Can Past Trauma Trigger a Cycle of Destructive Behaviors?

Sex and porn addiction seem to be making their way into headlines more frequently as of late. A handful of celebrities are in court facing a mix of legal consequences regarding severe sex and pornography violations. The definition of sex and porn addiction remains inconsistent or unclear. Yet, it's clear by the outcome of these cases that these behaviors come with serious consequences. So, what happens that leads people down this path, and does trauma have anything to do with it?

Regardless of why sex addiction forms, two wrongs don't make a right. In other words, sexual trauma does not offer a justification to harm others or break the law. With that being said, let's explore and see what research indicates regarding addiction and past trauma.

In this article, we'll look into the controversy surrounding the definition of sex addiction and the role trauma may have in this.

The Correlation Between Trauma Amid a Controversial Diagnosis.

Dr. Patrick Carnes is a world-renowned therapist known by some as the founder of sexual addiction therapy. He's the founder of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). Likewise, he is behind many cutting-edge recovery programs. Like many others in the field, he is certain that sex addiction is real and very serious.

On the contrary, other professionals, such as Dr. Marty Klein, feel a sex addiction diagnosis is useless. He says the misconception of sex in the public eye can cause people to fear their ability to control their own sexuality. The controversy seems to lie within the definition of typical human sexuality.

Research sheds light on the role of trauma in some cases of sex addiction. For example, those with sexual trauma may put themselves into positions that are sexual in nature. However, this time, they are in control or have the power to determine the outcome of the situation.

According to Dr. Carnes, those with sexual addiction are likely to develop a cycle of self-destructive behaviors. These cycles begin with strong negative emotions like hopelessness, anger, shame, or fear. Then, to numb or escape these emotions, they turn to sexual behaviors that bring pleasure. Over time, this cycle becomes more vicious, and consequences no longer serve as an effective deterrent. Regardless of the legal or moral repercussions, the behaviors become riskier. Likewise, the time frame between pleasure and a new flood of negative emotions decreases. And so, the cycle starts again.

When Trauma Leads to Extreme Behaviors

Trauma comes in many forms and can occur during a single incident or on a regular basis. Research regarding trauma and sexual addiction identifies a strong correlation between the two. reports that a common factor among those with sex addiction is a troubled childhood. As a result, they're living with intense feelings of shame, isolation, and hopelessness. Furthermore, a study among those with sexual addictions found that 72% were physically abused as a child. Likewise, 81% were sexually abused, while 97% experienced emotional abuse.

Trauma that occurs through sexual abuse can heavily impact sexual development. As a result, it can impact proper physical, emotional, or psychological sexual development.

If you're living with unprocessed trauma, it could be feeding your addiction. We're here to help you get to the root of the problem. At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we offer a safe, respectful environment as you work to heal. We're here to walk this journey with you and help you reclaim your life.

How to Tell if You're Helping Your Relationship or Provoking Bitterness

It's common for couples to meet at a crossroads where they must decide to stay together or separate. For example, you may find yourself in this place after discovering an affair or an addiction. Other times, the ups and downs of life lead to disconnection or feelings of dissatisfaction that dominate all other emotions. Being in a relationship can be hard to manage when the butterflies fly away.

Arriving at a place in your relationship where there is more contention than connection is difficult to overcome. Situations of betrayal and mistrust ignite flames of negativity and can burn the walls of your bond to the ground. However, many couples choose to stay and give it their all to rebuild their relationship from the foundation up.

If you're at the point of make or break and feel like your efforts are falling short, maybe it's time to turn inward. Let's go through this checklist and see if you're helping your relationship or provoking negativity.

When the Light of Love Burns Out in a Relationship

Negativity within a relationship can form quickly or build up over time. highlights the top five reasons why relationships fail.

They are:

The exact reasons vary greatly and range in severity. In order to heal, couples may need months of therapy or a weekend workshop. Others find common ground by getting back to the basics of a weekly date night and intentional connections.

However, if you're in a troubled relationship and feel like giving your all isn't bringing back the spark, there may be more to consider. For example, engaging in certain behaviors could hinder the success of the relationship. Intentional or not, it's easy for couples to get hung up in behaviors that provoke negativity rather than promote love and warmth.

