Deborah Schiller, director of Pine Grove’s Gratitude program, talks about the signs of sex addiction
Ellen Ciurczak/Hattiesburg American
HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Imagine getting a call from a 14-year-old seeking treatment for sex addiction. It’s happened at the Gratitude program, part of Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services in Mississippi.
Deborah Schiller, director of Gratitude — which treats sexual addiction, sexual anorexia and relationship compulsivity — said the program has received requests for help from callers in their early teens.
“There are younger and younger people,” she said. “Porn is ever-present in our lifestyle. They report looking at porn at a younger age. We’ve had people say, ‘I’ve looked at porn since I was 4 years old.’ “
Some of the callers are involved with sexting — the texting of sexually explicit photos. This act is what sent Democrat Anthony Weiner, a former New York congressman, to federal prison, where he is currently serving 21 months for sexting a 15-year-old girl.
Headlines about Weiner and alleged sexual misconduct by Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis C.K., Alabama U.S. senatorial candidate Roy Moore and a growing list of others have put sexual addiction in the forefront of the American psyche.
At Gratitude, which only treats patients 18 and older and has accepted patients into their 80s, the process starts with the phone call and an hour-long conversation with a counselor.
Gratitude is probably a good place to turn. It was the first program in the country to focus solely on sex addiction and related behaviors when it started in 2004. Since…