Brianne, who believes sex and love addiction is due to low self-esteem, fear of abandonment, and the fear of intimacy, says she began dealing with this at the age of 12 and says it is a high she has been chasing her entire life.
As an adult, the actress says she juggled multiple men and relationships and each man believed she was their exclusive girlfriend. She was never fully committed to one relationship and says once she began dating one guy, she found ways to step outside of the relationship. Fearing this would play out for the rest of her life, she sought treatment from a therapist and is now sober in Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.
Brianne is now married and has a child and says to others, "If you are struggling, you are not alone. There is a way out of the darkness. You do not have to go back to something that was deadly for you."
The actress explains her addiction was not just about sex, but more about the high of falling in love, having power and control over another person, which she says filled the emptiness she was experiencing.
"Whenever I would get something, I would always want more. It's that disease of more... more love, more attention, more flirting, more intrigue, just more," she tells The Doctors, adding, "I [was] in love with falling in love."
Psychotherapist Dr. Mike Dow explains cognitive behavioral therapy can be successful when treating sex and love addiction. In addition to unpacking someone's past and their genetic makeup, he also says being mindful of what someone is adding to their life as they work on their addiction is key. He notes replacement therapy can be beneficial and he has a seen great success with patients who are "trading something into their life" in place of sensation-seeking behaviors that Brianne described.
Dr. Dow also notes most addicts seek out dopamine, and this sensation can be found in other healthier ways with activities that are new to the individual, for instance, a trip to a new place or speaking in front of a large crowd.
If you believe you are dealing with a sex and love addiction, speak to your healthcare provider or therapist and learn more about Brianne's recovery in her book, "Secret Life of a Hollywood Sex and Love Addict."