3 Behaviors Within a Relationship that Provoke Negativity featured an article by Dr. Lisa Firestone. In Do You Provoke Your Partner? she warns of five behaviors that create conflict within your relationship. We'll highlight three of them.

  1. Complaining about or criticizing your partner. Couples may lose sight of seeing their partner as a separate adult. Instead, using "we" can make it easy to distort who your partner is by focusing on their worst traits. For example, if you get down on yourself, it may seem natural to be disrespectful and critical of your spouse, too. Instead of leading to positive change, criticism is likely to create feelings of resentment or retaliation.
  2. Deliberately pushing your partner's buttons. We all know certain words or actions that instantly provoke a reaction. Although your intent may not be spiteful, these things trigger a response within your partner that likely comes from a place of pain. Instead, try to be more aware and sensitive to your partner's triggers. Doing so can invite collaboration and compassion back into the relationship.
  3. Withholding things your partner enjoys. You may be aware of the little things that make your partner light up but find yourself withholding those. Examples include physical touch, giving your full attention, or sharing eye contact. Although you may feel justified in your actions, withholding removes the warmth from your relationship. Likewise, when both partners feel denied by the other, it can create a cycle of negative interactions. Dr. Firestone says if you notice you feel resistant to being kind or doing the little things for your partner, there may be a deeper issue. However, it's likely the problem resides within rather than with your partner.

Healing Your Relationship After a Betrayal

There are many issues that can create emotional distance within a relationship. Betrayal can be one of the most challenging issues to try and restore. However, you don't have to face it alone.

At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we walk with you as you begin your healing journey to healing and recovery. Treating sex and porn addiction is our specialty. Likewise, we help couples begin to work through their grief and heartache. We're ready to help you.

Visit our website to learn more.

Do Sex Addiction Treatment Centers Really Help With Recovery?

Sex can be a positive, enjoyable experience that leads to deep connection. However, when a spouse becomes the object that fuels their partner's sex addiction, it no longer feels that way.

If you suffer from sex addiction, you are probably aware of the negative impact it has on your life. On the contrary, you may be in denial, as many addicts are. As a result, you may not recognize or allow yourself to see the harm your sex addiction is causing. Regardless, it's critical to understand the dangers of compulsive sexual behavior. Furthermore, it's vital to discover the best strategies to overcome your addiction.

Let's discuss how sex addiction treatment centers work and why they are the best resource for addiction recovery.

Is Sex Addiction A Thing?

Yes, it is a real thing. Sex addiction compels individuals to act sexually regardless of the consequences. Yet, there is controversy surrounding the actual diagnosis. As a result, you will not find sexual addiction listed in the DSM 5. As a result, it can make insurance coverage challenging for some.

Here's what we do know. Those with sex addiction have compulsive sex-related thoughts, urges, and behaviors. Likewise, they may have sexual cravings and compulsions they act upon, even if they don't want to. Another issue is negative emotions such as shame, fear, and guilt often follow their behaviors. Yet, despite consequences, they continue to respond to their impulses.

Over time, fantasy, planning, and engaging in sexual behaviors consume many areas of life. Likewise, reports that research indicates that drug addiction and sex addiction may work the same in the brain. This link may help us understand more about the addictive piece. For example, we know a rush of chemicals from the brain's reward system can lead to addiction.

Ongoing studies indicate there may be a mix of biological, psychological, and social factors. So, what may make you prone to sex addiction?

How Can Sex Addiction Treatment Centers Help?

The short answer is simple; treatment centers provide a safe environment for you to work on recovery without distractions. As a result, you're able to focus on healing and recovery. At the same time, you can acquire the skills necessary to overcome your sex addiction.

We live in a world that provides access to sites that fuel sex addiction, and that isn't going to change. Hence, the real need to learn how to live in recovery with technology all around you.

So, are you ready to enroll in our sex addiction treatment program and take the first step toward recovery?

What Types of Sex Addiction Treatment Are Available?

Sexual addiction treatment centers offer a unique approach for addicts to reclaim their lives. Going to a residential treatment center has many benefits. Likewise, it may be the first serious step towards overcoming your addiction. For many, motivation comes after a family intervention to encourage a loved one to seek treatment.

Treatment centers exist to provide a controlled, safe environment where you can work through issues and learn new skills. By design, sex addiction treatment centers help those living with addictions to sex and pornography.

