No one factor is thought to cause sexual addiction, but there is thought to be biological, psychological, and social factors that contribute to the development of these disorders. For example, the intoxication associated with sexual addiction is thought to be the result of changes in certain areas and chemicals in the brain that are elicited by the compulsion. Research differs somewhat in terms of gender-based patterns of sexual addiction. For example, some studies describe males who are introverted and highly educated as more inclined to develop an Internet addiction, including sexual Internet addiction. Other studies indicate that middle-aged women using home computers were more at risk for Internet sexual addiction. Psychological risk factors for sexual addiction are thought to include depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. The presence of a learning disability increases the risk of developing a sex addiction as well. As people with a history of suffering from any addiction are at risk for developing another addiction, being dependent on something else makes it more likely for sexual addiction to occur. Sufferers of these disorders tend to be socially isolated and have personality traits like insecurity, impulsivity, compulsive behaviors, trouble with relationship stability and intimacy, low ability to tolerate frustration, and a tendency to have trouble coping with emotions. People who are sexually abused are at somewhat higher risk of developing a sexual addiction. By Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD and Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD http://www.medicinenet.com/sexual_addiction/page2.htm#what_are_causes_and_risk_factors_for_sexual_addiction
Just as a heroin addict chases
a substance-induced high,
sex addicts are bingeing
on chemicals — in this case,
their own hormones.
Fear and shame result from messages that men are not doing the job – in the work place, or at home. And the job is increasingly difficult to accomplish today, because the man as sole bread-winner is unrealistic in this economy. In a sense, life was much easier for men in the past, when they were simply hunters and warriors. A complicating factor is the male tendency to fear any “feminine” aspect of their personality, behavior or feelings. Men, who are raised predominately by women, are afraid that certain emotions, and their need for nurturance, means they are not masculine. If they are emotionally vulnerable, sensitive, or dependent on others, they feel ashamed and out of control. A man who is shamed by childhood abuse or enmeshment with an overprotective mother may become emotionally hypersensitive and subject to narcissistic injury (any perceived insult, complaints, criticism, or unmet entitlement needs lead to excessively hurt, angry feelings). There are many challenges for boys learning to be men today, particularly in families where effective male role models are not fully available. In too many families, distressed parents are angry, rejecting, or even abusive. The male brain often adapts to these circumstances, and can result in defensive role rigidity, anger and rage. Boys learn during childhood to suppress emotion – for boys becoming men, feelings and their expression can be considered shameful. To complicate this situation, boys are not generally socialized or taught to connect, bond, or develop meaningful, emotionally supportive relationships – especially with other boys and men. Boys are physiologically and neurologically oriented toward action, tasks, and playing with objects – not toward relating interpersonally. Raised primarily by women, boys get most or all of their emotional needs met by women without any required reciprocity on their part. This results in emotional, narcissistic injuries as adults when their needs and expectations are not met. Anger develops as a coping mechanism. William Pollack (1995) says that anger is their “way of weeping” – the way they express their emotional pain. From article by Richard J. Loebl, LCSW, PA http://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-men.html
Children have never been very good
at listening to their elders,
but they have never
failed to imitate them.
Suicide rates have been rising dramatically. But of special concern, as reported in The New York Times is the number of middle-aged men killing themselves: “Suicide has typically been viewed as a problem of teenagers and the elderly, and the surge in suicide rates among middle-aged Americans is surprising.” “It is the baby boomer group where we see the highest rates of suicide,” said the C.D.C.’s deputy director, Ileana Arias. “The boomers had great expectations for what their life might look like, but I think perhaps it hasn’t panned out that way.” The University of Virginia sociologist Brad Wilcox recently pointed out in The Atlantic that there’s a strong link between suicide and weakened social ties. It has been getting tougher for men. Brought up to believe they are the stronger sex, expected to be the primary bread-winner for their families, with corporate leaders and entrepreneurs as role models, they have been finding it difficult to sustain their expected social roles. As a result, their self-esteem has been taking a beating. Wilcox goes on: “And over the last two decades, it’s men without college degrees who have ended up most disconnected from the core institutions of work, marriage, and civil society. Guess who is most likely to kill themselves? Men without college degrees.” Ross Douthat commenting on these trends in The Times noted: “The hard question facing 21st-century America is whether this retreat from community can reverse itself, or whether an aging society dealing with structural unemployment and declining birth and marriage rates is simply destined to leave more people disconnected, anxious and alone.” And he moves away from seeing it as relevant to politics and social policy. At the very end of his piece, citing an article in The New Republic on “The Lethality of Loneliness,” he notes “one in three Americans over 45 identifies as chronically lonely.” In other words, he changes the subject: “There are public and private ways to manage this loneliness epidemic — through social workers, therapists, even pets. And the Internet, of course, promises endless forms of virtual community to replace or supplement the real.” From an article by Ken Eisold, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hidden-motives/201305/suicide-loneliness-and-the-vulnerability-men
You cannot be lonely
if you like the person
you’re alone with.
