Many persons who struggle with sex addiction maintain the delusion that they can control their symptoms. The situation won’t go away on its own, though, without proper care. This article discusses some of the typical sex addiction symptoms and how the illness is handled.

Sex addiction warning signs

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which defines and organizes mental health problems, does not include sex addiction as a mental disorder. The telltale signs and symptoms of sex addiction may be difficult to identify.

The following are a few of the most typical warning signs of sex addiction:

not being able to restrain yourself from certain sexual practices

displaying distress when prohibited from engaging in sexual acts and activities

sacrificing essential facets of your life, such as employment and relationships, to engage in sexual behaviors and activities

taking risks with one’s sexuality, such as having sex in public.

You risk both your physical and mental health by continuing to engage in unsafe sexual conduct.

Obsessively and regularly masturbating.

Sex addiction’s root causes

A person may become addicted to sex due to biological and physiological variables. But there isn’t just one reason for it. Some studies suggest that a chemical imbalance causes sex addiction in the brain. However, there isn’t enough information to say this could be a specific reason.

The emergence of compulsive sexual behaviors has been linked to the use of several drugs, such as those prescribed for Parkinson’s disease.

Getting Help for Sexual Addiction

You must receive a diagnosis of sex addiction from a physician or other qualified healthcare practitioner before you can begin therapy. It can be challenging to diagnose sex addiction, as it is with many other mental health issues.

A thorough feedback of your medical history will be conducted to make a firm diagnosis and guarantee that you are not displaying symptoms of another condition. Finding the root of the trigger for your obsessive sexual cravings and behaviors is the first step in treating sex addiction.

Psychotherapy and medication are the two types of treatment used most frequently for mental health issues like sex addiction. The main line of treatment for sex addiction is often psychotherapy. However, depending on the type and intensity of symptoms a person with this disorder displays, some medications may be suggested in addition to therapy.

The type of treatment a person receives will depend on how severe their illness is and if they would want to get it at home or in an addiction treatment facility. The benefit of using a treatment facility is that you may give all your attention to healing.


To treat mental health disorders, there are many different types of psychotherapy. The following are commonly employed for sex addiction:

Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT): One of the most popular types of psychotherapy, CBT addresses various mental health issues. CBT for sex addiction aims to teach the person with the illness what causes their obsessive actions and thoughts and how to finish them. Healthy coping skills are also given to you to manage your triggers.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy: This therapy enables the patient and their therapist to cooperate to find a cure for the patient’s symptoms. It focuses on finding a person’s reason to stop engaging in unproductive habits.


There isn’t currently a drug in development to treat sex addiction. Off-label prescriptions of some medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are given to people with this illness to assist them in managing the disorder’s more bothersome symptoms.

Various drugs that may be prescribed to treat some signs of sex addiction include:

Mood stabilizers: These medications are frequently used to treat the signs and symptoms of bipolar illness and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A person with sex addiction may benefit from having fewer compulsive sexual impulses. Tegretol and Lamictal are two popular mood stabilizers.

SSRIs: These medications were created to treat anxiety and depression. They may also assist in reducing any obsessive tendencies that a person with sex addiction may display. Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, and Celexa are a few examples of popular SSRIs.

Programs for Treatment

In a treatment program, sex addiction is often treated with psychotherapy and medication. Inpatient and outpatient facilities both offer treatment options.

Inpatient facilities are strongly advised, even though an outpatient facility provides more freedom to control the speed of your treatment. By choosing an inpatient treatment facility, you can also receive the necessary care in a setting that is mainly free of triggers.

You can talk to and listen to other people who share your struggles by attending an inpatient treatment facility.

A Statement from Verywell

It’s common for sex addicts to feel a great deal of guilt and embarrassment. They occasionally have the misguided notion that hiding their symptoms will help them get well. However, sex addiction can harm your physical and mental well-being, so getting support from a licensed healthcare provider is crucial.