Location is a factor in the outcome of a person's recovery. For example, trying to reach recovery while in the same environment, with the same stressors, is likely to lead you back to the same cycle.

Our facility is located in a rural setting, away from everyday distractions. As a result, you're able to focus on your healing and recovery.

In addition to offering a safe location, let's talk about what else a treatment center often includes:

Does Insurance Cover Sex Addiction Treatment Programs?

At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we do not accept insurance. However, upon completion, we can provide you with the necessary documentation for reimbursement. Likewise, we provide an alternative to high-cost credit cards to assist patients in affording treatment. Through Prosper Healthcare Lending, you can apply for a healthcare loan.

Are Sex Addiction Treatment Programs are Available Near Me?

Let us show you why there is a reason for optimism. At Paradise Creek, we specialize in treating problematic sexual behaviors and sex addictions. As a result, we're equipped to help you reclaim your life. Likewise, we're here to help you get to the root of your addiction and heal. All this takes place in a dignified and respectful environment to get you well on your way to maintaining recovery.

Call us today to learn more about our services.

Powerful Steps to Move Your Struggling Relationship into the Future

Do you wish you could see the person you fell in love with? Like any relationship, the longer you're together, the more familiar you become with one another's flaws. Over time, you may feel desperate to remember how you once felt. Perhaps, the stress and busyness of life have you running in opposite directions. As a result, emotional and physical intimacy within your relationship may no longer exist. If your relationship is longing for connection, looking for answers in the past may not help you find happiness in your future, or could it?

When addiction steps into the relationship, it demands to be the priority. For some, the damage it does is irreversible. Instead of living happily ever after, the hopes and dreams of the relationship get lost in simply surviving. Overcoming a deficit within a relationship is challenging; that's why so many opt to walk away instead.

So, how do you work towards healing your relationship with so many obstacles in the way?

Looking Back on Your Relationship to Save Your Future

It may be no surprise to hear that it's normal for a romantic relationship to be met with thoughts of, "Should I stay or should I go?" However, knowing that isn't likely to help you feel much better. The good news is that mulling over the idea of divorce or break-up doesn't mean the relationship is doomed. Instead, there are some hard questions you'll both need to ask yourself.

  1. If you woke up and the present emotions you're feeling were gone, would you want to stay with your spouse?
  2. Suppose there has been infidelity or discovery of sexual addiction. In that case, if your love follows through with treatment and reaches and maintains recovery, could you offer forgiveness?
  3. How committed are the two of you to your relationship? If both of you are 100% in, that significantly improves your odds of success.

First, it's time to look back in time. Why? Right now, the issues you're dealing with may be too big to see anything but the person you resent or that hurt you. Instead, take some time to reflect on the moment early in your relationship when you knew your partner was going to be your person forever.

Can you remember when you first realized you were in love with your partner? Where were you when you first kissed? Reflecting on positive memories can be painful. On the contrary, it can also help motivate and remind you why you're trying so hard to work things out.

Healing Your Relationship After a Grim Discovery

Any relationship that involves healing from a betrayal will face unique challenges. As a result, working with a licensed therapist will be vital to healing and restoring trust and hope.

So, where do you begin? That depends on your situation, but most start with having a hard discussion regarding the questions above. After all, if only one of you wants to try to make things work, then looking into individual therapy and moving forward alone may be the next step.

The next step might include finding a treatment program. Likewise, you'll need to set boundaries and implement accountability and consequences.

With a plan in place, the healing takes time and effort. So, what can you do to begin taking little steps toward restoring a connection?

Steps to Move Your Relationship into the Future

Remembering that you were madly in love at one point can spark memories that help motivate you to find a path forward.

The furthest thing from your mind may be physical intimacy, and that's ok. Set a boundary and outline what will be acceptable such as holding hands or a quick kiss or hug. Instead, it's a good idea to try and find common ground and reconnect through play or light-hearted activities. This could be as simple as going for a walk together or playing a card game. Maybe it involves going on an adventure and trying something new. Regardless, taking sex out of the relationship may help remove pressure or fear of intimacy. Likewise, it may open the door to rekindle authentic feelings of trust and connection.

Another basic step to growing together is showing gratitude. Finding a way to express a daily "Thank you" can do wonders for your mindset and your relationship.