Ask any couple what the deal breaker is in their relationship, and a vast majority will tell you that a cheating spouse is right at the top of the list. It’s easy to conceive why a cheating spouse can spell out the bitter end of what might otherwise have been a forever thing. It’s not just the physical betrayal, but also the loss of trust and the emotional infidelity… A partner being unfaithful can also trigger intense levels of depression, low self-esteem, low self-worth and feelings of abandonment for the person who was cheated on. No one wants to feel as though their partner simply found someone better than they are, that they weren’t good enough to love forever. All of this adds up to make complete sense of the fear that many people feel towards the possibility of infidelity in their relationship. But when it comes down to it, the fear of being cheated on is a personal insecurity that only you can change. Don’t get me wrong. If you’ve been cheated on before, I know it’s hard to trust again. Believe me, I’ve been there. But there comes a point when you have to stop punishing yourself and say ‘What they did was about them, not about me’. They chose to cheat because of the kind of person they are, because of the circumstances they allowed themselves to become involved in, not because you weren’t good enough. Yet, it’s hard to believe that when you’ve been betrayed and your relationship has been fractured, and you express the fear that remains with the following kinds of actions or behavior:
* Insecurity about personal looks and attributes
* Checking in on where the other person is going, or has been
* Snooping on phones, emails or internet accounts
* Constantly telling the other person that you know they will leave you for someone else
* Seeking constant reassurance
* Searching through your partners personal items or vehicle for evidence
All of these responses are understandable, but they are also complete energy and time wasters. Obsessing about your partner cheating won’t stop it from happening. From an article by Rachael Lay http://www.rachaellay.com/why-worrying-about-cheating-is-pointless/
It takes two people to create
a successful relationship.
It only takes one person
to make it fail.
From “Truth About Deception”
To continue to open yourself up emotionally to an abusive or addicted person without seeing true change is foolish. You should not continue to set yourself up for hurt and disappointment. If you have been in an abusive relationship, you should wait until it is safe and until real patterns of change have been demonstrated before you go back. In that horribly rough, shaky, nerve-rattling stage of stepping out in the truth, many adult survivors will have strong physical reactions to what they are remembering or seeing in a new light. They will, in many cases, demonstrate the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. They have been locked in a false reality for so long…. they are bound to feel the physical pain, via headaches, stomach pains, panic attacks, etc. in looking at the truth of what is. (And all that is one of the many, many reasons we highly recommend therapy for all adult survivors of emotional child abuse.) Unable to endure the headaches and that terrible feeling of guilt, of being orphaned, many adult survivors hurry back. A professional therapist, however, may tell them to hold on. Wait. Give it time. You don’t hurry back to the abusers to stop having headaches or feeling bad. Go to a professional therapist. Even if you cannot afford regular visits, go when you can to the same one, who will know your history and will be able to guide you through everything. They will not be sentimental about what could have been and can remind you of what exactly you’d be hurrying back to. Get rid of the magical thinking— “I wish my parents had been loving!” or “Maybe my parents will love me this time!”— is a tremendous step towards becoming healthy once more. So, let yourself mourn what you didn’t have and mourn what you did have. You have the right to be sad. It’s all right. Let yourself be sad…. (Just make sure that the mourning doesn’t last for too long or become suicidal or hopelessness… Look to the present. Remind yourself of the gift that you’ve given yourself in facing the truth of your emotionally abusive childhood. You can no longer be held emotional hostage. You are free to be who God intended you to be, free to be your most authentic self. Instead of wanting to turn back to the past, focus on what you have today… and try and create a new life for yourself with friends who are emotionally healthy, loving, and kind… and be that to others, too. By Veronica Maria Jarski http://theinvisiblescar.wordpress.com/tag/adult-survivors-of-emotional-child-abuse-2/
Don’t turn your face away.
