Chances are, you are reading this because you are wondering if you have a problem with your sexual behavior. Maybe you’ve noticed that your sexual thoughts or behaviors seem out of your control; maybe your partner has confronted you about your sexual behavior; or maybe you’re realizing that your personal and/or professional life has been negatively affected by your sexual choices, yet you are unable to stop. Maybe you are wondering if the term sexual addiction applies to you. And if it does, what does that mean? Sexual addiction is a complex condition that manifests itself in many different ways but there are some commonalities that are looked at when assessing for sex addiction. Pat Carnes developed an acronym that identifies 6 important elements to look at. The acronym is PATHOS:
- Preoccupied: Do you often find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts?
- Ashamed: Do you hide some of your behaviors from others?
- Treatment: Have you ever sought help for sexual behaviors that you didn’t like?
- Hurt Others: Has anyone been hurt emotionally because of your sexual behavior?
- Out of Control: Do you feel controlled by your sexual desire?
- Sad: When you engage in sexual activity, do you feel depressed afterwards?
A positive response to one of these questions would indicate a need for additional assessment. Two or more positive responses indicate a probability of an addictive problem. If this is something that you identify with and want to talk more about, I would enjoy the opportunity to meet with you to discuss your questions and concerns and determine if a more thorough assessment is needed. If you would like to schedule an appointment, I can be reached at 240-538-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.