Hundreds of participants were asked in an anonymous questionnaire. 15% of patients were women, among porn addicts it was 10% and among sex addicts around 20%. Men seem to rather get satisfaction from watching movies and looking at pictures. Among female addicts there is a higher share of those who become active and who have numerous partners and one-night stands.
Problem #1: Guilt and Shame
Almost 80% of addicts starting the treatment expressed that they suffer from strong feelings of guilt and shame. This was equally high among men and women. The negative feelings result from a loss of control. Many addicts spend several hours per day in front of the laptop watching adult movies. Often this is done in the hidden.
Three out of four participants in the therapy said that they regularly lied to their partners. One man stated: “I can’t wait for my wife to go to bed. Then I switch on the laptop and start watching those movies, usually for three or four hours. I’m not physically interested in my wife anymore.”
Guilt and shame eat the addicts up and lead to a vicious cycle. In order to suppress those negative feelings, even more of the drug sex or porn is “consumed”. Short-term pleasure makes them forget their low self-esteem. Obviously, this leads to even more negative feelings afterwards.
The second biggest worry of participants in the survey was to lose the partner. More than half of the addicts still lived in a relationship or in a marriage. Often, the partner found out about the addiction and urged the addict to start the treatment. Therefore, the therapy was considered as a last chance to save the partnership.
It’s a challenge for spouses to forgive their addicted partners and to understand that the addiction usually has nothing to do with them. In most cases, there are traumatic experiences from childhood and adolescence that lead to an addiction later.
30% of the patients in the questionnaire were afraid of their health. The majority of participants stated in the anonymous questionnaire that they had been involved in risky behavior at least once during their time of addiction. Often this involved dark rooms, paid services or frequently changing partners.
An equally high share of patients complained about a lack of concentration during work or studies – and therefore fear of losing their jobs or not passing exams. Lack of concentration is common among addicts as they spend too many hours in front of the computer and don’t sleep enough. They also lose interest in anything that is not related to their “hobby”.
The Lavario self-help programs last eight weeks and consist of ebooks, audio books and personal coaching. Participants remain anonymous and download all materials from the internet. Individual coaching through emails is available as well.
Like any effective addiction therapy, the treatment is based on both psychoanalysis and cognitive behavioral therapy. Psychoanalysis ensures that the underlying reasons for the addiction are discovered. A thorough understanding of the causes and triggers for the undesired behavior is a prerequisite for behavior changes.
This article was written by Frank Lavario, founder and author of the Lavario programs. Lavario offers self-help programs and counseling against gambling addiction, alcoholism, and sex or porn addiction. Lavario is active in the US and Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Brazil and offers their products world-wide through the internet.