Once you’ve seen,
You can no longer act like you don’t know.
Open your eyes to the truth.
It’s all around you.
Don’t deny what the eyes
To your soul have revealed to you.
Douglas Besharov states in Recognizing Child Abuse: A Guide for the Concerned, “Emotional abuse is an assault on the child’s psyche, just as physical abuse is an assault on the child’s body”(1990). Children who are constantly ignored, shamed, terrorized or humiliated suffer at least as much, if not more, than if they are physically assaulted. Danya Glaser (2002) finds that emotional abuse can be “more strongly predictive of subsequent impairments in the children’s development than the severity of physical abuse.” An infant who is severely deprived of basic emotional nurturance, even though physically well cared for, can fail to thrive and can eventually die. Babies with less severe emotional deprivation can grow into anxious and insecure children who are slow to develop and who have low self-esteem. Although the visible signs of emotional abuse in children can be difficult to detect, the hidden scars of this type of abuse manifest in numerous behavioral ways, including insecurity, poor self-esteem, destructive behavior, angry acts (such as fire setting and animal cruelty), withdrawal, poor development of basic skills, alcohol or drug abuse, suicide, difficulty forming relationships and unstable job histories. Emotionally abused children often grow up thinking that they are deficient in some way. A continuing tragedy of emotional abuse is that, when these children become parents, they may continue the cycle with their own children. Some children may experience emotional abuse only, without ever experiencing another form of abuse. However, emotional abuse typically is associated with and results from other types of abuse and neglect, which makes it a significant risk factor in all child abuse and neglect cases. Emotional abuse that exists independently of other forms of abuse is the most difficult form of child abuse to identify and stop.
There is no greater evil
than those who willingly
hurt an innocent child.
To continue to open yourself up emotionally to an abusive or addicted person without seeing true change is foolish. You should not continue to set yourself up for hurt and disappointment. If you have been in an abusive relationship, you should wait until it is safe and until real patterns of change have been demonstrated before you go back. In that horribly rough, shaky, nerve-rattling stage of stepping out in the truth, many adult survivors will have strong physical reactions to what they are remembering or seeing in a new light. They will, in many cases, demonstrate the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. They have been locked in a false reality for so long…. they are bound to feel the physical pain, via headaches, stomach pains, panic attacks, etc. in looking at the truth of what is. (And all that is one of the many, many reasons we highly recommend therapy for all adult survivors of emotional child abuse.) Unable to endure the headaches and that terrible feeling of guilt, of being orphaned, many adult survivors hurry back. A professional therapist, however, may tell them to hold on. Wait. Give it time. You don’t hurry back to the abusers to stop having headaches or feeling bad. In one case, we heard a therapist offer the following advice: “You’ve been living under a dictator for so long… You are bound to be lost right now. To feel that you’ve somehow betrayed your parents and family. But you are free now. And freedom takes some getting used to.” Mourn your loss… Getting rid of the magical thinking—”I wish my parents had been loving!” or “Maybe my parents will love me this time!”—is a tremendous step towards becoming healthy once more. So, let yourself mourn what you didn’t have and mourn what you did have. You have the right to be sad. It’s all right. Let yourself be sad… Look to the present. Remind yourself of the gift that you’ve given yourself in facing the truth of your emotionally abusive childhood. You can no longer be held emotional hostage. You are free to be who God intended you to be, free to be your most authentic self. Instead of wanting to turn back to the past, focus on what you have today… and try and create a new life for yourself with friends who are emotionally healthy, loving, and kind… and be that to others, too. From an on-line article by Veronica Maria Jarski http://theinvisiblescar.wordpress.com/tag/adult-survivors-of-emotional-child-abuse-2/
Don’t judge yourself
by what others did to you.