" I still can't stop"
Dear Counselor: If you could offer me any advice on how to conquer sexual addiction, I would be most grateful. I am on medication.
I am seeing a psychologist & psychiatrist....I still can't stop.
I have almost been arrested..I still can't stop. I am going to die if I don't stop soon.
Please Help... Signed: Hopeless and Helpless
Answer: Dear Friend:
In order to stop a sexual addiction or any kind of addiction.. the first thing you need to do is turn to God for help and surrender yourself to Him. Surely, you also need counseling and a 12-step recovery group.
Are you a homosexual? You can contact Exodus to get help to overcome homosexuality at: 1-206-784-7799 or Homosexuals Anonymous . Or you can contact Overcomers Outreach to get help for sexual addictions at 1-800-310-3001; 1-714-491-3000; 1-601- 844-5128; Email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Believe me- many people have overcome sexual addictions. You can too! No one is hopeless and helpless! No one is beyond God's help!
Yes, you are struggling with an addictive behavior pattern but also you are dealing with several unresolved issues which are causing you pain and so you continue in your addiction in order to avoid dealing with the real issues. Perhaps you have been a victim of abuse yourself and you may suffer from low self-esteem. You probably have felt far from God and feel a spiritual emptiness. Pascal wrote: "there is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man". You are looking to fill the emptiness you sense within but this addictive behavior never satisfies you- instead it will destroy you as you stated in your email. You may have experienced many losses and hurtful experiences in the past which are difficult to face and work through and because of this and many other reasons you suffer from depression.
You have difficulty relating to people and look for relationship fulfillment through sexual activity but instead you end up feeling guilty, hopeless and depressed.
I implore you to get help. You do need counseling and a support group. I recommend that you try contacting a professional Christian counselor for further consultation. Please contact AACC for a referral to a professional in your area.
You also need to attend a good Bible church so you can learn more about Jesus Christ and how He can help you overcome this lifestyle. Begin reading the gospel of John in the New Testament in order to learn more about Jesus and how He can help you. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you as you read it. He is ready to forgive you and change your life.
Jesus said in the following scriptures:
- Luke 15:7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
- Matt 9:10-13 "While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a
doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
- John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.... that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life."
- John 10:10 Jesus said, "I have come to give you life and to give it more abundantly."
- John 14:6 Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me."
- Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
- 1 Timothy 1:15 "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-- of whom I am the worst."
As you can see from these passages- Jesus welcomes sinners and asks them/you to come to Him for forgiveness and cleansing and relationship. St. Paul, one of the writers of the New Testament, an apostle of Christ, called himself the "worst of all sinners". He actually helped to kill Christians before He turned his life over to Christ himself. You can come to Christ today ! He will change your life as He did St. Paul's!
And read the Bible ... if you do not have one- I will be happy to mail one to you.... just send me your mailing address.
Read more on the underlying issues and interventions for sexual addictions and here are some resources for:
Overcomers Outreach, Inc: 1-800-310-3001; 1-714-491-3000, Anaheim, CA
Pure Intimacy: addressing online sexual temptation. A Focus on the Family resource.
Exodus International: 1-206-784-7799
Then read the articles on self-esteem and guilt and how Christians can deal with guilt and shame. This will provide you with understanding about how God can help you overcome the issues which are underlying this self-destructive activity.
Check out Willowcreek's site for a referral to a church near you and to contact a pastor you can pray with as well.
I hope this is helpful for you. Please let me know how you are doing.
© copyright 2004 by Lynette Hoy, NCC, LCPC
Spread The Word
Overcoming Sexual Addictions