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Sex addiction is characterized by any compulsive, sexually motivated behavior that is carried out regardless of any negative consequences one may experience due to the transgression. The disorder was first acknowledged as a mental health concern in the 1980s, and although there are assertions that this is not a valid illness, an addiction to sex has the ability to dramatically interfere with one's daily life. Because of this, voluntarily treatment can be sought from a mental health expert. Those who work with a therapist for a sex addiction may discover the underlying causes of the compulsion is depression, and in these cases, antidepressant medication may be prescribed to ease the symptoms.
Those who choose to hire a sex addiction therapist should expect to have different goals from those who are in treatment for drug and alcohol dependency. Since complete sobriety is not the goal in this case, the client will usually work with a therapist in order to identify behaviors, rather than primarily actions, from which to abstain. Potential triggers that enable addictive behavior are identified in therapy, in addition to developing a plan on avoiding these triggers. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), is commonly employed when attempting to assist a client in identifying negative thoughts in order to break unwanted thought patterns that contribute to undesirable behaviors.
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