Sex Addiction and Withdrawal

If you have withdrawal symptoms, it’s likely you have an addiction. However, some guys have addictions without much in the way of withdrawal symptoms. This is why addiction specialists don’t list withdrawal symptoms in their addiction tests.

Common withdrawal symptoms include
• Anxiety
• Restlessness
• Irritability
• Insomnia
• Fatigue
• Headaches
• Poor concentration
• Depression
• Social isolation
• Loss of libido (Can take days to manifest, and last a long time)
Internet addiction research now reports that Internet addicts can suffer a form of cold turkey when they stop using the web – just like people coming off drugs.  Read more

I can’t believe it’s taken me 19 years to figure this out.  It just goes to show how insidious sex addiction is.  I’ve spent literally 100+ hours working on protecting myself from this JUNK.  Read more  However, I’m still exploring solutions for smart phones for FREE.  It seems like most of the companies target the Browser – Safe Internet Filter with Customizable Parental Controls.

I came into the “S” fellowship around 1994-95 as the result of speaking to a therapist regarding my compulsive masturbation.  It began with SLAA and I went to meetings fairly regularly for about 6 years.  During that time I would toggle back-n-forth with SA.  My sponsor told me the difference between SLAA and SA was much like AA and NA.  In other words, SA covers everything and is much more rigorous.

Today I attend SAA and believe it is arguably equally as strong as SA treating the disease of sex addiction.  The main difference between SA and SAA is that SA clearly defines sobriety = “no sex with self” aka masturbation.  However, I’ve met many people in SA that would not be sober according to some of the SAA sobriety definitions I’ve heard people share.  This may be shocking, but it’s true.  Plus, Patrick Karnes is one of the pioneers for Sex Addicts Anonymous and since many of the founding fathers are still alive, it has gained a lot of traction particularly in the Midwest where it is was founded.

Nevertheless, Withdrawal is my #1 challenge as I string sober hours together.  Eventually this leads to days, weeks and months.  I will always have and continue to struggle with many “character defects”, including Anger, Resentments, Self-Pity, etc.  However, I have a SOLUTION and I’m very grateful!!!

Here’s what Roy says about “Withdrawal”…

The term withdrawal is applied to the symptoms the addict may experience when deprived of the drug or activity. Such symptoms can be physical, emotional, or both. This gives rise to the deception and demand that we’ve got to have sex. But this is no different from the drug addict feeling he’ll die without his fix. It is simply not true; not feeding the hunger doesn’t kill us.

Some of us look back on our transition to sobriety as a time when we were in a state of shock, in which our whole system had to slowly recover from the trauma of a lifetime of self-inflicted injury.                 Sobriety involves a new and unfamiliar way of life, like driving in a foreign country without knowing the language or customs. Only this is a whole new inner terrain. Without the drug, we begin to feel what’s really going on inside. It takes time to adjust to all this, and the support of others in the fellowship is vital. Journeying this new road together helps take the fear out of withdrawal. We see that others who have gone before us have discovered that sex is truly optional, once they surrendered Inst and the expectation of sex. And their comfort and joy are genuine; they are neither abnormal nor deprived. Married members discover they can go into periods of voluntary abstinence to recover from lust and find them surprisingly effective and rewarding experiences. Yes, there is life after lust! And life after sex!

We see that the practice of our addiction includes the whole range from sporadic or periodic to continuous acting out, sometimes all within the same individual. But regardless of our particular pattern, it involves the addictive elements of tolerance, abstinence, and withdrawal, though we probably are not aware of them at the time. And if we switch addictions — not uncommon for those trying to quit one – the addictive process is the same.

Three additional aspects of our addiction we should look at are toxicity, adverse physical and emotional effects, and trigger mechanisms.  (SA WB pg. 31)