Clinically, sexual addiction is classified as either an invasive and persistent desire of sexual behavior or simply the frequent undertakings of sexual behavior to a much greater extent than norm or for extended periods. Preoccupation with either thought or action of sexual behavior aimed at fulfilling emotional, societal, or personal desires when thought or action otherwise is necessary is the primary characteristic of a sexual addiction. When sex, the thought or behavior thereof, overrides commonplace life it can become problematic. Consequentially, social, marital, emotional, personal, legal, physical and financial damages can ensue.
Diagnosis is key to proper sexual addiction treatment. Historically, sexual addiction has at times been categorized incorrectly: from behavioral problems too broadly, to bi-polarity, OCD, anxiety or stress-induced disorders, to simply not diagnosing the likely root cause of the thoughts or behavior. Supplemental treatment includes a behavioral intervention, provisional direction and providing resources to aid the addicted in their quest to overcome sexual behavior. This entailing identifying the core behaviors and thoughts that prevail and remain atop the mind of the patient. Identifying those specific behaviors and thoughts to eliminate, comes through psychological evaluation, questioning and intensive observation.
Behavioral prevention and thought-process changes come through working to eliminate the triggers that spur sexual addiction. Treatment centers, therapists or counselors provide tools to manages stresses (ie the root causes), to navigate the waters of marriage or relationship issues, work or life-related stresses and proper avenues to re-direct the stresses. Often this treatment comes in the form of a step-program, similar to the 12-step program offered in alcoholic interventions. These sex addiction treatment programs are aimed not only towards immediate mitigation of sexual behavior, but also towards future preventive maintenance of the root causes of this behavior.
It is an on-going process of recovery for the sexually addicted. These programs set barriers, clearly define what measure malicious patterns of self- or relationship- or life-destructive behavior, and work hard to reduce the likelihood of relapse in sexual behavior. Most importantly sexual addiction treatment serves as a catalyst toward a life not free of sexual behavior, but free of deviant, defiant, obsessive or otherwise undesirable sexual thought and behavior. Stresses might trigger action or thought the same as happiness. Identifying the triggers, and working towards eliminating the correlation between the trigger and hyper sexuality is critical to the patient leading a more fulfilling and rewarding lifestyle. Counseling services, hypnotherapy, group intervention and step-programs are among the arsenal employed by professionals known to treat this addiction .