“Thanks for sharing” – the movie with Gwyneth Paltrow and Pink caused many headlines during the past few months. Sex addiction as the theme of a Hollywood blockbuster – that is definitely something new. One of the last taboos in mainstream movies seems to be broken. Tiger Woods, Rihanna, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, Sandra Bullock’s cheating partner
… other celebrities have also been connected to sex addiction recently. Why do we hear about it so often recently? Is it really a disease? Is it acceptable to suffer from it? What can you do to break sex addiction?
From alcohol to porn
A recent Lavario study shows that around two million people suffer from sex and porn addiction in the English speaking countries around the world. The rise of the internet made explicit content easily accessible. A whole generation grew up with nudity just a mouse click away. For previous generations, alcohol and synthetic drugs were the drugs that promised escape from reality. During the last 15 years, porn became a serious competitor. It also opens the door to putting fantasies into practice and become sex addicted.
Pink as a sex addict
Addicts spend many hours per day either on the web or in bars and clubs looking for the next adventure. The job, hobbies, friends and family – everything else becomes less relevant and gets neglected. Often addicts run into financial problems and they risk their health. Feelings of guilt and shame haunt them throughout the day as they try to maintain their double lives. The movie “Thanks for sharing” portrays Pink as a sex addicts and provides a good idea of the misery that these addicts live in.
A disease or a disorder?
Researchers still discuss whether sex addiction is a disease or “just” a mental disorder. No matter what they will agree on, the symptoms are the same. The treatment options are a little bit different depending on whether sex addiction will be classified as a disease or as something else. However, psychotherapy with a strong emphasis on both cognitive behavioral therapy and psychoanalysis will need to be applied in order to help patients break their addiction.
How to find help
Many sex and porn addicts are afraid to open up to a complete stranger about their problems. The more they fear a therapy the longer they remain stuck in their misery. They tend to forget that counselors specialized in curing this form of addiction don’t do anything else the whole day but help patients. No matter how ashamed an addicts might be, the therapist will probably have heard similar stories from many other patients before. Self-help programs and self-help groups are alternatives when an addict is afraid to see a counselor. Good self-help programs use similar methods like specialized clinics. Self-help groups like Sexaholics Anonymous can be particularly interesting after a therapy when the goal is to remain ‘sober’. In order to understand more about this addiction it’s worth watching Gwyneth Paltrow and Pink in the movie.
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I am Frank Lavario and I founded the Lavario online programs to help patients break their sex and porn addictions. I lived in Europe, North and South America most of my life and after studying psychology in New York I gained many years of experience in working with addicts.
- Child internet addicts sent to £4,500 a week addiction clinics (telegraph.co.uk)
- Britons are second biggest television addicts in Europe (telegraph.co.uk)