Could Sex Addiction Be The Result of Emotional Neglect?

Could Sex Addiction Be The Result of Emotional Neglect?

Roxie Hart is one of the leading characters in the musical Chicago. During a particularly sexually provocative moment in one of her songs, she sings about the mutual love between her and her fans, “And they love me for loving them and I love them for loving me and we love each other. That’s because none of us got enough love in our childhood.” Chicago is set in the “roaring” twenties when promiscuity and alcohol abuse were part of the popular subculture associated with Jazz music.

Miss Hart might have been onto something in her singing. Not getting enough love in one’s childhood- which might more specifically be described as emotional neglect- creates long term psychological problems. Parents who are emotionally void, emotionally unavailable, abusive, neglectful, or abandoning create a lasting impact on their children. Children learn from their parents, meaning they learn lessons about themselves from their parents, like whether or not they are lovable, deserving of love, and whether or not the actions that they take to receive love work. Each child internalizes and copes with their lessons of love and worthiness in different ways. Some cope with drugs and alcohol, others become codependent, some enter abusive relationships, and some become addicted to sexual activity as well as sexual behavior.

Psych Central cites that as of a study published in 1998, 87% of people who would be called “sex addicts” experienced emotional neglect in their childhoods. Sexual activity and sexual behavior might be a form of coping as well as a method of self-soothing. Without having a demonstrated idea of healthy affection, respect, love, and attention in a relationship, someone can develop unhealthy behaviors based on delusional conceptions of what these attributes feel like. As a process addiction, sex and sexual activity do produce a significant amount of dopamine along with other chemical hormones, which create good-feeling feelings and pleasurable sensations. At once, sex addiction provides the pleasure of love, nonsexually and the love of pleasure, sexually. For an individual who is lacking in the experience of healthy love, these unhealthy forms of love can feel satisfying both physically and emotionally.

If you are struggling to create and maintain healthy relationships due to an ongoing problem with sex addiction, you are not alone. Many people come from a difficult past and do the best they can to cope. Treatment is a safe place to explore the pains of the past while gaining valuable tools for living differently in the future. Call Cottonwood Tucson today for information on our critically acclaimed co-occurring disorder treatment programs for sex addiction. (888) 727-0441

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CARF - Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities NATSAP | National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs NAADAC newsweek