Recent Reviews

Sexual Addiction

In the early 20'th century alcoholism and drug addiction weren't seen as real medical issues, but as moral shortcomings which could largely not be controlled. Since then we've learned a lot about the nature of addiction and alcoholism and drug addiction are recognized as real diseases. In fact, in 1953 the American Medical Association (AMA) started recognizing alcoholism as a disease of the brain.

Fast forward to today and many people (dare I say most) see sexual addiction as not a real "disease of the brain," but a sign of weakness of character. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) does not recognize it as a disease and as a result most insurance companies won't cover in-patient treatment for sexual addiction.

Sexual addiction is real and can have the same devastating effects on a person's quality of life as any substance. They both flood the brain with dopamine and constantly raise an individual's "set-point" resulting in more compulsive, dangerous and self-destructive behavior in a similar way drugs and alcohol do.

The Problem
Sexual addiction can be manifest in several ways. Here are a few examples:

  • Compulsive pornography use
  • Sex outside of a committed relationship or marriage
  • Hiring prostitutes
  • Anonymous or high-risk sexual encounters
The Controversy
Quite a few people believe that "sexual addiction" is a made-up excuse for people to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. It's easy to understand why many people think this - Tiger Woods, Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein. All of them not only announced that they were in treatment for sexual addiction, but reportedly they each went to the same rehab facility in Arizona (Gentle Path, a specialized treatment center that is part of The Meadows), albeit at different times.

Many people believe that addiction is used as a scapegoat for these people to help them rehabilitate their public image following scandal. We can't know an individual's motivations for seeking help in any addiction, but the fact remains that compulsive sexual behavior is a widespread problem which many people seek treatment to address.