Different Types of Sexual Addictions

Sex addiction can refer to a range of behaviors that are done in excess and significantly

impact one’s life in a negative way. Sexual addiction is defined as any sexually-related compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one’s work environment.  Like an alcoholic unable to stop drinking, sexual addicts are unable to stop their self-destructive sexual behavior.

Warning Signs of Sexual Addiction

Sex addicts have varying patterns which can result in very different ways of acting out. Below are some general warning signs of sex addiction:

Eden Rehab Centre unpacks secretive or Dangerous behaviours of sexual behaviour

  • Lying about or hiding sexual activities
  • Having sex regardless of the consequences (e.g., the threat of being caught or facing financial problems, or the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease)
  • Engaging in the practice of voyeurism or exhibitionism in ways that bring discomfort, pain or legal problems
  • Legal or career problems due to sexual behaviors

Uncontrollable, Compulsive Sexual Behaviors or Thoughts

  1. Unsuccessfully trying to stop troublesome sexual behavior on your own
  2. Feeling that life is unmanageable because of compulsive sexual thoughts or behaviors
  3. Feeling you could do more with your life if you were not so driven by sexual pursuits
  4. Inability to concentrate on other areas of life because of thoughts or feelings about sex
  5. Obsessing about a specific sexual act even though these thoughts bring pain, cravings or discomfort
  6. Wishing you could stop or control sexual activities for a given period of time
  7. Losing count of your number of sexual partners

What Are the Different Types of Sexual Addictions?

There are no distinct categories, but sexual addictions can come in different forms, including addiction to:

  • Pornography.
  • Prostitution.
  • Masturbation or fantasy.
  • Sadistic or masochistic behavior.
  • Exhibition/Voyeurism.
  • Other excessive sexual pursuits.

Get help for sex addiction

It is important to understand that although sex and porn addiction are not “formally” diagnosable, these conditions exist and often present with very adverse consequences and high levels of distress, guilt, and emotional turmoil.

If you can relate to the symptoms mentioned above, or know somebody who meets this criteria, do not hesitate to contact Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


The 4 stages of alcoholism

What we at Eden Recovery Centre have come to understand is that alcoholism is a progressive disease. We often compare the disease of addiction to cancer because no one chooses to get cancer, just like no one chooses to become an alcoholic. Both diseases need rehabilitation and professional treatment and both diseases have stages.

Allow Eden Recovery Centre to walk you through the 4 stages of alcoholism.

 Stage #1: Binge Drinking & Increased Tolerance

Are you drinking to get drunk?

This may sound like an odd question. Who doesn’t drink to get drunk?

The truth is that the average drinker without the disease of alcoholism doesn’t aim become intoxicated when they drink. The average drinker doesn’t like to feel that loss of control; the feeling of oblivion. Alcoholics on the other hand, love it. When I was drinking, oblivion was the feeling I sought most. I continued to drink because it felt good to me. When I was hammered drunk, I felt normal.

When I was in Stage #1 I didn’t drink every day. When I did drink however, I had a purpose: to get intoxicated. I would embarrass myself by falling down stairs, dropping my drink, and hanging on random strangers at the bar. Where it used to take two beers and a couple shots to get me to where I wanted to be, I started to have to drink more to reach that feeling of oblivion.

In Stage #1, you may think that you’re a “functioning alcoholic” because you’ve kept your job, your car, your relationships with friends and family – but you’re not because once you take the first drink, you have little to no control over how much you will consume.

Stage #2:  Drinking as a Coping Mechanism

Do you drink to feel better?

Drinking to unwind sounds perfectly reasonable. It’s not uncommon to want to unwind at the end of the day with a glass of wine or a cold beer. Relaxing with some girlfriends on Friday night over margaritas is a lot of fun. However, this isn’t what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is the mental obsession that comes before the drink.

Over time, I really began to have no other coping skills for life. There wasn’t any negative feeling that alcohol didn’t make better. On the flip side, when I was happy, alcohol increased my mood even more. Every Friday was a celebration.

Sure, I didn’t have to drink. I wasn’t physically addicted to alcohol. I didn’t shake in the morning. I made it to work on time every day. My appearance wasn’t altered in anyway. Sure, I was hungover a couple times a week, but who wasn’t? I just liked to party and cut loose.

In Stage #2, you might feel like you’re a “functioning alcoholic” because you still have your job – even though you’re hungover some mornings, you still have your car, and your relationships still seem intact. But you’re not a functioning alcoholic because drinking is your only coping mechanism. You are drinking to deal with stress. You are drinking to deal with success.

Stage #3: Isolation/ Legal Problems/ Depression

Do you have consequences yet?

