Monday, 13 February 2012

Love Sick

Excerpts from an on-line article about sexual addiction

by GYE (See all authors)

Silverman details that period of her life in her new memoir "Love Sick: One Woman's Journey Through Sexual Addiction'' (Norton, $24.95).

"I would use sex like a drug to numb pain,'' said Silverman, who now lives in the Lake Michigan community of Grand Haven. "I was using sex to numb out of the real pain, which was the pain of my childhood."

Research shows that sexual addiction affects an estimated 6 to 10 percent of people, said Elizabeth Griffin, chief operating officer of the American Foundation for Addiction Research in Minneapolis. The vast majority of those suffered emotional, sexual and/or physical abuse as children.

Sexual addiction is characterized by a compulsion to have sex, continuing the behavior despite its consequences and obsessively thinking about or planning for sex.

'Love Sick' provides an honest and deeply chilling account of what it's like to suffer from a compulsion to look for love in what are most definitely all the wrong places."

Silverman spent a month in an in-patient program to deal with her addiction in the late 1980s. She details her experiences, thoughts and feelings during those days in treatment in "Love Sick."

After leaving treatment, Silverman attended 12-step meetings and avoided turning on the TV or going to movies.

'It's really hard to be sober in a world that uses sex to sell everything,'' she said. "We use sex to sell love, movies, cars, children's clothing, art."

Griffin said it often takes more than one approach to overcome a sexual addiction.

"For most people, it also takes some therapy to deal with underlying issues, support from a 12-step group. It often takes using a psychiatrist, because depression and anxiety are earmarks of this disorder as well."