Traveling in Botswana and Southern Africa, I discovered that the African continent is no different from other more “third world” continents when it comes to the scourge of addiction. Sexual addiction affects millions of people worldwide but is often neglected in light of drug addictions and public’s lack of awareness and perception of sex addiction just being a high sex drive. However, the adverse affects of hypersexual disorder, as it is otherwise known, can put a person’s life on hold. Sex addicts struggle to control sexual thoughts and urges. This makes them unproductive at work and, therefore, a disposable part of the workforce liable to retrenchment. Ixande is one of the better drug rehabilitation centres in Cape Town, South Africa, which treats most addictive behaviours, including sex addiction.
It is important to note the difference between sex addicts and sex offenders. Botswana’s laws are very strict with regards to sexual offences. Although strong sex drive has been linked to sex crimes, addiction does not manifest into sex offenses. If the sexual addiction is bad or allowed to worsen, the addict usually has to intensify the nature of the sexual acts to get the desired high. Most sex addicts start with compulsive masturbation and progress from there. If compulsive masturbation is the lowest form of sex addiction, child molestation represents the opposite end of the scale.
Sexual addiction is driven by the addict’s need for power, control, anger and, to a lesser extent, sexual gratification. Underlying problems such as depression, anxiety, emotional turmoil and a troubled childhood are the main causes of the development of a sexual addiction. Children with poor parental support and who didn’t have good role models who model a healthy lifestyle are in danger of becoming sex addicts. Early exposure to sexual material, such as porn, can trigger said children’s sexual addiction.
Sex addiction, like other addictions, is characterized by compulsive behaviour. Avoiding addiction is as simple as avoiding exposure to addictive activities. This is where sexual addiction differs from a gambling or substance abuse addiction is that having sex is necessary for human survival. Humans, like all creatures that roam the earth, have a strong desire for sex. Sexual addicts, like other addicts, suffer from withdrawal symptoms when they go cold turkey. The brain has a chemical imbalance, which saw lengthy highs. When sex is abstained from, the addict will feel increasing depression until the chemical imbalance corrects itself. Sex addiction treatment in Cape Town is available from several world renowned clinics all of whom treat clients from neighboring countries including Botswana.
Sex addicts are not, usually, easily distinguishable unless you are close to them. There are, however, tell tale signs that a person has a problem, and that problem may be a sexual addiction. Sex addicts tend to lie and cheat on significant others. The guilt of these actions may show at some point during a relationship. Sex addicts tend to try to escalate sexual activities, encouraging things such as physical abuse or public sex. Sex addicts also find long term relationships hard to maintain, be it friendships or more intimate relationships. These traits, combined with extremely high sex drive, are the most prominent signs of a sex addict. If you suspect the development or presence of a sexual addition, it is best to get in touch with a psychiatrist and get a professional diagnosis.
Sex addiction can be treated. Sex addicts, who follow their entire rehabilitation program can be fully reintegrated into society and the workforce within 2 years. Rehabilitation of sexual addiction focuses on the underlying causes of the addiction. Therapy looks to create emotional stability, teach social skills and self emotional regulation and, most importantly, help patients resist sexual urges. The 4 main methods of treating sexual addiction are: support groups, cognitive behavioural therapy, psychotherapy and medication (prescribed by a psychiatrist).
Sexual addiction is a serious mental illness that affects millions of people. It’s effects on a person’s life is devastating and near unavoidable. Prevention is almost impossible but effective treatment is available. Raising awareness on the topic is essential, as loved ones have a huge role to play in the treatment of the addiction.