What is compulsive sexual behavior?

Compulsive sexual behavior, however, should not be confused with a high, but healthy, libido. Instead, it should consider the motivations and impulse control of the individual. The internet, for example, makes promiscuity much easier than the past, but while a high number of sexual partners in a short period might suggest a problem, more relevant will be what need those partners are fulfilling and what control an individual has over their behavior.

Similarly, other indicators such as adultery or the use of prostitution may stem from a sex addiction or compulsion, but there may be many reasons people have an illicit relationship or use sex-workers that are not a consequence of a mental health condition. 

For some, the problem may be akin to an addiction, where an individual has become dependent on the hit provided by sex. For others, it might be the result of an unhealthy relationship with sex, and linked to another disorder, for example a previous trauma or a condition that affects their sense of self-worth and esteem.

sex addiction

Do I have sex addiction?

The difficulty is that sex is a normal activity, and therefore the question is not so much about the frequency of sex or sexual preferences, but instead whether the individual has a healthy relationship with sex.

It might be worth thinking about some common effects of other addictions and whether these apply. Signs of addiction will include a pre-occupation with the addiction. Does the individual constantly think about having sex, or their next sexual encounter, perhaps frequently using porn as an alternative? Do they have frequent sexual urges, and, if so, does their behavior change, perhaps becoming irritable or withdrawn, if the urges are not fulfilled? Would they be able to go a prolonged period without sex? Do they lie or deceive to get sex, either to obtain partners or cover their behavior with others? Do they expose themselves to risk, for example unprotected sex or using sex-workers?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions you may well need sex addiction treatment. Feel free to reach out to our experts at Hacienda Paradiso for an initial free consultation.

What is porn addiction?

Addiction to porn is, like, sex addiction a topic of debate; if sex is not addictive, how can porn be addictive? However, it’s likely that exactly the same processes that can cause addiction and apply to sex will apply to porn. Masturbation is physiologically identical to sex, creating the same effects in the body, so used for this purpose porn carries exactly the same addictive risks as sex. However, porn can also carry other risks, particularly with its easy access over the internet.

porn addiction

Many people use porn, either individually or as couples, and the use of porn is not a problem in itself. Problems may be present if that relationship with porn ceases to be healthy. This might exhibit in the usual signs of addictive behavior. It might also present in other ways. An individual with a problematic relationship with porn might find themselves reliant on it to achieve arousal. They might even find themselves preferring porn to sex with their partner. Others might find themselves using porn excessively.

Our view on sex addiction and treatement

Hacienda Paradiso, the World’s first Eco Rehab from the award-winning Villa Paradiso Group are sex addiction treatment pioneers. Our chief clinical lead in Europe, Dr. Ruth Arenas is a World leading authority in the diagnosis and successful treatment of sex addiction.

According to our own Dr. Ruth Arenas, “current understanding of addiction is finding that it is driven by the brain’s response to a substance or behavior, and the rewriting of its own pleasure pathways. This would suggest that sex addiction is just as possible as addiction to alcohol, drugs, or gambling. Using newer models of addiction, it might be expected that symptoms would include changes in behavior, including obsession about sex, hiding behavior from others, taking risks to satisfy the addiction and feelings of guilt or shame.”

If you are worried about compulsive sexual behavior help is available. At Hacienda Paradiso we are pioneering affordable treatment in beautiful, natural surroundings. Our sex addiction specialists are available for private, discreet and non-judgmental consultations. They can explain your options for treatment and answer any questions you may have.

How is sex addiction diagnosed?

Because sex is not a recognized addiction, there is no accepted diagnostic tool as there are for other addictions and mental health conditions. However, our sex addiction clinicians at Hacienda Paradiso use a range of bespoke and individualized diagnostic frameworks to consider whether an individual’s sexual behavior is compulsive. Using these internal frameworks they will consider whether your relationship with sex is healthy, or whether there are compulsive components that are having a negative impact.

