What Are They Thinking? Distorted Thought Patterns of Sex Addicts

Distorted Thought Patterns

Toxic core beliefs that are common among sex addicts makes forming healthy relationships a challenge. In addition to these beliefs, many addicts endure thought patterns that further distance them from reality. This pattern includes four distinct phases. Generally, these phases repeat in a cycle.

  • Preoccupation – At first, the individual is completely absorbed by thoughts of sex and experience obsessive urges.
  • Ritualization – Next, the individual builds a ritual or routine around engaging in an online sexual activity. This ritual intensifies the excitement of the experience.
  • Compulsive Sexual Behavior – The individual engages in the sex act. He feels unable to stop.
  • Unmanageability and Despair – After the sex act, the individual feels hopeless. During this phase, the individual may want to change but is powerless to control his behavior.

Each time the pattern repeats, it also intensifies. The increasing intensity makes it even more difficult for the person suffering from addiction to control his behavior. When conflicts between reality and the distorted thought patterns inevitably happen, addicts tend to cope by escaping further into cybersex or porn.

Recognizing Warning Signs of porn adiction

Virtual Activity Becomes Real Addiction

While the sexual activities that happen online are not real, the consequences are. They affect the people who engage in them physically and emotionally. For most online sex addicts, nothing can compare to the high that they feel when they are online. Their flawed core beliefs and distorted thought patterns make it difficult for them to appreciate the harm they cause to themselves and others. The online fantasy world where they can indulge in any sexual experience they want becomes more important than real life. Each real-life failure or negative consequence that results from their addiction becomes more motivation to spend more time online.

Many people who are addicted to cybersex, pornography or other online sexual activities may struggle to stop their behavior without outside intervention. Often, even supportive friends and family members are not enough.

You Have Questions, We Have Answers. Your Call is Confidential.

Oxbow Academy is fully operational during the COVID-19 crisis. Contact us if you need help with treatment for sexual addiction, sexual abuse, pornography abuse and other compulsive behavior issues.

Knowing When to Seek Help

Many parents find it difficult to tell healthy curiosity about sex from a potentially dangerous situation. There are clinical evaluations that can help make that determination easier. One of these evaluations is the Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST).

On the SAST, you will answer a series of simple yes or no questions about their teen. The answers are completely confidential. No information connects you to your assessment. After you complete the SAST, you will be taken to a new page that shows a score representing the level of risk.

After you get your score, you will have the chance to request a call from someone who can help answer your questions. You will only be contacted if you make a request. Whether you request a call or not, your information will remain confidential, and you will be under no obligation.