June 2, 2012

Critera for Sexual Addiction

While growing up, the term "sexual addiction" was never in our vocabulary. We always thought that if a guy or girl had continuous desire for sex that they were just "horny", affectionate, lustful, reprobate or just being a “Guy". Today we have a little better understanding of both “Substance Addictions” (such as … alcohol, drugs {Illegal or prescription}, nicotine, caffeine and/or food) and Behavioral Addictions (such as … sex, gambling, spending, shopping, stealing, cleaning or working). To have an “addiction” means that a person has an unhealthy desire, commitment and use of a substance or a set of behaviors. To meet the criteria for an addiction, including a Sexual Addiction, some of the following must be present...

1) There is a repetitive pattern of unhealthy thoughts, feelings, choices and/or behaviors that involves or is the result of the addiction.
2) There is a significant amount of time spent on thinking, planning, preparing, obtaining, using and/or recovering from the addiction.
3) There is a sense that life or parts of life are out of control because of the addiction.
4) There is an ongoing internal battle to stop or control the addiction.
5) There is an inability to stop or completely control the addiction.
6) There are sometimes damaging or sever consequences because of the addiction.
7) There is an inability to stop or fully control the addiction in spite of the damage, consequences or pressures from others.
8) There are often random and/or sever mood changes because of the addiction.
9) There is a growing desire for more in order to maintain or achieve the same effect.
10) There is a continual pursuit of unhealthy, damaging and/or risky behaviors associated with the addiction.
11) The addiction becomes a way to medicate or cope with the stress, pain and/or pressures of life.
12) There is a damaging and/or destructive pattern of attitudes, moods and behaviors that harms oneself and others. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, volitionally (i.e. the ability to make healthy choices), physically and/or relationally.
13) There is a neglect of important relationships, work and/or activities because of the addiction.
14) There is a sense of guilt and shame because of addictive behavior.
15) There is a sense that the addiction has impacted and damaged their identity, purpose, significance, value, worth, security, sense of belonging, dreams and/or desires.

There is a belief among many counseling professionals that if a person meets at least four of these criteria then they are struggling with an addiction. Often there are both men and women that can identify with all 15 criteria. The impact and damage that SA has on a person’s heart, thoughts, feelings, choices, behaviors and relationships can be overwhelming.

If you have a sexual addiction please drop me an Email. I would like the opportunity to encourage you and help you break free from this damaging addiction.

Ross Gunn III
Skyview Counseling LLC
Office / Cell: (360) 991-7700
Email: Help@SkyviewCounseling.com
Website: http://SkyviewCounseling.com
Mailing Address: Skyview Counseling LLC  c/o Ross Gunn III
PO Box 532605 Kihei HI 96753-9998

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