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Myths About Teens With Sex Addiction

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Identifying a teen with sex addiction, and knowing how to help that teen, may be incredibly tough for parents or adults in the teen’s life – but worth every effort to prevent lifelong consequences, suggest several recent articles.

Experts believe that as many as 40 percent of adults seeking professional help for sex addiction began as teens or preteens with early exposure and excessive pornography use. Recent articles are also circulating with information for the signs and symptoms of sex addiction among teens, such as obsessive thoughts about sex that disrupt daily living; inability to stop viewing online pornography or engaging in sexual behavior; and stopping or avoiding “typical” teen activities to pursue private computer time or sexual encounters.

Because the teen brain is still forming, the experiences a teen has with pornography or sex can lay the foundation for unhealthy future ideas about sex. The impact can affect everything from school performance to future careers and future committed relationships, in addition to heightening risks for STDs, substance abuse and even chronic depression.

Myths about Teens and Sex Addiction:

  1. This is typical activity and it will pass on its own. Reality: With 24/7 access to online sex sites, a teen who is becoming addicted to online porn or online sex sites is likely to spend more time engaged in the activity while the problem keeps progressing.
  2. It takes a long time to become addicted to sex. Reality: A teen brain moves at a quick pace, and processes information with speed but at an immature level. Teens who may have obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and even those who don’t, may slide into addiction to online sex fast.
  3. The risks of online porn or sex addiction are something schools talk about. Reality: Research studies have indicated repeatedly that consistent, ongoing dialogue with parents and teens about sex addiction, porn addiction or sexting is important and effective.

Specific treatment centers for teens with sex addiction are offered across the nation, with staff equipped to help teens and their families work though this complex and destructive addiction before the outcomes cause serious damage to their futures.