Stories swept media around the world this week reporting the arrest of International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges of sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper. These reports were followed in short order by acknowledgments by Arnold Schwarzenegger that he fathered a child with a domestic servant 10 years ago while married to Maria Shriver.
This type of story has become familiar to the American public in recent years. Whether it’s Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, John Edwards, or Silvio Berlusconi (the embattled Prime Minister of Italy who is currently accused of hiring an underage prostitute), our leaders have been the subject of accusations regarding their sexual behavior that have been very costly to them. Not all accusations will be true, of course, but many are.
Whether some of these individuals highlighted by the media suffer from sexual addiction is not really our business. What is our business, though, is looking after our own lives.
Help is available for all sorts of human problems, including sexual addiction. My own practice as a psychologist focuses on treating this damaging addiction. Addicts are not responsible for developing an addiction…that is the result of years of anxiety, trauma, and loneliness, as well as a myriad of other causes. What addicts are responsible for is to get help. My website, HealthyMind.com, has a wealth of information about sex addiction that can help one get started.
Just this morning I was in a meeting with other therapists when one of them commented how much better it would have been for the men we read about to have spent their money on therapists to reduce their distress rather than on lawyers to manage the chaos caused by their behaviors.
It’s an old saying that, “A stitch in time saves nine.” If you are suffering from out of control sexual behavior…make the call. Get a qualified therapist. The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, the professional organization for the treatment of sex addiction, has a member directory of providers who treat sex addiction. Check them out.