Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sexual Anorexia Treatment

A sex addict is more likely to be capable of being in a more intimate relationship and is often married or in a committed relationship when deciding to get treatment for their addiction. A sexual anorexic may have a social phobia or be so fragile emotionally that the risk of rejection or criticism is far more frightening than being isolated. Narcissistic traits are often seen in both sexual anorexics and sex addicts, but in the sexual anorexic, the traits are considered far more "brittle" and the pain of rejection and criticism is far more deeply felt than for the sex addict.

Treatment is aimed at helping the person see where their fears lie and to see the world in less black and white terms. The patient is encouraged to take calculated risks with social activities and distorted thinking is gently challenged with facts and reality. The goals for both sex addicts and sexual anorexics is to learn to have healthy sex and get emotional needs met in direct ways, and to set healthy boundaries. This is an issue that requires ongoing treatment in planned stages with the end goal of autonomy, independence, and improved social relationships.


What is sexual anorexia?

Sexual anorexia is a pathological loss of "appetite" for romantic-sexual interaction, often the result of a fear of intimacy to the point that the person has severe anxiety surrounding sexual activity and emotional aspects (i.e. an intimate relationship).

In the view of some practitioners, corroborating the "seminal" work of Patrick Carnes, there are people who appear to have a sexual addiction which is expressed through a variety of behaviors such as the compulsive use of strip clubs, prostitutes, cyberporn sites, etc. but fit the definition of sexual anorexic in that they seem to lack the ability to have a relationship of a sexual nature beyond a paid-for or anonymous experience. The person does not have an aversion to sex but to intimacy.