/ By admindesert

For many people struggling with addiction, and often also for those close to them, understanding the addiction itself is often very helpful during the recovery process. And if sex addiction is the form of addiction in question, one of the most important things to understand is how different it is from many other forms of addiction, particularly some of the most well-known.

At Desert Solace, we’re happy to provide both residential and outpatient programs for sex addiction and pornography addiction recovery across Arizona, Nevada and Idaho. We regularly assist our patients with learning more about their addiction and understanding as much as they can about it, and a common subject is the simple differences between sex addiction and other addiction formats. Here are some of the key ways sex addiction is unique, plus what those managing it – or those close to them – can do with this information to improve their recovery process.

Process Addiction Vs Substance Addiction

The primary form of addiction that many people think about when they hear the word in general is substance addiction, which is the result of dependence on drugs or alcohol. Sex addiction, however, is a form of process addiction – an addiction to behaviors and actions rather than substances.

In fact, sex addiction shares many similarities with other forms of process addiction, such as gambling or internet use. This means that many of the tools and techniques used to treat other process addictions can also be helpful for it – but that some of the techniques used for substance abuse may not be as useful.

This all comes back to a simple underlying reasoning: With substance addiction, it’s possible for the person in question to never interact with their addictive triggers once they’re able to control their substance use. This isn’t the case with process addictions, where triggers are often a normal part of daily life that can’t be completely avoided.

Shame and Secrecy

Another major difference between sex addiction and other forms of addiction is the level of shame and secrecy involved. Many people with substance addictions feel some level of guilt or shame about their actions, but they’re often able to keep their addiction a secret from most of the people in their lives. With sex addiction, secrecy is much more difficult – which can make it even more challenging for those struggling to come forward and get help.

Part of this comes down to societal stigma surrounding sex and sexuality. For many people with sex addiction, there’s a fear that admitting their struggles will lead to judgment, rejection or other negative consequences. This can make it even more difficult for them to seek the help they need.

What "Sobriety" Means

For many people, another key difference between sex addiction and other formats is what “sobriety” means. With substance addictions, it’s often about abstinence – completely avoiding the addictive substance in all forms, or at least doing one’s best to moderate it. But with process addictions like sex addiction, total abstinence isn’t always possible or realistic.

Instead, sobriety for sex addiction often involves creating healthy boundaries and behaviors around sexuality, plus learning to manage triggers and cravings in a healthy way. This can be difficult, but it’s an essential part of the recovery process for many sex addicts. Over time, this can lead to an improved ability to define healthy boundaries and relationships, plus better overall mental health for those struggling with sex addiction.

Source is Readily Available

In today’s digital age, another key difference between sex addiction and other formats is the availability of sources. With substance addictions, individuals often have to seek out their drug of choice through dealers or other means – which can be a barrier for some people. But with sex addiction, pornography and other sources are readily available online at any time. Simple memory will also do the job.

This easy access to triggering material can make it even more challenging for those recovering from sex addiction to manage their cravings and triggers. It also means that the road to recovery may be longer and more complex, as individuals must learn how to navigate a world where they are constantly exposed to their addictive behaviors.

Recovery and Management Are Still Possible

Despite everything we’ve gone over to this point, the good news is that recovery and management of sex addiction are still entirely possible. With a combination of therapy, support groups, and individualized treatment plans, individuals can learn to manage their triggers and cravings in a healthy way while also creating a healthier relationship with sexuality. It may take time, effort, and patience – but it can be done.

At Desert Solace, we’re dedicated to helping those struggling with sex addiction and pornography addiction around Arizona, Nevada and Idaho find a path to recovery that works for them. Our team of trained professionals is here to support, guide, and assist you on your journey towards a healthier life. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you or your loved one overcome sex addiction.