two people hold hands, possibly struggling with a love addiction

Do I Have a Love Addiction?

Do you have a love addiction? Many people do and don’t even know it. They may think their feelings are simply too strong or that they can’t control themselves around the person they’re attracted to, but these are classic signs of an addiction. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to get help.

At Recovery Ranch Tennessee, our love addiction treatment center is dedicated to helping people overcome unhealthy relationships, learn healthy coping strategies, and reconnect with themselves. Our compassionate team of professionals works with our clients to provide personalized care so that they can reach their goals. Get started today by calling 1.844.876.7680.

What Is Love Addiction?

Love addiction is hard to diagnose because it is not listed as an official disorder. However, being addicted to love falls into a category that experts call process addictions. It is common for those with this type of addiction to have other underlying or co-occurring diagnoses.

Those addicted to love might find themselves in toxic relationships or neglect to take time for themselves. Many of them won’t have clearly defined boundaries. They also often live in a state of fantasy, unable to see the relationship (or lack thereof) as it is in reality.

Why Does Love Addiction Happen?

Those who have a history or fear of abandonment may become addicted to love to avoid dealing with those feelings. Becoming obsessed with someone else is their way of coping with these feelings and often leads to resentment when they do not feel the same way.

As with other addictions, some people can use love addiction to avoid painful emotions. These can be emotions that originated in childhood, or they can be as simple as a malformed coping mechanism in response to too much stress.

Sometimes people will obsess over a partner to avoid dealing with painful emotions from childhood trauma. These can come from neglectful or abusive parents. Because, as children, these people didn’t experience secure attachment, they tend to take on more extreme roles in their adult relationships.

Is It Love Addiction or Sex Addiction?

Depending on the type of relationship you have, you might also deal with symptoms of sex addiction.

Sex addiction is when someone compulsively needs to have sex or perform sexual acts to achieve a fix comparable to what some people get from substance use. Often, people with this addiction feel like they are not in control of their sexual impulses. 

These impulses can lead to highly sexualized and dangerous behaviors, such as unprotected sex, contracting sexually transmitted infections, or facing unwanted pregnancies. Those who rely on sex as an avoidance tactic do so to escape from anxiety or isolation. It can also develop as a way to hold on to a relationship that isn’t working anymore. 

Symptoms of sex addiction include:

  • Obsessive sexual thoughts
  • Preoccupation with having sex
  • Inability to stop sexual behavior, even when it becomes disruptive
  • Feeling guilty after sex
  • Lying to hide behavior

Treatment for sex addiction almost always involves therapy and group support. The primary goal of going to therapy is to help you manage your urges and reduce risky behavior. If you seek treatment, your provider will likely look for other co-occurring mental health concerns. 

Finding Support for Addiction

If you think you may struggle with love or sex addiction, the best thing you can do is reach out for help. Finding support is one of the bravest things you can do for yourself, and a compassionate team of therapists can help you recover.

Having an addiction doesn’t mean you are any less worthy than someone without one. Many studies have shown that addiction is a combination of genetics, biology, and social and psychological factors.

Many people feel down or upset when they receive a mental health or addiction diagnosis. However, when you know what you are dealing with, you’re better able to find the treatment right for you. 

Treating Love Addiction

There are several aspects involved in treating a love addiction. You’ll likely start one or more evidence-based treatments, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness practices, and group therapy which promote healthy behaviors like:

Reconnecting with Yourself

Before you can learn to have healthy relationships, you must first learn to love yourself. Part of recovery is the realization that you don’t need a relationship to survive. One of the essential elements of recovery from love addiction is building up your sense of self to feel complete without another person. Once you can see yourself on your own, that’s a good sign that you’ve come a long way.

Building Strong Friendships

Spending time with others before rushing into romance is also a great way to recover. Being with others to fill your social needs without making the friendship romantic will also help you learn to connect with others healthily.

Understanding the Root Cause

If you act out of desperation to prevent being alone, it’s a sign that you need to look at the root cause of this fear. While it isn’t comfortable and might sometimes feel impossible, this is the first step to treating your love addiction.

Love Addiction Help at Recovery Ranch Tennessee

Recovery Ranch Tennessee can help you wherever you are in your journey. We use separate programs for men and women to allow our clients a safe and supportive environment to learn the truth about and overcome their obsessions. Here, you’ll be exposed to various trauma-informed therapies to address co-occurring issues like depression, anxiety, and more.

Contact us by calling 1.844.876.7680 today to get started.

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