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She says it’s important to recognise that sex addiction and love addiction operate in many ways, just as other addictions, such as alcoholism.For the alcoholic, the relief doesn’t necessarily come when they’ve had their first drink.The knock-on effect on normal living is massive,” says Fiona Markham, chief clinical officer at The Cabin, an addiction treatment and rehabilitation centre based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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“This is all about the self, about the ego, about being stuck in that place,” she says.

“They are not actually in a relationship with anyone although they can be in a relationship on the outside with multiple people.” The Cabin is treating people ranging in age from 18 to those in their senior years.

You are a happily married woman out for dinner with your husband. It’s a real-life scenario that has played out in Hong Kong.

He leaves his phone on the table while he goes to choose the wine, and a message flashes up on the screen. That’s all it takes for your life to unravel as you discover that not only is he on dating app Tinder, but he’s been having sex with a string of women. Sex addiction wrecks families, destroys relationships and burns careers.

That marks a 30 per cent increase on the previous year.

Markham says she and her colleagues are seeing the first wave of people losing their jobs – as well as their marriages and children – as a result of sex addiction, which is enabled by hook-up apps such as Tinder, Blendr and the like.A sex addict might be sitting at work, and rather than focusing on the meeting the deadline for a presentation, he or she is engrossed in a dating app.“We’ve seen it previously with online pornography being used in the workplace, but now this is taking over and becoming more around the instant sex that’s available for people online,” Markham says.A love addict is addicted to the high created by infatuation seen in the early days of a relationship.“You can normally tell a love addict: they will have a series of short-term relationships, they are chaotic, very on and off, and they will be all in the moment and then they find fault and retreat really quickly,” Markham says.And it is behaviour that counsellors are seeing more of, thanks to the increased use of dating apps.

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