Have people begun to question your drinking? Stage #3 is all about managing your drinking.

I had to start managing my drinking when the consequences started piling up: People were starting to question me about my drinking, my life, my state of mind, the people that I spent my time with. Alcohol was slowly becoming my only friend.

Isolation: Friends and family have made you feel uncomfortable about drinking around them. Maybe they have had to remind you about the night before because you can’t remember. You feel embarrassed and either chose to stay home and drink or go out by yourself.

Legal Problems: Have you been caught drinking under the influence? This too can cause you to stay home and drink rather than go out.

Depression: It begins to hit hard, too. Alcohol acts like a depressant inside of our minds and bodies. Alcohol in chemical form begins to make us feel down and sometimes hopeless.

In Stage #3, you might feel like you’re a “functioning alcoholic” because you still have a job – even though you may have changed jobs a few times, you still have your car – even though you may drive intoxicated,  and you still have some relationships – even though they’re not the same.  

Stage #4: Change in Appearance, High Blood Pressure, Liver Issues

How does your body look and feel?

Once you hit Stage #4, your body is no longer what it used to be.

When you are looking in the mirror, do you recognize yourself? There is nothing pretty about this stage. Outward appearances begin to really change. There is sometimes a flush to the skin. A distended stomach, or “beer belly.”

In Stage #4, you may think you’re a functioning alcoholic, but let me ask you:

  • You might still have a job, but what is your performance like?
  • You might still have a family, but are you present for them?
  • Your body may still be working, but for how much longer?

In Stage #4, you’re not a “functioning alcoholic” because you’re not performing well at work, you’re not present for your family, your body is deteriorating, and it takes everything in you just to “function.”

If you are concerned that you could be in any of the four stages of alcoholism, please contact us. We may be able to assist with signs to look out for, as well as advice on how to deal with the situation.

For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


How drug addiction starts

Eden Rehabilitation Centre explores the fine line between recreational use and drug abuse and addiction. The ugly truth is that very few addicts are able to recognize when they have crossed that line because most of the time, that line is one that is extremely thin and a slippery slope to disaster.

  • Drug abuse may start as a way to socially connect. Commonly, people try drugs for the first time in social situations with friends and acquaintances. A strong desire to fit in to the group or be more confident can make it feel like doing drugs is the only option to fit in.
  • Problems can sometimes sneak up on you, as your drug use gradually increases over time. Smoking a joint with friends over the weekend, or taking ecstasy at a rave, or cocaine at an occasional party, for example, can change from using drugs a couple of days a week to using them every day. Gradually, getting and using the drug becomes more and more important to you.
  • If the drug fulfills a valuable need, you may find yourself increasingly relying on it. You may take drugs to calm or energize yourself, or make you more confident. You may start using prescription drugs to cope with panic attacks or relieve chronic pain. Until you find alternative, healthier methods for overcoming these problems, your drug use will likely continue. If you are using drugs to fill a void in your life, you’re more at risk of crossing the line from casual use to drug abuse and addiction. To maintain a healthy balance in your life, you need to have positive experiences and feel good about your life without any drug use.
  • As drug abuse takes hold, you may miss or frequently be late for work or school, your job performance may progressively deteriorate, and you may start to neglect social or family responsibilities. Your ability to stop using is eventually compromised. What began as a voluntary choice has turned into a physical and psychological need.
  • Eventually drug abuse can consume your life, stopping social and intellectual development. This only reinforces the feelings of isolation that led to the drug use in the first place.

The good news is that with the right treatment and support, you can counteract the disruptive effects of drug use, seek recovery and regain control of your life. The first obstacle is to recognize and admit you have a drug addiction problem, or listen to loved ones who are often better able to see the negative effects drug use is having on your life. Recovery is possible.

If you are concerned about your, or a loved one’s, drug addiction, please contact us. For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


10 Warning Signs Of Alcoholism

It’s hard to be objective when it comes to figuring out whether you or your loved one has a problem with drinking. At Eden Rehabilitation Centre we have discovered that emotions run high, rationalizations and denials lead to confusion and it can seem hard to draw the line between what’s acceptable and what’s going too far.

Here are 10 of the most important things to look out for in yourself or your loved one and whether it’s time to consider rehabilitation. 

