Addiction is a medical and clinical term referring to physiological and psychological dependencies that exhibit themselves in destructive behavioral patterns. In layman’s terms, addiction is a destructive relationship with any mood or mind altering substance or experience. It is a complex human phenomenon that is manifested in physical, psychological, sociological and spiritual ways. It has been called the most human of all diseases or conditions, and no one is immune.
Sexual addiction is one of the most misunderstood of all addictions. Simply stated, sexual addiction is the loss of control over destructive sexual behavior or relationship.Perhaps the most helpful definition is a practical one: sexual behavior that has a negative effect on one’s life. A “sex addict” is someone who utilizes their sexual experience(s) to alter their mood or state of mind in a way that is destructive to them and their relationships. Most often thought of as inappropriate sexual behavior, sexual addiction can also be present in those who have no apparent inappropriate behavior. Even married monogamous people can be addicted sexually if they depend on “appropriate” sex to maintain their sense of well-being. Sexuality is an essential part of human life. But, when a person uses sexuality as if it were a drug to medicate their mood, the healthy spectrum of the sexual experience is eroded and it becomes destructive, and addictive. In fact, sexual addiction is not really about sex at all, it is about intimacy. Sexual addiction is a common result when sexuality is substituted for healthy intimacy.
To be alive is to be addicted, and to be alive and addicted is to stand in need of grace.
Gerald G. May MD, Addiction & Grace
An excerpt from When Lost Men Come Home - not for men only
copyright 2012, David Zailer