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Relationships & Social Issues This forum is for adults with AD/HD to discuss how AD/HD affects personal relationships.

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Old 04-08-13, 10:43 PM
zeek123 zeek123 is offline
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Treatment for ADD and sex addiction

I am fairly new to this board and am still working my way through treatment for ADD, even though my new psychiatrist does not feel I have ADD. However, based on my history of symptoms, response to medication, and comparing myself to others on here, I'm sure I'm in the right place.

Without going into a huge story, I'm writing this because I'm looking for some advice from anyone who has suffered from ADD and sex addiction. I am pretty certain that I suffer from both. The sex addiction has not ruined my life yet, but I know I have to do something about it. I read this article about the link between ADD and sex addiction.
http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/the...e-sexuality/3/

I can identify with pretty much everything that's discussed in that article. I'm a young smart guy with a great career, but have suffered with anxiety, depression, and ADD. My childhood and adult life has been riddled with family tension and verbal abuse. Recently, I have been struggling trying to take care of my parents who are not in good health. This has led to an emotional rollercoaster. I desperately crave a relationship filled with love and respect, but the release of dopamine from sex helps to temporarily settle whatever physical, emotional, and biochemical rollercoaster I experience on a daily basis. Of course there is a great sense of shame associated with this. As the article says, the sex addict is trying to fill the void that has been at least partially created by shame.

Anyways, I'm curious to see how others in the same position have dealt with both ADD and sex addiction. I know when I am on Concerta I feel a lot better and don't feel like the desire for sex controls me. So, I am trying to get back on that medication. Other than meds, I'm interested in any other suggestions.

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Old 04-09-13, 07:02 AM
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Re: Treatment for ADD and sex addiction

Hypersexuality is a huge problem for me. At least you've identified the problem and why you are doing it. Meaningful relationships can be hard to find however. Do you have any friends who can come over (since you have ailing parents) and spend time with you? That might help.
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Old 04-09-13, 08:59 AM
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Re: Treatment for ADD and sex addiction

I don't have any experience with this but have you tried working out, a lot? Lots of cardiovascular exercise might get rid of the excess energy. Not sure if it would help but it might.
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Old 04-09-13, 12:14 PM
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Re: Treatment for ADD and sex addiction

Thanks for the replies.

I do work out somewhat regularly and it helps to some degree. But, even after working out I still feel like I have a desire for porn or something sexual.

Unfortunately, I don't have many meaningful friendships. I have a few cousins and my sister that I usually hang out with. However, they all have their own problems and they all tend to be pretty negative about life. So, it's kind of difficult to get positive support.
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Old 04-09-13, 01:10 PM
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Re: Treatment for ADD and sex addiction

Addictive behaviors can take on lots of different mediums. Have you talked to your doc about it? If it is something you want to curb, maybe there are different meds you could take.

I know when I was on stimulants I had a very hard time with pulling hair (trichotillomania). The stimulants increased my compulsivity.

But you are saying that your concerta helps?

Have you ever tried Welbutrin? In the UK welbutrin is used to help people quit smoking. Maybe it could help with your sex addiction.
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Old 04-09-13, 02:27 PM
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Re: Treatment for ADD and sex addiction

In my view it's important to look closely at whether you are feeling shame because your sexual behaviour doesn't fit a cultural "norm". Many people have unconventional sex lives and can have multiple sexual partners within a deeply loving and committed relationship.

You also indicate the "addiction" does not yet impact negatively on your life.... but you are concerned it may do in the future. While this may be valid it would need detailed discussion to find out why you have that belief.

This is the realm of the experienced psychotherapist.... however the issue is that each school of psychotherapeutic thought has its own take on the sex drive. The existentials for example might say that your sexual behaviours are a response to your fear of death and this might link in quite well to your situation regarding your parents.

In my own experience I have found that awareness was the first step.... realising that my desire for sexual stimulation was causing problems in my relationships with others. I decided to look at the way I handled intimacy... so I began to experiment by going along to a Tantra group and beginning Tango dancing.... specifically with the aim of being able to combine mindfulness with intimate experiences to see what I felt.... experiences I would then discuss with my therapist.

Over the years I added shamanic work and also massage, together with training and reading around psychology and therapeutic concepts. This has allowed me to slowly put my sexuality into context and understand it's links to my ADD and my upbringing... both of which mesh together to bring a perfect storm of impulsivity, shame, repression and anxiety over matters sexual.

