Sex addiction: what is it?

Sex addiction: what is it?

The DSM-5 doesn’t define sex addiction, so there is a lot of debate regarding what characteristics make something an addiction.

One trait of the disorder may be the secrecy of behavior, in which the sufferer learns to conceal their behavior and can even keep the illness a secret from partners, spouses, and family members. They might hide their actions or carry them out at times and locations where they won’t be discovered.

However, symptoms can occasionally be felt and seen. If a person exhibits any or all of the following symptoms, they may have a sex addiction:

Persistent, compulsive sexual fantasies
Lying to cover behaviors obsession with having sex, even when it interferes with daily life, productivity, work performance, etc. inability to stop or control the behaviors putting oneself or others in danger as a result of sexual behavior feeling regret or guilt after sex experiencing other negative personal or professional consequences.

Relationships can become strained due to compulsive behaviors, such as infidelity. However, some people may use their sex addiction as an excuse for infidelity in a relationship.

It’s critical to keep in mind that liking sex does not indicate sex addiction. It’s acceptable to like having sex because it’s a healthy human activity. Furthermore, a spouse does not necessarily have a sex addiction if there are disparities in their level of sexual interest from their partner.

What are sex addiction treatments?

There aren’t many evidence-based therapy options available because the diagnosis is debatable.

One or more of the following approaches may be suggested by those who discuss sex addiction treatment.

programs for inpatient treatment

Numerous inpatient treatment facilities provide programs for recovering from sex addiction. To help sex addicts recover control over their impulses and begin healing, they are frequently separated from their regular daily routines for at least 30 days. Individual and in-depth group therapy sessions are often part of these programs.

12-step initiatives

The recovery paradigm used by Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) and other similar programs is based on Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). They can be a massive aid in dealing with sex addiction.

While not strictly forbidden, members are advised to abstain from compulsive and harmful sexual conduct. A helpful support system is offered via group gatherings where people dealing with similar issues gather.

Behavioral and cognitive therapy

A person can learn how to change habits after receiving this therapy, which can help them recognize the causes of their sexual impulses. Individual sessions with a qualified mental health therapist are used to accomplish this.


Drug therapy may be advantageous for some persons. Some medications may help reduce desires (which is separate from the potential side effects of some antidepressants that can cause decreased libido or impair other aspects of the sexual experience).

It’s unclear whether a doctor would recommend medication for this disease.

What is the future of sex abuse?

The individual dealing with sex addiction encounters a particular set of difficulties. They might be acting in ways that endanger their partnerships, their safety and well-being, and those of their partners. In addition, there are no established diagnostic criteria or therapies for sex addiction, which makes it a contentious diagnosis.

Getting support

Start by speaking with your primary care physician if you believe you have a sex addiction. Additionally, some organizations can offer assistance.

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