Celebrities Who Have Owned Up to being Sex Addicts: Facts on Treatment and Recovery for Sexual Addiction

By Sarah Thomas
August 4, 2014 1:51 PM EST

Celebrities Who Have Owned Up to being Sex Addicts: Facts on Treatment and Recovery for Sexual Addiction

According to the American Association for Family and Marriage Therapy, nearly 12 million Americans have sex addictions. The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health describes sex addiction as "engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behaviour acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others." The sufferers experience excessive sexual thoughts also indulging in sexual behaviours. This hypersexual disorder leads to a lot of problem in the addicts as it eventually interferes with their day-to-day life, determining and controlling their behaviour and relationship with other people.


Some notable celebrities have also admitted to having sexual addictions. Michael Douglas was the first to admit in 1990 that he had a high sex drive. Douglas was also allegedly taking treatment at an Arizona clinic. The other celebrities include Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen, singer Kanye West, model Nicole Narain and actor David Duchovny.


David Duchovny separated from his wife Tea Leoni after he went to the rehab for sex addiction. Model Nicole Narain suffered from chronic masturbation, a solitary sexual behaviour that is a major symptom of sex addiction. Actor Charlie Sheen, though he has not admitted to be a sex addict, news reports have always questioned if he was one because of his behaviour. He testified that he had paid $53,000 for the services of prostitutes, and slept with nearly 5,000 women.


There is just a very superficial knowledge of what sex addiction is, not many are aware of the facts and treatments on how to overcome this ailment. This particular disorder is said to be influenced by the biological, psychological and social factors. This sexual behaviour can also lead to distress and other disorders. John O'Neill, a certified addiction counsellor at the Menninger Clinic in Houston, said, "I see in them an inability to stop what they're doing. They're preoccupied; their brain just keeps going back to it. It often leads to loneliness and isolation. There's such intense shame and pain." The addiction takes a toll on their family life, social lives and jobs. A continuous indulgence in sexual activities with sex workers also puts them at a risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.


Increasing their self esteem and self-image and counselling them helps. It is also important to spread awareness about an excessive use of Internet which may expose them to porn at a young age. Equal importance must be given to monitoring and limiting computer use, and blocking pornographic sites. O'Neill said, "You want to make connections with other people who are also struggling, and you have to know who you are going to call, what you are going to do, and how you are going to attend to your feelings." He also stated that if they are willing to follow through, work with their families and their support networks, people can get significantly better and stay in recovery. In some cases, medication is also given to treat them.

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