Reality Check: Sex Addiction is Real

Sex addiction isn't just a Hollywood term, it's a real illness with real consequences.

I believe people are inherently good. It's the way I was raised, it's the way I was educated, and it's the way I do life. Do I bitch about people and tear them a new one in attempts to "soapbox" their ass into getting a clue? I sure do. All the time. Not because I think they're bad people, but because I think they're good people who do effed up things. They deserve to have at least one emotionally intelligent comment about them on the Internet, and they also deserve help and you deserve to learn from them, simple as that. It's why I do what I do. 

Case in point: Anthony Weiner. Despite having had online sexual relationships via Twitter and Facebook with six women, I don't think he's a bad person - I think he's a sick person. But is he sick to the point of sex addiction and in need of a 90-day program? I don't have enough information to appropriately draw a conclusion like that. But sick emotionally, mentally, and/or spiritually to the point that he was no longer able to contain his issues in the boxed-up boundaries he set up around his identity, reputation, and life? No doubt in my mind.

There are people all over the Internet making comments regarding Weiner's announcement that he'll be seeking treatment (no word for what, exactly) that are making me cringe, like: Yep, another scumbag "seeking treatment for sex addiction." That's the first thing they do nowadays, isn't it? Like it's a disorder... no, it's getting busted. It's perfectly healthy. These kind of judgments lack any emotional intelligence whatsoever. This is the guy who thinks telling an anorexic to eat will solve the problem. So not smart and so upsetting.

As much as utilizing rehab as a publicity stunt in attempts to gather forgiveness and pity is just plain pathetic, the truth is, regardless of why Anthony Weiner did what he did with his wiener, sex addiction does in fact exist. I personally felt called to respond to comments like the one above with the hopes of cluing in some of the slower people among us.

The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity defines sexual addiction as "engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others." Weiner didn't even have physical sex with these people, he talked dirty to them over the computer and sent them pictures of his penis. You think that's just getting caught and he's "perfectly healthy"? Um no, he's not perfectly healthy. He's sick. He has some major effing issues and he needs some major help. And he, his wife, and their unborn child deserve for him to get that help, period.

Sex addicts have walked into my office just as often as food addicts, drug addicts, alcohol addicts, rage addicts, and shopping addicts. To say that everyone has a drug of choice is beyond an understatement and for someone to deny that sex addiction exists, or any addiction exists for that matter, leads me to be curious of that person's level of denial into their own screwed up self.

I don't know if Weiner is a diagnosed sexual addict or not. I also don't know the particular diagnosis of Arnold Schwarzenegger or John Edwards or Tiger Woods or Jesse James. But I do know this: there are a lot of sick people in the world, and if we continue to deny that their sickness actually exists, they'll just continue to hide. And when sickness hides, it just breeds more sickness. If you really want to make a splash with a comment on the Weiner story, don't be an ignorant douche-bag. We already have enough of those walking around in the free world. Speaking of, just a reminder: The Bachelorette is on tonight.

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