  1. Lying About or Hiding Your Drinking – Denial is common with people having problems with alcohol, so both problem drinkers and alcoholics might drink secretively or lie about how much they drink to make it seem like less of an issue.
  1. Drinking to Relax or Feel Better – Almost all people struggling with addiction abuse their substance of choice for emotional reasons. Whether it’s stress, depression, anxiety or anything else, using alcohol as a method of easing negative feelings is a risky habit—the “relief” it provides is only temporary and it ordinarily makes things worse in the long run.
  1. “Blacking Out” Regularly – Drinking so much that you have no memory of what happened is another red flag for a problem with alcohol. Simply put, it means you drank waytoo much.
  1. Being Unable to Stop Once You Start – If you always finish a bottle of wine once it’s opened or drink all the beer in the house once you’ve had one, it’s another sign you aren’t in full control of your drinking and you may have a problem. You may need to seek help from a rehabilitation centre such as Eden Recovery Centre.
  1. Drinking in Dangerous Situations – Drinking when you really shouldn’t—like before work, before you have to drive somewhere or drinking against your doctor’s orders when you’re on medication—is an important sign of problem drinking.
  1. Neglecting Your Responsibilities – If you’re having problems at work, school or with your household responsibilities because of your drinking, you have a problem. Alcohol has crossed the line from an occasional indulgence to something that seriously impacts your day-to-day functioning.
  1. Having Trouble in Your Relationships – This is closely related to the last point, but it’s in many ways more important. If your drinking is causing problems with your closest friends, your significant other or your family, it’s an indication that alcohol is a bigger priority than even the most important people in your life.
  1. Being Able to Drink More Than You Used To – Tolerance is another key sign of addiction, so if you can drink more than you used to and need to drink more than you did before in order to get drunk, it’s a strong indicator that you’re becoming an alcoholic.
  1. Experiencing Withdrawal – Withdrawal is different from a hangover; it’s the reaction to the lack of alcohol rather than too much alcohol. If you start to feel irritable, tired, depressed, nauseous or anxious when you haven’t had a drink, there’s a possibility you’re going through withdrawal. Other signs include having trouble sleeping, losing your appetite and experiencing shakiness or trembling.
  1. Trying to Quit but Being Unable to – If you have realized your drinking is becoming a problem (or someone who cares about you has) and tried to make a change but have been unsuccessful, you should seriously consider seeking help from a rehabilitation centre.

It’s important to note that experiencing just one of these signs doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a problem drinker or an alcoholic, but if you’re experiencing a few of them (or you see numerous signs in a loved one), there is a very strong possibility your drinking has gone too far. The latter five symptoms in particular are signs of addiction rather than problem drinking. If you are concerned – please contact us. For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


Can teen drug abuse be avoided?

At Eden Rehabilitation Centre we believe that there are numerous factors that could possibly contribute to teen drug abuse–some of which turn into a life-long habit. But what are these risk factors and how can we combat drug use at an early age?

Lack of Parent to Child Communication
Teen drug abuse could possibly be reduced if parents set aside more time to talk to their children about the dangers and consequences associated with drug and alcohol abuse. If parents alert teens of the risks, there is a possibility that more would avoid substance abuse altogether.

Teens who think their parents don’t care are also more likely to pick up bad habits and land up in recovery later on in life. Talk to your teen on a regular basis about their day, friends, school and other relevant topics. Parents who are there for their teens when they get home from school or after a night out with friends are more likely to have children who don’t abuse drugs and alcohol. If a teen knows there is a “check point” at home, they will be more likely to stay away from drugs and alcohol for fear of getting in trouble.

Tip: The use of statistical data can be very helpful in keeping your kids informed. Encourage them to read books on real–life addiction stories and rehabilitation centres or get online and show them the hard hitting facts.

Trying to Fit In at School
While drugs and alcohol are prohibited at school, teens always find their way around it. If the cool kids at school are doing it, odds are your child might experimenting to fit in.  Talk to your kids about their friends and who they are hanging out with when at school.

Unsupervised Accessibility
Do you keep alcohol at home? Is it possible that your child could steal from your stash when you are not in the home? If you answered yes, then you are exposing yourself to legal liability. This not only applies to alcohol, but other drugs, cigarettes and prescriptions found in most households.

Keep prescriptions, alcohol, cigarette and other harmful substances in a locked cabinet or drawer. Make sure your child understands that taking or using any of the prohibited substances is not acceptable.

Tip: To make certain teens are not stealing, regularly check levels of all substances. Use a marker to draw a line on a bottle, or count the number of pills in your container.

Encourage a sporty and outdoor lifestyle.

More teens are being left in the home while mom, dad or other adults are at work. Teens who are left along for long periods of time or who are allowed to come and go as they please will undoubtedly have greater opportunity for exposure to drugs.

Rather encourage your teens to get involved in extramural activities such as academics or sports (Swimming, rugby, tennis, athletics etc) When they are investing their free time in valuable activities, they will strengthen their individuality, team work abilities and self-esteem and decrease their need to fit in on a social party level.

