You can take steps to care for yourself while getting professional treatment:
Sep. 13, 2014
- Stick to your treatment plan. Take medications as directed and attend scheduled therapy sessions. Remember that it's hard work, and you may have occasional setbacks.
- Educate yourself. Learn about compulsive sexual behavior so that you can better understand its causes and your treatment.
- Discover what drives you. Identify situations, thoughts and feelings that may trigger sexual compulsions so that you can take steps to manage them.
- Avoid risky behaviors. Identify your unique risk situations and set up boundaries to avoid these. For example, stay away from strip clubs, bars or other areas where it might be tempting to look for a new sexual partner or engage in risky sexual behavior. It's a good idea to stay off the computer or install software that blocks pornographic websites.
- Get treatment for substance abuse or other mental health problems. Your addictions, depression, anxiety and stress can feed off each other, leading to a cycle of unhealthy behavior.
- Find healthy outlets. If you use sexual behavior as a way to cope with negative emotions, explore healthy ways to cope, such as through exercise and recreational activities.
- Practice relaxation and stress management. Try stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga or tai chi.
- Stay focused on your goal. Recovery from compulsive sexual behavior can take time. Keep motivated by keeping your recovery goals in mind and reminding yourself that you can repair damaged relationships, friendships and financial problems.
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- Rullo J (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 12, 2014.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 14, 2014.
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