Sex addiction and love addiction are not the same thing. The exception to this statement is that both typically involve emotional deprivation experienced in childhood. The sex addict and the love addict come from homes that are not stable or emotionally fulfilling. The child in this environment grows up feeling neglected and will look to themselves or others to heal the wounds. The goal of emotional fulfillment might be the same for both but each addiction encompasses separate characteristics.
Sex addiction is about finding and engaging in sexual encounters with others either known or not known to the individual. There is also an attachment to the act of sex and can include excessive masturbation or watching pornography throughout the day. An addiction to sex can also impair activities of daily life such as work or relationships, Sex addiction is not about sex even though from the outside it might seem related. Sex addiction is about trying to find a way to heal wounds that are unresolved from childhood. Sex addicts have a difficult time relating to others on an emotional level and often appear distant.
Sex addiction is similar to other addictions where the individual is preoccupied with engaging in the behavior and increasing the frequency of behavior to achieve the desired effect. In addition, the sex addict uses sex as a way to deny uncomfortable feelings and to push these feelings aside. The result is the same as a drug addict. No amount of denying feelings or pushing these feelings aside will satisfy the pain associated with childhood experiences or even current stressors experienced in the addicts adult world.
Love addiction is about trying to fix chaotic relationships experienced in childhood. A “love addict” will seek out experiences related to love and relationships. Many love addicts will become obsessed with an healthy, even destructive relationship. Love addicts live in a fantasy-based world where a person or a relationship becomes the addiction. The focus of the love addict is similar to other forms of addiction where the individual will seek out relationships in order to deny uncomfortable feelings. Love addicts also have a need and even crave romantic love and the pursuit of romantic relationships. They get a sense of security and value from these relationships. When a love addict receives all they can from one romantic partner, they will move on to the next person to achieve similar results.
Sex and love addiction do not have to run your life. Cottonwood Tucson offers critically acclaimed residential treatment programs for co-occurring disorders, providing an internationally recognized integrative approach.
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