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Image: Courtesy of Corbis Earlier this year, I became so mired in personal crisis I couldn't see any way out.
I struggled against depression and desperation and barely managed to produce columns, much less keep up with my day job or my book.
Some argue that sexual addiction is merely an excuse used by people accused of having extramarital affairs.
But Levy, who treats sex addicts in the Triangle, says the affliction is real.“On a deeper level, what I find is that most of the men I work with struggle with feelings of inadequacy,” Levy explained.
Sexual addiction has been recognized by the medical field since the early 1980s, but, Levy said, the Internet has played a key role in spreading the addiction. "So there's a rationalizing process."(Click here for 12 questions to assess whether you may have a problem with sexual addiction.)Levy says sex addicts often struggle with feelings of anxiety, depression, shame and conflict avoidance.
Online pornography, known as the "crack cocaine" of sex addicts, is often the outlet of choice for Levy’s clients because of the easy access and availability. It is also not unusual for clients to have underlying anxiety or mood disorders. “It's kind of like tolerance with alcoholism, that it just takes more and more after awhile to get the high, get the thrill.”Levy says he sees three common themes among the sex addicts he counsels:“And it's not just, of course, the act of sex, it's the whole preparation, the ritual, the hours planning, preoccupied with it,” Levy added.
It's a combination of the late hour and the act of writing, which taps into the part of our souls that keeps diaries and pours our heart out on the page.
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