for themselves, doesn’t necessarily have a huge impact on a person’s life and therefore doesn’t warrant the same kind of attention as other life-affecting addictions. In reality however, the truth is quite to the contrary as genuine sex addiction has the potential to have a detrimental impact on quite literally every part of the affected person’s life.
In some instances, a person may feel compelled to engage in sexual activity on and near constant basis in order to get any kind of joy or satisfaction from life whatsoever. In others, it may be a case of taking part in increasingly risky and dangerous sexual activities and encounters, in order to get any kind of pleasure from them at all. Sex addiction can also manifest in the form of pornography addiction, wherein an individual may be unable to function normally without getting a ‘fix’ of pornography several times a day at least. And in some instances, a person may find they have certain sexual desires and tendencies that are either extremely inadvisable or entirely illegal.
Suffice to say therefore, when treatment has been successful the very last thing any recovering sex addict wants to do is find themselves back at square one. Nevertheless, this is something that can and in many cases will happen, without the right proactive approach to long-term readjustment.
So for those who have successfully battled sex addiction or are perhaps looking to begin the course of treatment in the near future, here’s a quick rundown of a few expert guidelines on reducing the likelihood of taking several steps backwards:
- First and foremost, there are certain common triggers which across the board make it considerably more likely that a recovering addict will relapse. These include anxiety, stress, frustration and anger – all of which are guaranteed to cloud a person’s judgment and make it more difficult for them to make proactive decisions. As such, it is important to both minimise and avoid exposure to anything which is likely to serve as a trigger. Stress management and focusing on relaxation can certainly help.
- Still on the subject of triggers, each and every individual battling sex addiction will have their own unique triggers to be avoided at all costs. In some instances, it may be the kinds of bars and nightclubs which were previously frequented for the purposes of finding new sexual partners. In others, it may be constant and private access to the Internet, which contributed to a harmful pornography addiction in the first place. Whatever it was that fueled and facilitated the harmful habit in the first place represents a trigger that should be avoided when and where possible.
- When it comes to professional advice and assistance, it is always better to view the treatment process as something that is on-going, rather than a one-off process with a beginning and end. The simple fact of the matter is that there will always be moments of weakness and challenging times along the way, during which the advice and support of third-party professionals can be invaluable to say the least. Even if it’s just for a quick chat over the phone, it really can make an enormous difference.
- As is the case with addiction recovery across the board, it is extremely important to take care of your own health and wellbeing during the long-term recovery process. The reason being that falling into a poor state of physical health leads to the kind of lethargy, low self-esteem and general diminished drive that can contribute to the likelihood of relapse. The healthier you keep your body and mind, the higher the likelihood of making outstanding progress.
- Boredom will always be one of the most dangerous and powerful triggers of all in every example of addiction. When you find yourself bored and with nothing to do, you are naturally more likely to consider doing anything at all to break the monotony – even if it happens to be something you know you really should not be doing. Just as long as it isn’t something that may harm your progress, absolutely anything is better than allowing yourself to become dangerously bored.
- Last but not least, it’s always worth remembering that there are a great many support groups and online communities these days which can and should be explored. Knowing that there are so many others going through exactly what you yourself are going through can be extremely reassuring and encouraging in its own right. Not only this, but the advice, assistance and general support of those who know exactly how it feels to be going through the same process as you can be invaluable to say the least.