The main difference between a recovering addict and an addict is that while one can’t stop talking about their problems, the other chooses to hide their behavior. No matter what kind of addiction an individual is dealing with, self-revelation is an important step towards recovery, even when it does lead to those awkward moments when someone identifies themselves as a sex addict.
Many teens suffering with sex addiction often enter a dissociative state in which they stay away from the rest of the world. In a way, a sex addict lives a life of deception, closing the door to the outside world whenever they are looking to quench their thirst for sex and opening it to return back to their families. And when they realize their behavior and become concerned about the people their sex addiction is effecting, it leads to guilt, which further worsens their process towards recovery.
The APA or American Psychiatric Association has been debating the issue of whether or not sex addiction should be added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual or Mental Disorders, which would be known as ‘Hypersexual disorder’. This would completely legitimize the mental disorder of sex addiction in a way which was unthinkable a decade ago, as an illness.
The recognition of sex addiction in the APA will create a high work demand for private mental-health businesses. This is already happening with many professional mental health facilities like, Star Guides Wilderness, who treat teen sexual problems privately.
An important part of treatment for teen sexual problems, is the sharing portion, where struggling teens find safety and security to tell their stories. Just like Alcoholics or Drug Addiction Anonymous, treatment for teen sexual problems and addiction group operates in a highly structured and almost liturgical fashion, in which members share their stories and listen to advice by sex addiction experts.
Getting access to professional sex addiction therapy from professional therapists offers teens and their parents with the ability to deal with some common and not-so-common problems regarding sex addiction. Of course, the help of specialized therapists will not always be needed, the chance of getting much needed help early on can help solve many underlying problems from developing into serious sexual addiction as adults.
Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of youth treatment and psychotherapy since 1995. He did his undergraduate work at BYU and earned his M.S.W. at the University of Utah. He has worked in a variety of treatment setting in his career ranging from wilderness therapy and residential treatment to outpatient treatment and state government.