It wasn’t long after Rebecca Barker had her third child that the cravings started.
As BBC News reports, the UK mom of three went into a depression not long after the birth of her third child. But after about a year, the depression took an unexpected turn.
Barker began feeling an insatiable need for sex.Screenshot/BBC News
Barker says that she would wake up thinking about sex and that her addiction soon began to dominate her days. She told the BBC:
“It was literally the first thing I thought about when I woke up, I just couldn’t get it off my mind.”
Barker says that “at its worst, even having sex five times a day wasn’t enough” to satisfy the endless craving she was experiencing.
Her sex addiction was destroying her life. But the most surprising thing might have been how much it damaged her relationship.
Over time, constantly asking her partner for sex began to fray — not strengthen — their bond. While Barker’s significant other was initially flattered by the extra attention, it didn’t last.
Barker told the BBC that her partner’s enjoyment soon turned into distrust and questions about why she was suddenly so eager for sex:
“At first he was fine with it but towards the end he couldn’t understand it at all. After a few months he started to raise questions about why and where it was coming from.”
After a while, Barker’s partner began to see her sex addiction not as a mental health issue, but as a sign of infidelity. She told the BBC:
“He accused me of having an affair — he thought I must have been feeling guilty about it and that’s why I wanted sex with him.”
Barker’s life was unraveling in other ways too. She says that her “whole body was craving” sex, but reacting to sex like it was a drug. After an “instant hit” the cravings would start back just a few minutes later.
Sex became such a fixation for Barker that she began to avoid contact with other people, ashamed at how preoccupied she was by her needs. She told the BBC:
“I became a hermit, I stayed at home because I felt ashamed that it was all I could think about. Even though no-one could read my mind, it still felt very uncomfortable for me to be around other people.”
Finally, things came to a head. Barker told her partner that she needed to get help and moved in with her mother. She says that “the relationship broke down very quickly after that.”
Barker had been seeing a psychiatrist for her depression. While she was put on medication, she was never given access to support groups for her addiction. It got to the point where Barker began to feel like nothing could help her.
In the end, it took decisive action from Barker to get out of the fog of addiction and depression that had taken over her life. After breaking up with her partner, she got a new job and moved to France. She told the BBC:
“I made many lifestyle changes in order to get over the depression and the addiction and for me that has worked.”
While Barker is no longer suffering from the constant compulsion to have sex, she’s frustrated that sex addiction isn’t more widely recognized as a real disorder. She says she wants to see more help for those who suffer the same compulsion, and that begins with recognizing that sex addiction exists. She told the BBC:
“I know it’s real. I’ve been through it, I’ve lived through it. And thankfully, I’ve made a full recovery.”