Finally, incorporate self-care into your day. Taking care of your needs is essential to your ability to heal. For example, if you're well-rested and making good food choices, you're more likely to feel more patient and clear-minded. Healing is a journey and a timely one.

Paradise Creek Recovery Center offers inpatient treatment to help individuals overcome their addictions. We're ready to help your relationship heal and recover. Call us today.

Q&A with Dr. Hedelius

In July, our very own Dr. Matthew Hedelius Psy. D., LCSW, CSAT-S, was interviewed by We discussed his work at Paradise Creek Recovery Center and his achievements in the mental health space.

Addo Recovery involves a network of sex addiction therapists across the United States. Its mission is to flood the earth with specialized resources accessible at the pace therapists need them. As a result, Addo Recovery provides research, training courses, therapist Q&As, intensive training workshops, and professional support for sex addiction therapists.

In this article, you'll get to know a little more about Dr. Matthew Hedelius Psy. D., LCSW, CSAT-S.

Question (Addo Recovery): How long have you been involved in providing treatment for those who suffer from trauma or sexual compulsion?

Answer (Matthew Hedelius Psy. D., LCSW, CSAT-S): I have been treating those who suffer from trauma or sexual compulsivity for over 20 years. I've held over 40,000 sessions. I also provide supervision for therapists who are training to be sex addiction therapists.

Question (Addo Recovery): What has been your secret to helping men reach and stay in recovery?

Answer (Matthew Hedelius Psy. D., LCSW, CSAT-S): We use a combination of Cognitive-Neural Restructuring Therapy. It facilitates change at the cellular level of the brain. Likewise, we use a Task-Centered Approach designed by Dr. Patrick Carnes, PhD., the pioneer of sexual addiction treatment. When done correctly, combining these two models helps provide the patient with concrete recovery strategies. As a result, we may help facilitate sobriety and achieve long-term changes on a biological, psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual level.

Question (Addo Recovery): Do you have experience treating clients in an inpatient treatment-type setting?

Answer (Matthew Hedelius Psy. D., LCSW, CSAT-S): Yes, I have experience in outpatient, inpatient, and residential treatment center settings.

Question (Addo Recovery): For those readers who are not familiar with your residential treatment center, what is Paradise Creek Recovery Center?

Answer (Matthew Hedelius Psy. D., LCSW, CSAT-S): Paradise Creek specializes in the treatment of sexual compulsivity disorders for adult men. It provides a home-like environment, offering safety and peace. As a result, patients are able to reflect and engage in a treatment plan designed specifically for them.

Paradise Creek Recovery Center is on a 16-acre campus located in Raft River Valley, Idaho. Men who attend treatment here cut all the anchors that hold them back from true freedom. For example, these anchors may include abuse, childhood trauma, death, divorce, or out-of-control sexual behaviors. Addressing each of these can lead to healing and freedom.

Paradise Creek Recovery Center has a treatment team with 34 years of experience in treating sexual issues. When a man enters our facility, they participate in 12-step meetings, therapeutic-based exercises, and experiential groups. Likewise, treatment may include activities such as ropes courses, fireside experiences, artistic expression groups, and music therapy.

Question (Addo Recovery): What tools have you found to be useful for treating your patients?

Answer (Matthew Hedelius Psy. D., LCSW, CSAT-S): Both bio and neurofeedback are useful tools in helping patients resolve their trauma issues and addictions. Likewise, I am trained in providing EMDR, which is a highly successful approach to help clients heal from traumatic histories.

Question (Addo Recovery): For new therapists just entering into their careers. What advice would you give them to have a successful career in the mental health industry?

Answer (Matthew Hedelius Psy. D., LCSW, CSAT-S): If you plan to provide individual and group therapy for addictive disorders, get involved in ongoing training. It is essential to stay on the cutting edge of addiction and trauma treatment.

Question (Addo Recovery): Just one more question: What activities do you enjoy in your free time?

Answer (Matthew Hedelius Psy. D., LCSW, CSAT-S): I enjoy any opportunity to help people. In addition, I enjoy running both half and full marathons.

Dr. Matthew Hedelius, thank you for your time today. It was a pleasure speaking with you. If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Hedelius or the Paradise Creek Recovery Center services, please call (855) 442-1912.

Why Relationships Play Such a Powerful Role in Addiction Recovery

Family outings and gatherings can be so beneficial after your spouse leaves treatment. It's true; relationships are a vital component of relapse prevention.

