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ADDICTED TO SEX; More Irish seek help for lustful lives; Centre offers advice to partners.


SEX addiction in Ireland is on the rise, a top treatment centre claimed yesterday.

Since 2009 doctors at The Rutland Centre have reported a steep increase in those seeking help.

And experts said being addicted to sex is no longer an illness that only effects Hollywood stars like Russell Brand and Michael Douglas.

Dr Fiona Weldon said: "In 2009, just 1% of the Rutland Centre's clients represented those seeking help for sexual addiction.

"Sexual addiction now represents up to 5% of our clients - it has been trivialised in the media and thought of by many as 'the best addiction to get'.

"But the reality for those who are compulsively addicted to sex, and their partners, is very different. For partners of sexual addicts, they face an extraordinary and unique struggle."

Dr Weldon also warned the impact on families is very destructive.

She added: "In other addictions it can be possible to get to a place of understanding and even forgiveness.

"But with sexual addicts, there is such a betrayal of trust and a deep sense of shame that partners of sexual addicts can feel very isolated and lonely, often withdrawing from family and friends."

Due to the increase in demand the centre has created a new workshop which provides help and support.

Dr Weldon said: "Partners of sexual addicts can often find themselves explaining away signs and symptoms, covering up 'indiscretions', engaging in selfblaming and taking responsibility for the other person's behaviour.

"Frequently their sole focus becomes the addict to the detriment of themselves and, at times, of their children.

"Our Workshop for Partners of Sexual Addicts aims to support partners to better understand the nature of sexual addiction, how it impacts on their lives and strategies to cope with it."

The signs there may be a problem with your loved-one includes symptoms such as:

PREOCCUPATION with sexual behaviour/fantasies

FAILURE to resist sexual impulses

FREQUENTLY engaging in sexual behaviour to a greater extent or for longer than intended

UNSUCCESSFUL efforts to stop the behaviour despite a desire to stop.

CONTINUATION of the behaviours despite social, relational, occupational negative consequences

GIVING up social occupational or recreational activities in favour of the sexual behaviour, and

DISTRESS, anxiety or irritability if unable to engage in sexual behaviour.

One woman whose husband was helped by the Rutland Centre said she contemplated suicide when her partner's behaviour was at its worst.

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "In the blink of an eye I was transported into absolute hell - to a world that I never knew existed.

"For the next 18 months I became a stranger in my own life.

"I was unable to function at even the most basic level.

"At times I felt so bad that ending my own life became a real option for me."

The woman revealed realising she had to take care of her children was the thing that kept her going.

She added: "Luckily I was saved by the absolute love that I have for my children and my need to protect them.

"I could not, and would not, let sex addiction ruin their lives as it had come to ruin mine.

"I carried the shame of my husband's addiction on my back and isolated myself from most of my family and friends."

The woman admitted she found it hard to move forward until she received therapy herself.

She said: "It was only through extensive therapy and the love and support of a small number of close friends, combined with the shared experiences of others who had faced and lived through the same aftermath, that I was able to move forward. I was also fortunate that my husband, following treatment at the Rutland, embraced his own recovery.

"Today, we are still together, following parallel recovery paths.

"We are committed parents and also united in our commitment to help others who are faced with this terrible illness." The first ever Rutland Centre Workshop for Partners of Sexual Addicts will be held on Saturday May 25 from 10am - 4pm.

The workshop costs [euro]60 but places are limited so call 01 494 6358 to book.

For more information and help visit

There is such a betrayal of trust and deep sense of shame DR FIONA WELDON I carried the shame of my husband's addiction on my back ADDICT'S WIFE


INTIMATE SECRETS An unhealthy desire for sexual fix is on the increase
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 15, 2013
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