What Is It About Those Who Have Sexual Addiction That Should Concern You About Your Child’s Safety? Part XXIV

Source: Figure 8 in Zillmann, Dolf: "Effe...
Source: Figure 8 in Zillmann, Dolf: "Effects of Prolonged Consumption of Pornography", http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/NN/B/C/K/V/, included in the Report of the Surgeon General's Workshop on Pornography and Public Health, United States Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General, August 4, 1986 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

Last night did you walk in on your spouse or partner in the computer room surfing the Internet for pornography? Maybe, you walked into the computer room after your spouse or partner just completed his/her sexual gratification course on sexual addiction, but the class did not go as the both of you planned? Just how serious is this little sexual addiction problem Americans are facing on a day to day basis?

The statistics should concern the average person that there are possibly 16 to 18 million people who are viewing pornography on a daily basis. Further research has demonstrated that 70% of men and women who attend church have viewed pornography on the Internet in the past year.

In the treatment and recovery of sexual addiction on of the problems is that the manner in which men/women are finally caught and how the spouse or partner may act about their new found knowledge. The spouse or partner may act as if they want to assist the possible sexual addict in dealing with the problem. When in reality they are completely, thoroughly and consciously telling the mental health professional a minimal amount of information in order to protect the possible sexual addict. Sometimes things just don’t make sense.

It is like the spouse or partner who knows that they need to lose weight and they try desperately to come alongside them and help them. However, on the way home they see this pound cake which they know isn’t a part of the diet plan, but purchase the cake and bring it home, exposing the weight addict with a tool to fail. The sexual addict is no different, the spouse or partner finds out their spouse or partner is addicted to Internet pornography and instead of turning the computer off, they keep it on, allowing the possible sexual addict access to the sexual tools.

If the spouse or partner is asked by a clinician, what the problem is reference the possible sexual addict they may deny or minimize the possible sexual addict’s behavior. If the clinician is concerned that the spouse or partner is not being truthful in their rendition of the possible sexual addict’s problem, than the question by the clinician needs to be what other addictions is the spouse or partner not telling them about.

Studies have demonstrated that 83% of sexual addicts report multiple addictions, including chemical dependency 42%, eating disorders 38%, compulsive working 28%, compulsive spending 26%, and compulsive gambling 5%. Further, Dr. Patrick Carnes found in some studies that in the treatment of alcoholism sexual compulsion in 42 to 73% of patients (Carnes, 1998).

Once a spouse or partner identifies that their spouse or partner may be a possible sexual addict the first step would be to locate the necessary resources for the possible sexual addict to contact, set-up an appointment, and then make it a priority to attend the appointment.

The problem with sexual addicts is that the title of being a possible sexual addict is disgusting. Further, if others know that he/she is a sexual addict this may be embarrassing. The possible sexual addict may be filled with guilt and shame for the new found title.

The possible sexual addict’s actions will be inconsistent and shaky and their decision making will be based not on how they feel, but on how their spouses and partners feel. The discovery of the spouse or partner being an addict will change for that moment in time, a power shift within the household.

The spouse or partner whom prior to the disclosure use to be self-assured, responsible, reliable, and confident, will not be the same person during these infancy stages of determining the specific extend of their problem.

Once the possible sexual addict arrives at the mental health facility, church, counselors and other types of professionals. The possible sexual addict will be asked to complete paperwork which will identify who this person is, historical information, and then provide a synopsis of what the exact problem is.

This procedure and protocol will take fifteen to thirty minutes and then be given to the professional who will be meeting with him/her to review. After the introductions, the possible sexual addict will follow the professional to a specific room where they will be able to talk about the problem(s).

It isn’t advisable for the spouse or partner of the possible sexual addict to be present during the first couple meetings or if ever. This will depend upon if the possible sexual addict feels comfortable in having his spouse or partner hear exactly what types of sexual out of control behavior he/she is into.

The process is similar to when you were a child and you had reached that age where it was time to go into the patients room by yourself and politely you said sorry but I have it from here folks. At that time that was crossing the line, no mom and/or dad. With the possible sexual addict he/she may feel uncomfortable with explaining the sexual out of control problem in front of their spouse or partner.

So what is the solution? The mental health professional should make things easy on the possible sexual offender and tell the spouse or partner that the initial meeting needs to be performed in private. There are HIPPA laws which restrict specifically what the individual and professionals have to abide by. These regulations are needed and necessary.

Tomorrow, we will continue with the assessment aspects of the possible sexual addict to determine if or if not he/she a sexual addict. As seen today, it isn’t easy having a serious mental health issue. The difficulties surrounding the possible sexual addicts are emotional and demanding. We will examine and evaluate these difficulties and hopefully come full-circle.

Lawrence W. Daly
253-852-6702 B/P
253-852-6704 Fax
Kent, WA

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