The thought of life after addiction can feel daunting for anyone. After all, no longer relying on an addiction to distract from stress, boredom, or negative emotions can be overwhelming. As a result, relationships with family and friends can serve as a crucial lifeline. So, plan family time or a night out with friends. Doing so is a great way to remain actively engaged and focused on maintaining recovery.

Let's talk about the important role of relationships after treatment.

The Role of Relationships and Relapse Prevention

People say that a critical piece of life after treatment involves strengthening relationships. Leaving treatment can be both bitter and sweet. Upon arriving home, your partner will get to reconnect with loved ones. Yet, it also means going back to everyday life and the stress that it can bring. Soon, they will face the test of being able to overcome triggers. The good news is, no one has to do this alone. With support from local groups and your relationship, they're better equipped to remain steady on the road of recovery.

Maintaining recovery is a life-long process. However, studies show relationships play a powerful role in reaching recovery goals. Whether it's the support of a sponsor or the love and support you offer your spouse, having someone in their corner can be the key to success.

There are many benefits of healthy relationships. After all, they can provide security and a sense of belonging. Likewise, they can provide accountability and motivation, especially in moments of weakness. Furthermore, others can help to avoid feelings of loneliness, which can trigger a relapse.

Rebuilding Relationships After Treatment

Prior to treatment, your relationship probably took a hit. After all, addictions tend to take priority over everything and everyone. If this sounds familiar, there is likely repair work for your spouse to do.

Through meetings and therapy sessions, your partner can learn how to reconnect and restore trust with you. Meanwhile, both of you are likely to benefit from couples therapy. Many develop stronger, more authentic relationships through vulnerability, transparency, and hard work.

Summertime is a great time to work on rebuilding relationships after treatment. After all, there are often family trips or gatherings planned. Likewise, good weather makes it possible to get out of the house and enjoy an activity together. It could be as simple as going on a walk or engaging in conversations at a family BBQ.

At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we know relationships and recovery go hand in hand. As such, we address the need to repair and rebuild connections with those who matter most.

Leaving treatment and transitioning to a new way of life can be an adjustment for everyone involved. As such, scheduling time to be together can be crucial for both of you. In addition, doing so provides you with time to focus on reconnecting and enjoying this next chapter of life.

Visit our website to learn more about the treatment programs we offer.

Experiencing the Freedom Life Can Offer After Porn Addiction

With Independence Day upon us, you may be thinking about the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. However, as you prepare to celebrate, you may be creating an excuse list, just in case you need to tend to your porn addiction. Imagine how freeing life could be if you didn't have to worry about responding to the intense cravings of pornography.

What started as a harmless activity may now be controlling areas of your life. You may wake up every day ready to defy impulsive urges to engage in pornography. However, day after day, when thoughts come, you end up feeling defeated. An easy way to identify when a porn addiction has taken over is when your efforts to quit fall short.

Let's talk about how freeing life may feel after you reach porn addiction recovery.

Some of the Freedoms that You May Experience After Porn Addiction

When you try to stop but can't, it's then you realize your porn addiction is in control.

Like any addiction, when your brain demands a chemical release, you may feel driven to do anything, regardless of the consequences. Unfortunately, maintaining the same 'high' can become more difficult as your body builds up a tolerance. Over time, this can lead to risky behaviors. Likewise, you may begin to engage in activities that defy your personal values and beliefs.

On the contrary, there are a variety of freedoms that come with recovery. Let's highlight a few:

Leaving behind all that comes with porn addiction can be a scary thought. As you move onto the next chapter of your life, building a better future for yourself may feel overwhelming. Likewise, as you find a balance between the past and present, you may feel like you're walking a tightrope. However, this is often temporary. Establishing new routines can come with patience and perseverance.

Putting in the time to rebuild your mind and create new habits is hard work. However, experiencing life after porn addiction can be the sweetest part of the journey. Over time, you'll continue to adjust, and for every twenty steps you take forward, there may be only one step back.

Finding Freedom After Porn Addiction

Freedom and recovery are waiting for you. In fact, there is no judgment here, just support and guidance to the freedom you deserve.

