Soul wounds: The psychological sex addict

by Theresa Marie Abec, FLT Columnist

Psychological pain damages the soul, leading an individual to attempt to alleviate these inflictions. An individual with soul troubles can try to use sex to medicate the soul. The problem is that self-prescribed medicine causes problems of stunted growth and doesn’t really get to the root of the issue.

Ninety percent of sex addicts come from a family where there was emotional abuse, 80 percent were sexually abused and 70 percent experienced physical abuse. The psychologically wounded sex addict is one of the six types of sex addicts.  An individual who experiences childhood trauma such as neglect and/or emotional/sexual/physical abuse tries to feel better by using sex to avoid pain.

In the case of the psychologically wounded sex addict, they use sex which then blocks their normal developmental growth (emotionally, spiritually and morally). So for example, a 12-year-old male’s parent dies and he chooses to use the porn world to deal with his pain. The porn world (which is a fantasy) soothes him temporarily but if this is the primary coping skill he uses he will most likely be an adult who still acts like a 12-year-old emotionally. Another example, is an 8-year-old girl who is sexually abused and now enters therapy as a young adult because of her troubled dating life. She has had an abortion, a sexually transmitted infection and has a deep sense that she is unworthy and she has been using sex to try and feel better.

The etiological factors to sex addiction are many, and some individuals under the same horrific childhood experiences do not choose sex to cope. With the psychologically-based sex addict, their pain caused a need to feel better which led to the choice of sex as a coping strategy which then led to sex addiction. Root factors need to be looked at for healing to occur; there is help for sex addiction.

Theresa Marie Abec is a Board Certified Clinical Counselor and welcomes new patients looking for assistance with adults with mental health issues specializing in sex addiction recovery therapy. Currently under direct clinical supervision with Dr. Doug Weiss through the American Association for Sex Addiction Therapy (AASAT). To schedule an appointment with Theresa, call Serenity Health & Wellness Center at 419-891-2181.