Can medications help sex addiction?

Medical treatment is available for sex addiction, although we do not use medication to reduce libido. Although such medications do exist, the aim of our world-class sex addiction treatment is to move our clients to healthy sexual desire, not to chemically remove all desire.

However, other medications might be prescribed, especially is there is a dual diagnosis. Sex addiction frequently results from other problems, for example attempts to lift depression or as a response to a previous trauma. However, medications used to treat these might help with sexual addiction. Antidepressants, for example might remove the need for the dopamine hit from sexual activity. 

What is the treatment for sex addiction?

Sex addiction treatment at Hacienda Paradiso will follow a model similar to any addiction treatment. One key difference between treatment for sex addiction and most other addictions is that lifelong abstinence is not the goal. Instead, the treatment and recovery process will aim to develop a healthy relationship with sex. What this relationship looks like will be discussed and agreed, and will form the goal of the recovery process.

Like recovery from substance misuse, recovery from sex addiction is likely to start with a period of abstinence. Although there is no detox process to go through, abstaining from sex will start the process of resetting the brain’s relationship with sex. It is likely this, at least initially, is best undertaken in our luxury residential facility. This means the environment is highly controlled, and it is not possible to succumb to temptation.

Therapy will also be a core component of rehabilitation and recovery. Psychodynamic therapy might be used to explore your relationship with sex, helping you to understand what initially created that relationship and the need that it fulfils. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also particularly effective. As an active therapy, it equips you to recognize the causes and triggers for your behavior and develop responses that break the chain of actions that previously would have triggered or exacerbated the condition further.

Our addiction treatments

Detox @ Purify™
Detox, the first stage of becoming free from drug and alcohol dependency, is both physically and psychologically uncomfortable. Purify™ by Hacienda Paradiso was created to ease this discomfort. Restoring the body and mind in safe and comfortable surroundings, under medical supervision. The detox process will be complete within seven to ten days, with many clients beginning a successful programme of recovery after the detox process is complete.
Alcohol Addiction
Hacienda Paradiso is an award-winning alcohol treatment facility where the process of treating addiction is grounded in care, compassion and recovery. The process of treating alcohol addiction usually goes through four stages: admission, detox, rehab, and lasting recovery. We adopt an approach that is discreet, non-judgmental and individual. Our priority is to look beyond the symptoms of alcoholism and treat the causes of the condition, delivering successful lasting recovery and remission.
Bipolar Disorders & Depression

Childhood trauma, stress, grief, structural brain changes, hormonal imbalances and other neurological indicators have a proven link to Bipolar Disorder & Depression. Treatment at Hacienda Paradiso is highly effective and helps sufferers gain valuable insight and increased control over mood swings and other symptoms. It is essential to seek treatment as early as possible.

At Hacienda Paradiso, you will meet our Consultant Psychiatrist on admission. They will help you describe the symptoms you have experienced, and together with the exceptional therapeutic team, will create a treatment plan with you. If you have been using alcohol or substances, we will help you to safely detox in comfort, while we assess your care plan and recovery.

Our addiction treatments

Detox @ Purify™

Detox, the first stage of becoming free from drug and alcohol dependency, is both physically and psychologically uncomfortable. Purify™ by Hacienda Paradiso was created to ease this discomfort. Restoring the body and mind in safe and comfortable surroundings, under medical supervision. The detox process will be complete within seven to ten days, with many clients beginning a successful programme of recovery after the detox process is complete.