The process of healing and recovery will be unique. As a result, treatment may involve a variety of therapeutic modalities to help you heal. Likewise, it will be vital to identify underlying issues that may be driving you to the porn addiction. Breaking the cycle and restoring impulse control can be a rewarding experience worth celebrating. As you gain confidence in your abilities, you can discover the endless possibilities life has to offer.

At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we specialize in treating porn addiction. With the right tools, support, and treatment, you can reach and maintain recovery. We are here to help you through the process of overcoming the addiction that is holding you captive.

Call us today to learn more.

Can My Trauma Make It Hard To Know If My Partner Is Ready To Leave Treatment?

Are you trying to process your trauma while your spouse is working toward recovery? There's no doubt about it; discovering your partner has an addiction to pornography or sex is devasting. As a result, you can develop symptoms of trauma similar to those of PTSD. So, it's no wonder treatment, and recovery are vital to your relationship.

Trauma can lead to anxiety, depression, panic attacks, irritability, sleeplessness, and emotional dysregulation. In other words, unresolved trauma can impact many areas of your life. Of course, you want to be sure your spouse is prepared to come home from rehab. So, how do you know if your partner is ready to leave treatment?

Let's talk about trauma and if knowing your spouse is really ready to leave treatment could help alleviate some of your trauma symptoms?

What is trauma?

Trauma is the after-effect of a disturbing experience. Likewise, it can consist of a variety of reactions to a distressing event. Any event that is shocking, horrible, and terrifying can be traumatic. As a result, it can affect how you think, feel, or act.

According to, nearly 70% of adults in the US will experience trauma at least once in their lives. Furthermore, one out of five of those will go on to develop PTSD. There are many professions where the risk of exposure to traumatic experiences are all but guaranteed. Examples include those in the military, journalists, police officers, firefighters, and EMTs.

Similar to PTSD, you may be living with Betrayal trauma. The difference is, discovering your partner's addiction likely didn't put your life at risk.

However, the heartache and symptoms of that discovery can lead to very similar symptoms. Therefore, processing your trauma becomes as essential to you as treatment is to them. So, how do you know if your spouse is ready to leave rehab?

Trauma Can Make It Difficult to Trust That Your Spouse Is Ready to Leave Treatment The news your spouse is leaving treatment can spark a flood of emotions. After all, your fear of another blindside and experiencing more trauma is very real. Add in the mix of anger, sadness, and betrayal, and it can send you spiraling with many questions and concerns. As a result, you may be wondering if the work in treatment will be enough.

It's not easy to work through your healing process and support your spouse with their needs at the same time. Just as your spouse will attend outpatient therapy and support groups, you too will benefit from your own therapy and support group.

Here are some good indicators your spouse is ready to return home to continue working on their recovery:

First, has your spouse completed the whole program, or are they leaving early?

Next, are they committed to following outpatient protocols? Do they have outpatient therapy sessions and support groups lined up? Often this is vital because ongoing support becomes necessary to maintain recovery.

Another sign they're ready to leave treatment is their commitment to recovery. Do they have a desire to remain sober? Does your partner seem to accept the fact that their addiction is real, or are they in denial?

Finally, do you have boundaries, rules, and guidelines set up? This will be critical to rebuilding trust. Likewise, transparency may help you heal.

At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we understand the challenges addiction, trauma, and entering treatment can present. As such, we want you to be involved in the healing process for your whole family. We would love to talk to you. Call us today or visit our website to learn more.

Do Any of These Symptoms of Betrayal Trauma Surprise You?

It might be hard to understand betrayal trauma if you've never experienced it. In fact, it's usually very complex and can be difficult to treat on your own. However, understanding it better may bring about insight and clarity.

Betrayal trauma occurs after there is a significant violation of trust within a close relationship. For example, discovering infidelity or your partner's porn addiction could lead to betrayal trauma. Likewise, children living with abusive or neglectful parents may also develop symptoms.

In this article, we will talk about what betrayal trauma is and what it may feel like if you're living with it.

Symptoms of Betrayal Trauma

Betrayal trauma happens because of abuse or a significant violation of one's trust. As a result, there can be many physical or emotional issues that accompany betrayal trauma.


Physical symptoms can include:

Emotional symptoms may include:

Many who experience betrayal trauma report feeling alone in their feelings. For example, you may not want to tell anyone about your partner's affair or addiction. Likewise, you may feel as if you are somehow to blame for your spouse's behavior. Although it's not your fault, believing it is can leave you looking inward instead of seeking outside support.