I have found the best thing is to work on self awareness and compassion for myself through experiments with intimacy in various contexts and situations.

You have taken the first step by asking the simple question "Why do I do this?"

kilted
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Old 05-31-13, 09:12 PM
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Re: Treatment for ADD and sex addiction

Zeek123, do you live in California and how old are you? Lol, jk jk.
I have the same problem. I've adjusted to meet my needs by having one or two friends with benefits to deal with this (one at a time though) and have suffered from the repurcussions (eg hard to find a meaningful relationship).
If you need someone to talk to or find any solutions, please let me know! : )
Thanks!
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Old 06-11-13, 10:21 PM
RobbBlack RobbBlack is offline
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Re: Treatment for ADD and sex addiction

I have ADHD and I am a recovering sex addict. Most of my compulsion/addiction revolves around pornography and masturbation. I have done outpatient therapy mostly with some 12 Step work (though personally the 12 step program is not for me). I would encourage you to find a legitimate sex addiction counselor, not just someone who lists it as one of the many things they can treat. There are some good resources out there. The leading doctor in the field is Patrick Carnes. He has written a couple of books. I would suggest that you pick up his first book and read through it. It will give you a better idea of what sex addiction is and if you need to seek treatment for it. He does training programs for counselors so you might want to try to find someone who has done his training program. My counselor had done that training and he was really great.

Sex addiction and other "lifestyle" addictions can be some of (if not) the hardest to manage/break. It isn't like you just can't go without sex the rest of your life (which is actually sexual anorexia and is also just as bad). You have to establish boundaries for your behavior and understand why you engage in that behavior. One of the things I got out of group therapy was HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Those four conditions can trigger acting out sexually. Keep that in mind as you go about your day and feel the urge to act out and try to be cognizant of your condition. If it is one of the HALT conditions then try to take care of yourself (eat healthy, de-stress, reach out to a friend, go to bed).

My ADHD can feed my addiction. HALT is not enough for me. I need a B added for BOREDOM. I find myself acting out mostly from boredom. If I have a computer in front of me and nothing else going on, I will just default surf porn out of sheer boredom and one thing leads to another and I am acting out. The trick is to find both internal and external controls for my behavior. And like many others with ADHD/ADD I have low self-esteem and so I use acting out sexually to deal with my frustrations around that low self-esteem. That's just a couple of ways that ADHD/ADD interacts with my addiction.

Good luck. Be good to yourself, and do some research. Good information is out there, and there are good people to help you as well. I would start with Patrick Carnes' book and website.
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Old 06-13-13, 07:53 PM
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Re: Treatment for ADD and sex addiction

Sex addiction is real ... And the definition is pretty much the same as with any other harmful addiction such as with alcohol. But it's more along the lines of an addiction like gambling. Whether it's an addiction or a dangerous compulsion (however you want to define it) the consequences can be devastating.

A normal alcohol drinker can have wine or beer--heck I have a friend of mine who puts down 2 peers every day ... but his personality doesn't change. He doesn't distort his life because of it ... He doesn't feel himself drinking when he doesn't want to drink. He doesn't structure his life around drinking. His work life and social life and family life are not at the mercy of his drinking.

Same with sex ... there are lots of people who sleep around a lot ... But as long as they want to sleep around ... and as long as they don't sleep around compulsively when they are depressed or to deal with moods ... it's not edging into sex addiction. But when you chase the high of sex even when you don't want to chase the high of sex ... When you can't stop chasing even when you say you need to stop, then there's a problem. When you can't stop, even though it costing you thousands of dollars and leading to major financial problems, there's a problem.

I know people who've gone into bankruptcy because of spending associated with sex addiction.

Sex addicts don't enjoy the sex--it's more like it is with a heroin addict: a hit relieves temporarily some pain. It doesn't create joy or connection or fun. I know a professional who was a sex addict who lost his license from doing something illegal (I won't say here) to get sex. It was truly dumb. He was in jail the last time I heard.

There are people who get fired from all kinds of jobs because they compulsively watch pornography and they lose all discretion and watch it at work ... or can't get any work done because they are so stuck on porn.

Basically, you want a sex addiction therapist to help with sex addiction.

