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What is Sex Addiction?

September 11th, 2009 No comments
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by: Gordon S. Bruin M.A., L.P.C.
American Board Certified Professional Counselor

To understand sexual addiction one must first have a basic/fundamental understanding of how the brain works.  In a very real sense we all literally have two brains as it were working on concert with each other.   How these two brains coordinate daily activities with each other will determine the quality of a person’s life.  There is the primitive or emotional brain known as the (Limbic System) and the rational logical part known as the pre-frontal cortex.  When one has become addicted the rational – moral – logical part of the brain seems weak when trying to deal with the compulsions that originate from the Limbic System.

Two-part brain: Prefrontal Cortex (logical thinking); Limbic System (survival portion of the brain)

Two-part brain: Prefrontal Cortex (logical thinking); Limbic System (survival portion of the brain)

For example, I recently received the following email,

“I am sick to my core by virtue of my indulgence in pornography. To be honest my appetite for porn accounted for why I got the internet in the very first place and now that I am down in a horrendous pit I seriously wonder whether there is hope of recovery for me for whenever I log onto the internet I must view porn. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I change who I am presently? Is there any change possible in the future for me?”

This person is dealing with an addiction because he experiences a profound sense of loss of control.  The part of his brain that is writing the above letter is the moral rational self or pre-frontal cortex.  His rational self is deeply disturbed by the things he has allowed himself to see and do.  After getting what it wants the Limbic System lays low and goes undercover.  If we were to engage the Limbic System we would hear a completely different series of thoughts.  Herein lays the dilemma of addiction.  A part of him wants to stop and yet a part wants to continue with the behavior.   Learning to recognize, understand and deal with this part that wants to continue with the behavior is what the InnerGold System is about.

Addiction occurs when the primitive or emotional brain dominates the decision making process.  Those who have become addicted are troubled by a fairly frequent obsession or compulsion to participate in behaviors that trouble the rational or logical mind.  The best word to describe what an obsession or compulsion feels like to an addict is “be-siege.”  Be-siege means: To surround with hostile forces. To crowd around; hem in. To harass or importune, as with requests: To cause to feel distressed or worried.  The clients that I have worked with over the years have described such feelings over and over again.

Those who struggle with sexual addiction don’t want these thoughts to come they just do.  These thoughts “harass, with requests” and they seem to never tire or leave for long. In other words they be-siege the person’s rational mind.  These thoughts originate from the Limbic (sub-conscious) part of the brain where there are no morals or values and where instant gratification is one of the prime directives. Again learning how to think differently about these thoughts and how to deal with them lays the foundation for recovery and change.  These skill and tools are taught in the InnerGold manual.  The rational brain has the capacity to manage the limbic but it must be taught a new language in order to do so.

Sex addicts often think, “I can stop anytime I want to. I don’t need this. I just like it.” Their rationalization never ceases until something of major proportion happens like: divorce, loss of job, getting in trouble with the law, etc. Then sex addicts realize there needs to be a change in their life style.

Common Signs, Symptoms and Behaviors of Pornography/Sexual Addiction
• Disengaged
• Not fully present when with others
• Exhaustion – both physically and emotionally
• Feel like two different people
• Secret behaviors
• Embarrassed about personal behaviors
• Deliberately vague: Omit facts, distort truth when questioned and stay out of the light.
• Avoid direct questions
• Tend to isolate
• Easily frustrated
• Use anger as a weapon to control others
• Low self-esteem
• Build up self by putting others down
• Fatigue
• Foggy mind
• Attempt to change the subject and confuse by introducing irrelevant material.
• Agree without commitment (say ‘yes’ without any commitment to it)
• Claim to be changed after doing the right thing only briefly.
• Accuse others of misunderstanding.
• Compulsive masturbation (self-stimulation)
• Multiple affairs (extra-marital affairs)
• Multiple or anonymous sexual partners and/or one-night stands
• Consistent use of pornography
• Unsafe sex
• Phone or computer sex (cybersex)
• Prostitution or use of prostitutes
• Exhibitionism
• Obsessive dating through personal ads
• Voyeurism (watching others) and/or stalking
• Sexual harassment
• Molestation/rape

Is there recovery/sobriety from this addiction?

Yes! InnerGold approaches the treatment of sexual addiction differently than others. Our approach is an inside out approach. We help a person understand why they feel like two different people. Why part of them wants to stop and the other part of them can’t stop. We call it the two-part brain.

Sexuality is a natural part of our lives but it can become distorted and twisted when it is left un-restrained.  The reason why pornography is the perfect moral poison is that the Limbic system is just doing its job.  It is only natural to be attracted to sexual material at the instinctive level.  For this reason it is the great exploiter of our time.

Recovery

Recovery is not a quick fix. It takes time and hard work but with help the sex addict can get control of their life and experience hope, confidence and long-term sobriety. InnerGold has become one of the world’s foremost treatment programs and has helped hundreds of addicts gain sobriety. Our recovery process begins with our treatment system and our free tools found throughout our site, like our daily and weekly boosts, our videos, our presentation on the two-part brain. For those who feel like they need additional help in becoming get sober, we offer phone counseling sessions, our monthly group MP3′s and will continue to provide more and more help aids.

Pornography Addiction | Sex Addiction | Overcome Pornography | Pornography Addiction Help | Sex Addiction Help | Addict | Recovery

I Will Make this a Great Week!

September 2nd, 2009 No comments
For those who struggle with addiction issues deep neural connections at the unconscious level are driving behavior. The fact that these neural connections can be changed is now sure. We now know that the brain is constantly changing and will continue to do so throughout life.
It is by the consistent application of certain principles that this change occurs. It is thrilling to read all the incredible stories of change and success from clients around the world as they apply the principles taught in the InnerGold system. One client who has been sober for over one year now recently wrote:
“I do not look at pornography today, I do not masturbate. Two things I honestly thought I could never say before I entered into therapy …I would not be where I am today without the help of therapy and the Innergold system.” – Anonymous (Confidentiality Is Our Promise!)

Understanding Leads to Healing

December 23rd, 2008 No comments

Recently I was reading a blog about someone seeking help for for their porn addiction. I want to let everyone know, before you can become or start the healing, you must understand what is going on with your brain. You must realize why your brain reacts the way it does. You must also take the steps to give your brain the strength it needs. I talk about this on my website: http://www.innergold.com