Sex addiction is a growing problem in society today that it is often less talked about than addictions to drugs or alcohol. But if you are facing an addiction to sex, you are not alone. Research shows that the prevalence of sexual addiction–related disorders ranges from 3% to 6% in the general population.1 Many people struggle with behavioral addictions such as compulsive sexual behavior, so finding treatment is important, because like any other addiction, an addiction to sex can result in escalating behaviors that negatively affect a person’s relationships, work, or school.
Although compulsive sexual behavior, hypersexuality, hypersexual disorder, nymphomania, and sexual addiction are not listed as a formal addictions in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), treatment professionals recognize that people do struggle with these issues. One of the problems in diagnosing sexual addiction, however, is that not everyone presents with the same symptoms of the disorder, and many people try to hide their addiction.2
One easy step toward finding help for a sex addiction is calling a confidential helpline. Sometimes people are nervous to do so because they don’t know what that entails. Here, you’ll learn what a helpline does and receive several options to try.
IS CALLING A HELPLINE BENEFICIAL?
It can be hard to talk about your sex addiction given the secrecy and shame that often surrounds this behavioral health disorder. But when you are open to sharing what you’re going through, you may discover there are many people who are there to help you.
Helplines are a free and confidential way to talk to someone about what you’re going through. When you begin looking for helplines, try to find ones that are from reputable sites. A good place to start is by looking for helplines listed on pages that end in .gov or the ones listed on this page. Almost all helplines are operated by volunteers or staff members who specialize in treating addiction or supporting you in finding treatment.
Most of the people who work the helplines have first-hand experience with addiction or know a lot about it. The purpose of a helpline is to offer you non-judgmental support and resources. In fact, the information that you can find through a helpline could save your life.
Calling a helpline to talk about your behavioral addiction is a productive step toward recovery: It reminds you that you aren’t alone, which is important if you have kept it hidden from your family and friends and ended up feeling isolated and hopeless.
Helplines offer 24-hour support and are answered by compassionate and knowledgeable people who not only listen to your situation, but can provide up-to-date information and suggest the next steps to take. During a helpline call you will be given the time and space to talk through your situation, ask any questions you may have, and receive answers that can help you make a decision about the type of treatment you would like to enter. Sex addiction rehab helplines are incredibly useful resources when you are curious about treatment or are ready to take that step toward recovery.
VARIOUS SEX ADDICTION RESOURCES AND LISTINGS
If you are struggling with a sex addiction, there’s a chance that you may also be dealing with other addictions such as a drug addiction, alcohol dependency, eating disorder, or another behavioral addiction such as gambling or shopping. In many cases, people who struggle with a sex addiction also have a mental health disorder such as depression that may be fueling their sex addiction. If this is true for you or a loved one, talking to someone can help you find a way to address your other addictions and any mental health issues you are facing.
Talking to someone can help you find a way to address your other addictions and any mental health issues you are facing.
This is a list of rehab and sex addiction helplines that can assist you at any point in your treatment journey. There are people who understand what you are going through and are ready and willing to help you.
- Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA): SAA is a group that follows the 12-step tradition. SAA is open to people of any gender and sexual identity or orientation.
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline: This free and confidential helpline is offered in English and Spanish 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This is an information service for addicted individuals and family members who are dealing with mental health, behavioral health, and substance use disorders. This helpline also provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.