Depression
Hacienda Paradiso luxury residential depression clinic takes an individualized deep dive with clients on a therapeutic led journey of recovery. The World Class treatment teams deliver long term remission from all forms of depression, depressive episodes and previously treatment resistant cases of major depressive disorder. Award-winning therapists and psychiatrists at the Hacienda work with clients to identify and treat and heal underlying problems. If the causes of depression are not identified, treated and healed, sufferers of can continue to experience symptoms throughout their lives.
Drug addiction

Drug addiction is a very complex, multi-faceted disorder. Major indications of drug addiction include cravings, withdrawal and unsuccessful previous attempts to stop or reduce use. The drug addiction experts at Hacienda Paradiso treat all forms of addiction including cocaine, cannabis and prescription medication. Hacienda Paradiso takes a pragmatic and highly individualized approach to drug addiction by treating the underlying factors and any co-existing mental health issues. The team at Hacienda Paradiso has been recognized internationally for their success and dedication to long term successful recovery.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Dual diagnosis is a term when a mental illness and substance misuse disorder coexist simultaneously. Often depression and anxiety may lead to alcohol and drug addiction and vice versa. The complexities of Dual Diagnosis is to establish the specific order of coexisting conditions to effectively treat the underlying causes to create successful, lasting and long term recovery from addiction and remission from coexisting mental health conditions.
Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is an emotion that is okay to feel. Experiencing it occasionally is common and normal. However, anxiety disorders are much different to feeling the occasional bout of anxiety. Anxiety disorders can be paralyzing to those who experience them. They can leave a person feeling unable to cope with life.

Residential treatment at Hacienda Paradiso Clinic allows you to live, learn, and understand your anxiety disorder. Often clients experience significant and rapid reduction in anxiety and in many cases complete remission from a debilitating condition.

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Gambling Addiction
The World Class team at Hacienda Paradiso are experts at treating pathological gambling addiction. Our unique and highly individualized programme of recovery equips you with the tools to break the cycle of addiction. We will create a unique treatment plan to heal the symptoms and address your own specific root-causes. Gambling addiction often coexists with other addictions or mental health issues so it’s imperative to assess any dual diagnosis concerns that may have previously been undiagnosed.
Gaming Addiction
Video game addiction is a very real mental health condition impacting many millions of people around the world, across all ages. The most addicting games include Fortnite, League of Legends, PUBG, Minecraft and other household names. This is because video games are designed to be addictive. Gaming addicts may experience significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. Gaming disorder is a process addiction and help is available from the team at Hacienda Paradiso. The friendly, non-judgmental therapeutic help develop a healthy relationship with technology and devise ways to ensure long term recovery and remission from video game addiction.
Sex Addiction
Dr Ruth Arenas leads our award-winning residential sex and love addiction clinic. Hacienda Paradiso is the only treatment center in Europe to separate love and sex addiction. While we recognize the similarities, we identify and treat each as standalone unique issues that may be triggering compounded emotional distress. Dr Ruth is one of the Worlds foremost authorities in compulsive sexual disorder and hypersexuality. Residential treatment at Hacienda Paradiso boosts self-esteem and rebuilds mechanisms to increase resilience. Our World Class professionals help clients achieve freedom from destructive, compulsive and obsessive behaviors.
Prescription Medication Addiction
If you or a loved one has developed a prescription drug addiction, help is available. At Hacienda Paradiso our prescription drug addiction treatment is focused on complete and lasting long-term recovery. Our approach is non-judgmental and highly therapeutic. Our medical experts and clinicians will design a treatment plan specific for your situation, and the nature of your prescription drug addiction. The exact treatment depends on the specific prescription medications, while at same time identifying and addressing the issues and reasons underlying the addiction.
DNA Testing for Addiction
The clinical team at Hacienda Paradiso are able to use cutting edge DNA testing to identify which drugs would be safer and more effective for use in a client’s recovery. As one of the only treatment clinics in Europe to offer DNA testing the team are able to quickly find which medically assisted treatment works best in each unique and individual case. This groundbreaking approach reduces the potential for uncomfortable side effects and greatly speeds a client’s recovery.
Transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS)
Transcranial direct current stimulation is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. TDCS is successfully used in the treatment of depression, PTSD, anxiety and other persistent psychological issues. Transcranial direct current stimulation at Hacienda Paradiso is particularly successful when a client presents with treatment resistant depression.