Are you someone who feels like you have to hide your sexual behavior from others, either because you have to or because you feel a lot of shame about it? If you get caught up in lies about what you do and who you do it with, you may very well be suffering from a lot of isolation and worsening your out-of-control sexual behavior without knowing it.
How Bad Is Isolation in Our World?
Isolation may very well be the signature stamp of our modern, digital culture. We are hyper connected in so many ways, but almost to a person are very out of touch with each other and ourselves. Add to that addictive sexual behavior that technology is either the conduit for or the medium it is arranged in, and you have a culture that suffers tremendously due to closing one self off from others. And oddly enough, this reinforces conditions such as compulsive or addictive sexual behavior.
The Vicious Cycle, What Gets It Going, and What Keeps It Going
Most mental illness is born in isolation, so you may have felt depressed at one time because you didn’t have people to spend time with or to be friends with. You may have reached out to an anonymous message board on some questionable website, which may have led to an anonymous hook up somewhere with someone you didn’t even know. It very well may have felt good, but you didn’t feel like you could or should tell anyone about it. You wanted to have another hook-up, but it wasn’t yet a problem, so you went a little further down the path of seclusion. As the behavior keeps up and the lack of disclosure about it to anyone else, especially about your conflicting feelings about it, the gulf between you and others in the outside world grows. Pretty soon you are so cut-off from others that the only escape from it is to act out more and more in behaviors the increasingly feel out-of-control or unmanageable. At that point, you are tremendously alone, except for perhaps those few moments in the compulsive behavior when you’re not aware of it.
How to Break the Cycle
At some point, you have to tell someone what is going on, despite feeling like this is the last thing you want to do. Part of you knows you have to eventually tell someone who may be a friend or family member, but you still resist it very much. This is the place where you start to get free. It may not feel like it, especially early on, but some people stumble into a 12-step support group and start breaking this cycle in a major way or they find a therapist who specializes in compulsive or addictive sexual behavior. Whatever from it takes, the main thing at this point is that you’re not alone anymore. You may still feel alone at times, but the more you work at reaching out to others to get the support you so desperately need, the better you feel.
How I Can Help
I’ve been working with men who suffer from addictive or compulsive sexual behavior for years and can attest to the progress men can make in their lives when they break the cycle of isolation. It can be one of the hardest things you do in your life, but it can be one of the best choices to start freeing yourself from the shame and secrecy of the disease and come into the light of day. If you so choose to reach out to me for help, I offer a free 45-minute in person screening appointment to help you determine if working with me would be a good idea. You can call me at 512-374-0100, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can fill out the form below and I will get back to you within 24 hours on weekdays to schedule something. We all need other people, and sometimes those who are the most beneficial for our recovery and healing can feel like the most difficult to reach out to. I support you in making the best choices you can for you own sake and sanity.
About the author: Scott Kampschaefer, LCSW is a private practice therapist in Austin, Texas. He has an extensive background in working with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder at a clinic for older adults with these disorders in Austin. He now works with adults and adolescents 14 and up in private practice. His new e-book is entitled Life’s Lessons from the Young and the Old and is available for purchase on Amazon.
Click here to learn more about how Scott can help you with compulsive or addictive sexual behavior.