Sex addiction
If a person suspects that he or she or his loved one has sex addiction, it is important to remember that the condition is treatable and call in the professional as soon as possible.


What is Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction is explained as compulsive participation or involvement in sexual activities and specifically sexual intercourse, despite negative effects. Sexual activities become the focal point of a person's life, to the point where personal well-being is neglected. Sex addicts experience an increase in tension or affective arousal immediately before sexual activity, and relief after sexual behavior. The pattern of sexual desire and behavior causes personal, educational, family and work dilemmas.

There are different forms of sex addiction:

  1. Excessive pornography
  2. Regular sex with prostitutes
  3. Excessive masturbation or sex fantasies
  4. Excessive sexual sadistic / masochistic behavior
  5. exposure / voyeurism
  6. Other excessive sexual pursuits


What are the consequences of sex addiction?

  1. About 38% of men and 45% of women with sex addiction have a venereal disease.
  2. Pregnancy is a common consequence of sex addiction.

Sex addiction can also have a negative impact on various areas of life. This can result in the following:

  1. a decline in personal relationships and social and family interaction
  2. a decrease in concentration and productivity
  3. Physical consequences such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Sex addiction can have profound psychological effects, such as feelings of guilt, inadequacy and emotional distress.



  1. Why is treatment needed for sex addiction?
    Like all addictions, sex addiction can seriously harm people's lives. Professional support by psychologists and psychiatrists is usually the most effective way to treat sex addiction. A treatment plan touches on underlying aspects associated with destructive sexual behavior. It's important to watch out for emotional triggers. Healthy coping mechanisms can be put in place by treatment.
  2. Who can diagnose me or a loved one?
    Because sex addiction is so complex, we would recommend that you be tested and diagnosed only by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. They are trained to distinguish between different disorders.
  3. What role does a psychologist play in my treatment?
    A psychologist can diagnose sex addiction and treat psychotherapeutic in conjunction with other medical professionals. This means that he or she can help you understand what your diagnosis is, how to live with it, and how to apply a strategy that can lead to behavioral change. A psychologist in South Africa may not prescribe medication and usually works with a psychiatrist in a team.



If a loved one is diagnosed with addiction, your support and motivation can play a very important role in accepting and managing their diagnosis. Here are guidelines on how to assist an individual:

  1. Be patient. People who are under the onslaught of an addiction do not always have the ability to say how they feel or what they are experiencing. Give them a chance to get used to the diagnosis first, and gradually work out an actual plan to manage their lives in the future.
  2. Be informed about addiction. The more you and your loved one, family member or colleague know about the disease, the more you can work together on a plan to support the person and manage the disease.
  3. Ask what your loved one expects of you. One can easily think you know what is best for another person, but the easiest is to ask how he or she wants you to act
  4. Listen to him or her and do not constantly give advice or try to reason with logic. It is important that the person takes responsibility for the addiction and the effect it will have on his or her life. When someone makes choices on behalf of someone else, it may cause the person to become dependent on you and then not want to fight the addiction yourself. It is not your addiction, but your loved one's. Listening is a wonderful way to support your loved one.
  5. Get to know the signs and symptoms so you can act early. Everyone's symptoms of addiction do not manifest in the same way, so it is very important to understand how the person manifests in your life's symptoms. For example, when your loved one's mood suddenly changes, you can start taking measures as long as possible.
  6. Participate in physical activities with the individual. It is not a cliché that regular exercise helps people with psychological diagnoses. Exercise relieves tension and anxiety, and aids in the production of low-mood transmitters. So regular exercise is actually a successful antidepressant.
  7. Encourage a healthy eating and sleeping pattern. An established routine not only helps the person manage their addiction, but also helps to see signs / symptoms early.
  8. Take a good look at yourself! Remember, a person with an addiction can also negatively impact you by involving you in their addiction. Living with a person treated for addiction can feel frustrating, exhausting and sometimes chaotic. Make time for yourself too.


If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health issues, we suggest the following options:
  1. call your GP (if available);
  2. go to your nearest hospital emergency room;
  3. call one of the following emergency numbers: SADAG (the South African Depression and Anxiety Group) 24-hour helpline: 0800 456 789 or suicide crisis line: 0800 567 567; or
  4. contact Wie is ek?