If you are just beginning to realize you are sexually addicted or suspect you may be— perhaps from reading parts of this site—or if you have been aware for some time that you are probably addicted to sex and just weren’t willing or ready to do anything about it, then there is no better time than NOW to get started. Waiting will only prolong the inevitable need to do something, and in the meantime the addiction racks up more unwanted consequences.
You may want to find out for sure if you have the problem and there are ways to do that, bearing in mind that when people begin to suspect they are addicted, they are rarely wrong. Ways to get clear are:
1) Take the self test on this site (click on the “Self Test” side button).
2) Carefully read the various sections of this site that relate to you and notice how much they fit for you.
3) Get the easy-read, basic text on sexual addiction: Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick Carnes and see if you relate (to order the book click here).
4) Schedule a session with a sexual addiction treatment specialist for a professional assessment. (For information about locating a specialist or program, click on the “Treatment” side button).
Or 5) Attend some meetings of a sexual addiction 12-step recovery program and see if you identify with what you hear. If you don’t relate at the first meeting, it is advised to attend 6 different meetings before you decide—for information on 12-step programs, click on the “Free 12-Step Program Help side button.
Once it's clear that you are addicted to sex, you will need to get some kind of on-going help. You won’t be able to address the addiction successfully without the help. Don’t be fooled by the fact that you think you have the willpower, guts or whatever, to stop on your own. Yes, you might be able to stop for a time, and you may have done so before, but the catch is that the addiction comes back sooner or later. No one has a crystal ball to peer into to see if this time will be permanent. What we do know is that the consequences steadily get worse. It simply is not worth the risk.
As you proceed, keep these points in mind. There is only one reliable solution, and it’s a two-pronged solution: getting help and SURRENDERING to the healing process. The surrender is in turn another two-pronged process:
1) a WILLINGNESS to do what one is told by those who know the solution,
and 2) a willingness to persevere—not giving up!
It will be hard work and it will require COMMITMENT and EFFORT. A ray of realistic hope for any addict to consider who is contemplating getting help is this: the surrender, the willingness, the effort, the commitment are all things the addict has extensive experience at, if you will just stop and think about it a moment. You have only to reflect on how extensive the surrender to the addiction was: surrendering to the highs, the danger, the pain, the consequences. You can remember what you were willing to do for the addiction: the risks taken, the personal standards compromised, the costs paid, etc. You can recall the effort expended on the addiction: the hours devoted to trying to make something happen, the work involved in covering up the behavior, the intricate lies, etc. And you can remind yourself of the commitment to the addiction: putting it first over a marriage, a family, a relationship, a job, a career, even one’s health. The good news is that if you are serious about getting help, you simply apply these same principles—to getting help and to healing. There’s an expression in recovery language: “It works if you work it”!
To learn more about what is involved in addressing the problem of sexual addiction, click on the link below.