Sexual Behvior. Part 2

Seeking help

There are inpatient and outpatient treatment options for compulsive sexual behavior, depending on the severity of the problem. Psychology experts say it’s important to get help from someone experienced in the field of sexual behavior. They also suggest undergoing a thorough medical and psychiatric evaluation before beginning treatment.

The addiction model suggests treating compulsive sexual behavior as one might treat alcoholism — with 12-step programs. Abstinence from sexual activity at the beginning of treatment often is recommended.

Those who subscribe to the impulse-control or obsessive-compulsive theory of compulsive sexual behavior recommend individual and group psychotherapy, medications such as antidepressants and behavior modification. The emphasis is typically on learning healthy coping mechanisms for problems and retraining a person to view sex as part of a loving relationship.

What everyone seems to agree on — particularly those who find themselves sexually out of control — is that the behavior is difficult to treat, and that the behavior isn’t likely to change without treatment. It may take years, and relapses can be expected. Support from family and friends is often critical to treatment success.

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