You don’t have to be a golf nut to know about Tiger Woods – a child prodigy who was playing golf while he was still in diapers, winning major national tournaments while barely in his teens, and playing at the professional level when he was only 20. Tiger Woods is one of the most successful golfers of all time, and one of the highest paid athletes in the world.

Thanks to a media frenzy that continues to this day, Woods’ personal problems have often overshadowed his skills on the links and may have contributed to a career that continues to falter.

Tiger Woods

Woods was ranked Number One in the world in 1997 and maintained a position at or near the top for several years. However, Woods took a break in late 2009 and early 2010 in an attempt to work out dramatic, very public marital difficulties that consumed tabloid readers for months. Unfortunately, it didn’t work and Woods and his wife eventually divorced.

The events took a toll, however, and Tiger’s ranking progressively fell to Number 58 by late 2011, then rebounded back to Number 1 by spring, 2013, a position he held for more than a year. Since that time, Woods has been slowed down by back pain and surgery and had fallen out of the top 100 by March 2015.  He continues to struggle but has yet to regain his former glory.

Is He, or Isn’t He?

So, the question remains: Does Tiger Woods truly have a sex addiction? Or, is it just a matter of a high-energy individual who required lots of sex to release the tension? Some might explain it away by saying, “Boys will boys,” or that guy is simply hard-wired to chase after women.

The Debate

Nobody knows for sure, and even professionals can’t agree that sex addiction is a real disorder. It isn’t listed in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), although it may be included at some later time. However, many treatment providers believe that behavioral addictions such as gambling, binge-eating, and compulsive sex are addictive and that the effect on the brain is no different than the effect of drinking or using drugs. Addictive substances and activities all affect the brain’s pleasure center, and the brain doesn’t know the difference between great sex, a win at the blackjack table, or a cocaine rush. Similarly, continued behavior or substance abuse results in tolerance and progressively more of the behavior or substance is required to attain the same level of enjoyment.

Some experts estimate that half of all men and women have cheated, but less than 20 percent are compulsive sex addicts. The difference? People often enjoy an extramarital fling, but the fun stops when they realize that the consequences and potential risks are very real. Addicts, on the other hand, are unable to stop, even when relationships, careers, and reputations are destroyed.

Irresponsible Behavior

Tiger Woods admitted that he was unfaithful to his wife, and engaged in “repeated irresponsible behavior.” The rumor mill went crazy, reporting that Woods watched sex on his phone, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on high-priced call girls, made phone sex tapes, and enjoyed sending raunchy text messages. A number of women claimed to have sex with Woods at least once, and some said the golfer was an insomniac who could have sex all night long.

Woods admitted to receiving treatment in 2010, although he never stated a specific reason. Some people claim he may admit himself to treatment for addiction to sleeping pills and pain medications.

More recently, Woods’ relationship with Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn came to an end, and many speculate that the breakup is a result of a relapse and Woods’ return to the cheating lifestyle. Others claim the split was an amicable end to a long-distance relationship that was simply going nowhere.

Symptoms of Sex Addiction

  • A strong urge to view pornography
  • Frequent masturbation
  • Strong sexual urges, even when enjoyment is no longer present
  • Life is organized around sex, even when it takes time away from work and other activities
  • Irritability, especially when unable to engage in sexual activities
  • Escalating sexual behavior may include sex with strangers, multiple
    partners or fetishes

A Treatable Condition

Sex addiction is treatable, usually through various forms of individual counseling and group therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a technique that teaches people to confront and change destructive thinking patterns, has proven to be effective.

Hawaii Island Recovery

At Hawaii Island Recovery, you have a strong support team and caring addiction specialists to help you through your recovery process. Call us at (866) 491-8009 and our friendly staff will be happy to answer your questions about our therapies and how we can help you or your loved one achieve sobriety.