Many sex addiction therapists think that sex addiction is a problem of people who can't create normal forms of intimacy ... These people emotionally starve themselves of closeness and tenderness ... and then they end up bingeing on sex as a way to get some nurture. It is not a helpful way to get nurture and connection, of course.

Just google sex addiction counselor and whatever town/big city you're near and you'll likely find someone who specializes in this ... Probably counselors who treat gambling addiction might be helpful as well. Definitely need to find someone who deals with addictions ... as many counselors will underestimate how damaging the sex addiction is.

Meds can help ... and you ought to tell your prescribing doctor about the sex addiction. That way, the doctor can think and brainstorm about what meds might be of the greatest help. Yes, treating ADHD can help, but you also need to take the sex addiction seriously as its own thing.

Good luck.
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Old 06-27-13, 05:42 PM
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Re: Treatment for ADD and sex addiction

I think that many people are wrong about sex addiction.
I believe that sex addiction (at least in my case) is 99.99% hormonal thing.

I am a lazy type of person, but when I am determined about something I WILL DO IT. PERIOD. I hope this doesn't sound pretentious but if there is one thing I was always proud of it is my willpower. I literally take myself to the point of feeling like fainting of how much I work for the desired goal, punching myself to the groin at times in order to stop sex addiction, abstaining for 80+ days without masturbation even though I'd do it 15-20 times a day if I'd let myself.......And guess what? After all that my sex addiction is still here if not even worse!

True, I never did anything immoral or something I'd be ashamed of so far, but it came with blood sweat and tears...and I don't want to live torture, I want to live life.

All that made me 100% sure, that for many people sex addiction is much more than just a habbit, it is hormonal, it is either caused by the condition such as ADD/ADHD, depression, bipolar or by high testosterone or simply by both!
I believe that 12 step groups and behavioral therapy ALONE simply cannot help to people like me.

Many people run around saying "it's all in the head"...sure I follow that philosophy for the most part myself, but unless you're like some of us you will never really understand what it feels like and that it's not LITERALLY ALL in your head. It is easy for people who have mild sex addiction (which is more of a simple habit and nothing else) to boast around how they broke it and how it is all psychological, they never had real sex addiction in the first place!

If it isn't related to hormones why would so many people with some other mental disorders have their sex addiction completely treated or at least taken to a controllable level after taking prozac, paxil or some ADD/ADHD pill? Doesn't that tell you something??? I hope my point is clear.
I can't stress enough of how poorly covered the topic of Sex Addiction today yet it is such a devastating and epidemic problem that in my opinion can LITERALLY end this world.

I never thought I'd ever consider medication, or chemical castration, but in the following months (after I take testosterone blood test) I will finally visit a psychiatrist for the first time and seek for anything that can help (I am sure I'll be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and possibly dysthymia as well, I've had those symptoms most of my life).

Anyway, thanks for this great topic and please keep it alive, any help and hope that this HELL can stop is truly PRICELESS to many of us who suffer from this.

Thank you!
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Old 09-15-17, 01:56 AM
Worriedoldie Worriedoldie is offline
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Re: Treatment for ADD and sex addiction

Sorry for necroing this badly, but I personally need to understand more...
Im in the proces of finding out with the psychiatrist wether I have add, bipolar or both.

I some how stumbled over this issue with sex addiction and realised that maybe I should have mentioned to the psychiatrist that I bascially masturbate atleast once a day and for some periods of time have a tendency to objectify women... obssesing with thoughts what it would be like to engage in activities with random "hotties" I come across on the train.

My most inappropiate sexual behaviour died out in the mid 20s, having crossed some borders that I feel ashamed off but never got punished for per say. Remained intimate with the girls afterwards for some time till the relationship died out naturally...
But this year marks the year I had my first prostituional experience. Not something Im proud off at all... I kind of just let go... but at the moment Im pretty sure Ill never do it again. Too much money and too many dark feelings afterwards.

But the masturbation is still going on and has been since I discovered one could do that. Im pretty sure I do it for the rush...

Would it be foolish to try and shake it before I get into any proper medication or should I just go ahead. Im mostly concerned that it will result in the same irretability as when I stopped smoking or tried to give up sugar, resulting in some not nice to be around behaviour.

And what is sex addiction tied to? ADD or bipolar? Must be ADD since Im not sure I was bipolar as a kid...
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