Heart-to-Heart Sex Addiction Help

Most of the men who attend sex addiction meetings with Dr. Doug Weiss do not previously know each other, but within minutes each shares some of his darkest secrets.

One man confesses to waiting in his truck for a woman's child to leave so he could go "visit" with her. Another confesses to getting caught with hundreds of pornographic video clips on his work computer.

"It was a real black, sobering ... very sobering experience to be discovered," he said.

An estimated 14 million Americans struggle with sex addiction. To help battle the addiction, Weiss has been counseling sex addicts for the past two decades.

He believes sex addicts suffer from a chemical addiction.

"Absolutely, there's a high involved," Weiss told "Good Morning America Weekend Edition." "There's a high in pursuit, there's a high in the act. During sexual release, you get the highest level of endorphins. These are made in your brain, four times stronger than morphine."

David Duchovny
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It is the compulsion for that high, Weiss said, that causes addicts to damage themselves and their families.

"Not all sex addicts are unfaithful," he said. "The largest majority, actually, are into self-behavior and pornography."

Weiss refers to them as "sexual anorexics" -- addicts who focus on their own pleasure while starving their wives of affection and intimacy.

For Corey and Kerry Schortzman, parents of four young children, this kind of sex addiction nearly ended their marriage.

"I felt like I was almost a single mom because I felt like I wasn't having any attachment to him at all," Kerry said.

"She married a lie," Corey said. "Everything I said, I was or projected to be, I was not. I really destroyed her -- her heart, her trust."

Since there is no drug test for sex addicts, treatment involves a lie detector.

The struggle is not gender-specific.

Samantha, a mother of two and recovering sex addict, had two affairs.

"I realized something was wrong more than early promiscuity in my life when I really couldn't stop," she said.

Much like Alcoholics Anonymous, a 12-step program helps sex addicts eliminate the opportunity and the secrecy that fuels their cravings.

The Schorzmans told "Good Morning America Weekend Edition" that it saved their marriage.

"It's like I watched him completely transform into this different man who suddenly valued me," Kerry said. "Now I feel that I can trust him. But there are still times when, you know, I'm like, 'Is he really who he says he is?'"

For Corey, who now counsels other sex addicts, complacency is a great enemy.

"If I ever think I've overcome it, I will be on my way to relapse," he said. "I have to remain humble, knowing that every day it's one day at a time."

For more information on sex addiction, check out www.sexaddict.com.

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