What Does Betrayal Trauma Do To The Brain?

When you experience trauma from someone you rely on for safety and security, it can lead to a variety of complications. helps us understand what happens when betrayal trauma occurs.

After betrayal trauma, you may enter into a survival mindset. For example, thoughts may lead you to an intense state of hypervigilance. Although exhausting, it's your brain's way to try and protect you from another blindside. As a result, you may become more anxious and irritable. Likewise, you may have a hard time shifting your focus to other things. The science behind this is the fear center of your brain takes over in an effort to prevent another painful blindside.

In situations where you're completely reliant on the relationship, you may try to ignore the abuse or betrayal in an effort to survive. For example, this is prevalent in abusive child-to-parent relationships. Likewise, if your spouse is the main provider, you too may feel it's necessary to endure. As a result, this evokes complex emotions and behaviors as you wrestle with the betrayal trauma and try to survive or maintain a sense of normalcy.

What Helps With Betrayal Trauma?

If you or someone you know is living with betrayal trauma, there is help. Like other mental health issues, talking to a doctor or a therapist would be a good place to start. For example, counseling may be a great way for you to begin to process the trauma you've endured.

It can also be beneficial to have coping skills to turn to when heavy emotions leave you feeling weighed down.

Examples of valuable skills include:

If you know someone who is living with betrayal trauma, it's important they have support. After all, this is a complex and difficult issue, and healing can take time. Furthermore, without help, you could suffer from symptoms indefinitely. Having a close friend or family member, in addition to professional support, can be crucial to your mental and physical health.

At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we offer help and recovery to those with sex and other addiction issues. Furthermore, we address the reality that you may be living with betrayal trauma due to your partner's addiction. You deserve healing and peace.

The Powerful Role of Self-Compassion in Sex Addiction Recovery

Sex addiction is complicated for a variety of reasons. Right out of the gate, some argue it's not an addiction. Why? Some believe society's role in defining acceptable or unacceptable sexual behaviors leads to the label of a sex addict. On the contrary, others think people may use the term based on morals and values rather than scientific evidence. That leads to the next issue of defining symptoms, and finding the right approach to treatment.

Although the debate may exist, for many, there's no question about the reality of sex addiction. After all, if you've lost the ability to control urges, you know all too well how real this beast is. So, what can you do to start down the path that can lead you to recovery?

Let's talk about sex addiction and the role self-compassion can play in helping you along your way to recovery.

What is sex addiction?

A simple way to define sex addiction is when you no longer have the ability to withstand the urge to act upon impulse, regardless of the consequences.

There are a variety of behaviors that may indicate you have a sex addiction. Examples include repeated affairs, multiple anonymous partners, or participating in unsafe sexual activities. Likewise, viewing porn, cyber or phone sex, prostitution, and voyeurism are all behaviors that can lead to or indicate you may have a sex addiction.


The Role Self-Compassion May Have in Sex Addiction Recovery

Another complexity of sex addiction is proving the powerful impact it has on the brain. However, many studies indicate it affects the brain the same way drug addictions do. As awareness increases, funding for more research tends to rise.

In the meantime, professionals who treat sex addiction have plenty of success stories to share. Treatment addresses topics such as toxic shame, relationships, healthy sexuality, and forgiveness. Likewise, the focus is also on emotional control, stress management, and relapse prevention.

Toxic shame and guilt seem to be a driving force of sex addiction. As a result, a great way to battle back is through self-compassion. Self-compassion allows you to shift your focus to your successes as you work toward change. This includes giving yourself permission to accept yourself as you are, rather than defining yourself by your past. Personal encouragement can lead to insightful growth. On the contrary, beating yourself up can leave you wanting to escape from painful thoughts and emotions.

Self-compassion is one powerful tool you can use on your journey toward recovery. Like any addiction, you'll need to teach your brain how to engage in healthy behaviors rather than responding to intense urges. This can take time. However, every time you choose to engage in a new behavior, you move another step closer to recovery. Over time, through consistent and frequent practice, your choices can lead to transformation.

Sex addiction is a battle many are facing today. You are not alone in your journey. At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we understand the challenges and complexities of this addiction. As a result, our program is designed to set you up for hope, change, and success. Visit our website to learn more.