Sex Addiction: All Consuming Behavior That Affects Many Lives - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Sex Addiction: An All Consuming Behavior That Affects Many Lives

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Sex addiction was first identified as a disorder more than 30 years ago. Since then, it's been studied extensively, but experts say there's still more to learn and plenty of misconceptions.

"The most basic thing to know about sex addiction, is it's not really about sex."

Of course, having sex is the ultimate goal of most addicts - but, the founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles says what's really intoxicating is the high they get when pursuing that encounter.

"Prostitutes, affairs, hours and hours lost in porn and on Facebook and various media sites and apps for sex to the degree that it's really affecting the functionality of their life," says Robert Weiss.

And medical experts say, it's that kind of obsession - with no regard to consequences - that makes it an addiction.

"It's all consuming, it was very difficult for me to focus on my kids, which I had by then, my career."

Like Angela, 30% of sex addicts are women. Many choose to keep it a secret.

"For a woman, you're considered a slut, so there's a stigma about saying I'm a sex addict."

Men tend to speak about it more freely.

"Finding some way to be isolated where I could pursue either sex with myself or other people," says addict Dean.

Dean admitted to us via Skype that addiction controlled his life. "99% of the time, it was no thought whatsoever to anything other than to where my next sexual charge is gonna come from, then the next and the next and the next. And that pursuit isn't cheap."

"I have clients that have spent upwards of $30,000 to keep their addiction alive."

Steven Boyd is a certified sex addiction therapist, with an office in Reno.

He says this type of addiction begins in the brain. "Sex and food are the two natural releases of dopamine within the brain, so people get reward from those things."

Especially, when they don't get that reward anywhere else. "Addicts use substances and behaviors because they are a reliable substitute for using real relationships for real support for nurturing and being vulnerable and being supported," says Weiss.

Experts say 5-8% of our population has some problem with compulsive or addictive sexual behavior.

And like other addictions, there's help for those who do.

Treatment is available and there are thousands of success stories. Tuesday night, we'll hear from those in recovery and show you how sex addiction is treated.

Contact information:

Sexual Recovery Institute, SRI – Founder, Rob Weiss
Call 877-959-4114

Steve Boyd-- M.Div., MS, MFT Intern, LADC, CSAT
Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, Reno, NV

12 Step Meetings
Sex Addicts Anonymous

Sexaholics Anonymous of Reno and Northern Nevada

Treatment/Inpatient Centers
The Elements, Los Angeles, CA
The Ranch, Nunnelly, Tennessee

Written by Andi Guevara

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