Addictions always come with a variety of problems. To begin with, it can be traced sometimes to a troubled, childhood, the lack of loving family and support. Though there are agencies that help such as http://www.kidcentraltn.com/program/meritan-foster-care-services, there are numerous things that can act as “triggers” for the negative behavior. Sexual addictions are no exception.
It is important to be able to recognize what triggers the behavior for the addict, and for the nonaddict, it is important to help your friend or loved one succeed by also understanding these triggers and what you can do to lessen their effects.
Recognizing Your Triggers
If you are the one suffering from a sexual addiction, understanding how you feel and why you feel this way is vital to beating the addiction and gaining control. Triggers are what cause you to succumb to the desires and urges that take over and contribute to the addiction itself. They can be a number of things, but the most common for sexual addictions seem to be feelings of loneliness, depression, stress, and/or anxiety. You may find that one or more of these emotions might cause you to want to act in a way that contributes to the addiction.
For a lot of people, the urge (the addiction) is either their way of escaping the negative emotions or their way to punishing themselves because of the emotion. In these situations, it is important to have a few alternative methods of dealing with the way the emotion is handled. For example, when faced with anxiety or extreme stress, one who suffers from a sexual addiction might exercise or talk to someone who can take their mind off the problem or help the person get through it. This way he or she is dealing with the stress in a way that is not contributing to the problem but creating good habits that will help to eliminate the addiction. It can be extremely beneficial for the addict to find an accountability partner, and if you are that person, this next bit is for you.
Helping A Friend Recognize and Handle Triggers
When a friend or loved one suffers from an addiction, the people around that person also suffer. That is why all help is needed to get the struggling individual back to being in charge of his or her life. The bottom line is that the person cannot get rid of this disease by his/herself and need the support of the people closest to them. With a sexual addiction, support can be a little trickier to find. If you are one of those friends or loved ones who wants to help make a change in the addict’s life, there are some important things to know.
First, patience is a must. Losing it on the recovering addict if he or she gives in a little (or even more than a little), is not your job. Your only job is to support and help. Second, you must know as much information as possible about what the person is going through. In this case, know that common triggers are poor mental states (depression, stress, etc.) and be there when the person is struggling with a trigger. Lastly, the addict might not even be aware of the emotions or things that trigger the urges, thus you might have to gently explain this to him or her. Again, be patient as well as kind, but do point out the behavioral triggers to the person and help them practice ways to use the negative emotions in a more positive (or less harmful) way.
Overcoming an addiction takes time, much effort, and at least a little research. But in the end, it will be worth it for both the healing addict and the people around him/her.