Tip: Ask your teen what sport they would love to get involved in. Inspire them through YouTube videos or new piece of equipment to grow their passion.

If you are concerned about your child and whether they may be experimenting with drugs and alcohol – please contact us. For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


Alcohol abuse facts – How does alcohol affect your health?

People drink to socialize, celebrate, and relax.  Alcohol often has a strong effect on people – and throughout history, we’ve struggled to understand and manage alcohol’s power.  Why does alcohol cause us to act and feel differently?  How much is too much? Why do some people become addicted while others do not? Am I in need of recovery? Am I a possible alcoholic?

Drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health.  Sometimes treatment and recovery is needed to break the pattern and give you the necessary tools to understand the long-term damage alcoholism could be doing to your body.

Here’s how alcohol abuse can affect your body:

Brain:
Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.  Alcohol can also result in black outs and memory lapses.

Heart:
Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:

  • Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
  • Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure

Research also shows that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect healthy adults from developing coronary heart disease.

Liver:
Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including:

  • Steatosis, or fatty liver
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis

Pancreas:
Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.

Cancer:
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the:

  • Mouth
  • Esophagus
  • Throat
  • Liver
  • Breast

If you are concerned about a family member’s drinking habits or your own even, please contact us – your health is too important and sometimes, even though you think you can, the reality is that you cannot do it alone.  For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


Rock bottom vs Willingness to change

Moment of Clarity

One of the greatest myths about addiction and alcoholism is the perception that only once an addict has hit “rock bottom”, can he or she get help.  Over the years at Eden we have treated hundreds of people who have come through our doors, and through experience we know that “rock bottom” is a myth, and possibly a very dangerous one.  Intervention works and must be considered at any stage of the addiction process.

It can take an event like a bad accident for someone to reach a point where they will reach out for help, or the addiction cycle can take years slowly eroding any hint of a normal life for the addict and their family.  The consequences get worse with time.  But you don’t have to wait until you have lost everything, or for your health to be irreparably harmed, or to find your relationships and career in tatters.  The fact is that the earlier you intervene the better.

A rock bottom could involve:

  • The loss of a job and financial problems
  • A relationship breakup or the loss of a friendship
  • Remorse over particularly bad behavior while intoxicated
  • Legal problems
  • Deteriorating health or warnings from a doctor
  • An emotional or mental breakdown
  • A desperate feeling of becoming sick and tired of feeling sick and tired

The truth is that nobody “wants” to go to rehab. Our clients are at different stages of change.  They may be very resistant or ambivalent.  They may also be ready to consider a solid plan for recovery.  The longer they are in treatment the closer they will get to the stage of change where they are actively engaging with recovery, making their own goals and sticking to their new values and standards for living.

There are specific milestones in the change process.  It is our job to help them move from one stage to the next.  So the word change is key.  Treatment works regardless of whether a person has hit rock bottom or not.  The earlier you catch the person in the addiction cycle, the fewer consequences there will be for them and the family.

If you are reading this, and you think you may have a problem, pause and count the signposts along the way.  You may have noticed that you drink or use more than you set out to, and although you have made efforts to “detox” for a time, it has been difficult to achieve this.  Your friends may have noticed that you cannot relax without a drink or a substance.  Your boss and your work colleagues may be concerned that you have missed days at work.  Your partner could be nagging you to spend more time with your kids or family.  You may have given up healthy habits like running or hiking for hours spent drinking or using.  The worse you feel the more you drink, and you may feel that depression is the problem.  You may have become aware of nasty withdrawal effects in the mornings like sweating, anxiety and shaking.

If any of these symptoms are true for you, you should start thinking about seeing a professional who understands the addiction process.  Or book an assessment at Eden so that we can start to create a treatment plan for you.

Family involvement

If the above symptoms are happening to someone you care about, this may be the time to start doing something about it.  Intervention is a vital step and you shouldn’t do this without the help of someone who knows how to do this.  There are in fact, many things that families can do to speed the process up.  Family members do not have to bear the burden of waiting for a rock bottom.  The right Intervention is necessary.

 Stigma

Because of public misunderstanding of addiction, stigma means that many people will not seek treatment because they are afraid of the consequences.  Addicts are judged as people with weaknesses and character flaws.  Clients who have approached Eden for treatment are often afraid that others in their communities may find out.  They are afraid to claim from medical aid for fear of future stigmatisation.  They are afraid to speak up, to ask for help.  Addicts often see themselves as morally flawed and the shame they experience prevents them from finding the right treatment.  Employers can be helpful to the process of recovery, but they can be just as judgemental.

Need more information?  Call us 011 244 9916 or on our emergency number 060 344 7808.

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What is the best way to intervene?