Whilst it can often be embarrassing for the person to talk about, this is actually an addiction which
is all too commonplace. The reason it is less spoken about is because it is less socially acceptable;
the newspapers will happily publish figures about people injecting heroin, but figures about people
addicted to masturbating are very rarely featured. The same applies to those individuals who are
unable to be faithful to their partner despite loving them fiercely and not wanting to hurt them.

I, for one, think part of the problem is around people’s perception of addiction. There is still a
shocking amount of people out there that believe addiction is something the person chooses,
and that the solution is simply to stop – “well if you don’t want to get yourself into trouble, stop
exposing yourself in inappropriate situations” (all of the mentioned scenarios are ones that I hear
frequently. What many people fail to understand is that sex and love addiction is a compulsion, one
which the person often lives in fear of, and one that is not going to be beaten by willpower alone.
Professional help is required in order for the person to learn to understand their addiction and the
triggers which lead to certain behaviours. They can then develop coping strategies which will mean
they can live a happy life.

Other such examples may be those that are co-dependent on their partner, that constantly choose
inappropriate partners, that are addicted to online dating sites, those that visit prostitutes or call
sex lines. If the person has a sex or love addiction, I can almost guarantee it will not be the first time
it has been heard by one of our addiction treatment counsellors. I want to take the opportunity to
encourage the person to get in contact, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Help is out there and we
can start you on the road towards defeating love or sex addiction, just call us at any time.

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