Sexual Addiction

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  • Sexual Addiction is often found alongside other forms of addiction

  • Addicts often experience other psychological problems

    This can arise from attempts to stop the activity. However, the relationship between anxiety, depression and addiction is a complex cycle

  • Addiction often leads to sever problems in relationships and lost opportunities at home and at work

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What problems does Sexual Addiction cause or make worse?

Sexual addiction ...

  • Often makes other types of addiction worse. In a 1992 study, 42% of sexually addicted individuals were also chemically or alcohol dependent, 38% had a concurrent eating disorder, 28% had issues with compulsive working, 26% were compulsive spenders, and 5% were compulsive gamblers.

  • Online addiction ('cybersex') can lead to so-called 'Offline' sexual addiction - compulsive, risky or out of control behaviour with real people, often involving prostitutes, casual encounters or abnormal practices. 

  • But typically, the biggest impact is on existing relationships with partners, loved ones and friends, with the addicts becoming withdrawn, emotionally unavailable and disinterested in normal sexual or intimate relations with their partner. This can lead to separation which exacerbates the addiction problem as the usual 'checks and balances' are then lost.

  • Attempts to stop the addictive behaviour can lead to withdrawal symptoms including anxiety; depression; suicidal ideations; low mood ; irritability; changes in appetite; sleep disturbance; fatigue or drowsiness; cravings; and significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

  • Depression and anxiety are closely linked to sexual addiction. It isn't just that the addiction causes these states; there is a dynamic relationship between them so for example, depression can lead to a need for 'comforting' sexual satisfaction and anxiety can lead to the heightened states of arousal where inhibitions involved in seeking this out  are lowered.

    Some Facts About the Problems of Sexual Addiction

70% Experience Severe Relationship Problems
40% Separation or Divorce
27% Lost Career Opportunities
40% Unwanted Pregnancy
72% Suicidal Obsession - 17% Attempted Suicide
68% Exposed to Sexually Transmitted Infections


7 in 10 couples will experience severe relationship problems as a result of one partner having an addiction problem and in 4 out of 10 cases this will lead to separation or divorce

Page modified 21 March 2013