Is Full Recovery From Sex Addiction Possible?
Sex addiction is one of the most insidious and most challenging to treat types of addiction. For many in the throes of this addiction, it is also one of the most difficult to recover from. Many people have to go through years of treatment and therapy before they can declare themselves free from the most debilitating symptoms of sexual addiction.
How Long it Takes to Recover From Sex Addiction
How long does it take for sex addicts to recover from their addiction? The actual amount of time varies from person to person, of course. There are many factors to consider, and no one can say just how long their recovery will take. But for a significant percentage of sex addicts, the entire process can take up to three to five years.
Why does it take so long for sex addicts to recover? The addict and the family must understand that sex addiction is often a chronic condition for most people. As such, it will require continuous treatment, in some cases, for the rest of the person’s life. This is often necessary to prevent a relapse or reversion to the previous destructive behavior.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
At this point, you may have already realized that it is possible to recover from sex addiction. Many people become trapped in the lifestyle and destructive patterns of behavior for years and have somehow managed to work their way out of it. With hard work, the support of friends and family, and a bit of luck, anyone with sex addiction can wake up one day with the realization that he or she is a recovered sex addict.
The Long Road Ahead
Of course, getting from point A to point B isn’t easy. It is a monumental task to leave behind old habits and shed destructive behaviors. One of the most important things for sex addicts to remember is that they have to overcome the harmful habits they have adopted to live a normal life.
Earlier, we mentioned the existence of many factors that could affect the person’s recovery process. Some of the most significant of these are:
- The underlying cause of the addiction
- Whether or not the root cause has been established
- Whether or not treatment has been sought
- Willingness to change behavior
- How much effort is put into getting better
- The presence of a strong support network
These are only some of the factors that could affect the length of time addicts will have to go through in order to get better. There may also be other personal and societal factors that could affect the length of recovery, and indeed, whether or not the addict recovers at all.
What the Recovery Process Entails
Again the circumstances vary from person to person, so the actual recovery process may differ between different people. In most cases, however, sex addicts go through six distinct stages on the road to recovery. These are:
- Development, which typically takes up to two years
- Crisis or decision, which takes anywhere from a single day to three months
- Shock, which takes from six to eight months
- Grief, which lasts up to six months
- Repair, which takes from 18 to 36 months
- Growth, which lasts at least two years
These are the steps that most sex addicts typically go through during the process of recovery. But before the addict begins to work their way out of addiction, they usually go through a period of sexual addiction withdrawal. This stage is often characterized by the following:
- Unusual dreams and fantasies, which are often sexual
- Unfamiliar physical symptoms
- Mood swings
- Restlessness and irritation
Making a Real Change
Perhaps the most critical component of recovery from sex addiction is the decision to make a real change. Sex addicts will have to realize that the previous patterns, habits, and behaviors are no longer acceptable to any degree. They will have to be discarded and left in the past so that the person can begin a new life free from addiction.
By deciding to go on this path and committing to the recovery process whatever it takes, sex addicts can resume their normal lives. Given enough time and support, even the most troubled sex addict can make a full recovery.