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Be found at the exact moment they are searching. Up and Get Listed. Sex addiction is any compulsive, sexually motivated behavior that is acted out despite the negative consequences. It is also known as sexual compulsion or sexual dependency. Estimates suggest between 12 to 30 million Americans experience some kind of sexual compulsion. It generally does not improve until the person receives treatment.
A compassionate therapist can help individuals develop a healthier relationship with sex and intimacy. Most people enjoy sex and seek it out from time to time. In sex addiction, however, this enjoyment becomes an obsession. They may consistently prioritize sex over family, friends, and work. Individuals with sex addiction can have different views on their behavior. Some people may be aware that their sexual compulsions are an issue yet feel unable to control it.
They might make repeated attempts to reduce their sexual dependency but fail to make progress. Others may try to rationalize their actions. They may deny they have a sex addiction even when their behavior causes the loss of intimate relationships , family, or friends. Some researchers believe women may be less likely to seek treatment due to stigma , leading prevalence rates to be skewed. There are no data on how gender affects treatment outcomes. However, since men and women manifest hypersexuality through the same symptoms, it is likely that treatment strategies would be the same for all genders.
There is no one trait known to cause sex addiction. However, research does point to several contributing factors. Sexual compulsions may be a way to cope with emotional pain or stress. The most common triggers were:. Chemicals released during sex, such as dopamine and oxytocin , may create a "high" similar to that obtained from the use of drugs or alcohol. A person may develop an addiction to this pleasure, requiring more sex to get the same feeling. Androgen is a sex hormone that affects libido.
Most cases of sex addiction occur alongside other mental health issues. The most common comorbidities include:. Additional mental health issues can make sex addiction more severe. In some cases, a person may be using sexual activities to cope with emotional distress or past trauma. The World Health Organization recognizes sex addiction as its own mental health condition, while the American Psychological Association does not. Some individuals claim that behaviors we classify as sex addiction are likely symptoms of other conditions. For example, people with bipolar can develop hypersexuality during a manic episode.
They may have trouble controlling their sexual behaviors during this period. Others argue that sexual compulsions can and do occur independently of other diagnoses. Stigma is also large concern in the debate. Some gay men, including the famous codebreaker Alan Turing, were chemically castrated to reduce their libidos. Proponents of the diagnosis believe sex addiction can be distinguished from cultural expectations. Casual sexual encounters, consensual BDSM , or responsible pornography use do not indicate sexual addiction. If you believe that you or a loved one has a sex addiction, you can find a therapist here.
Mental health professionals who meet our membership requirements can take advantage of benefits such as:. Get Listed . Sex Addiction. Get Help for Sex Addiction. s of Sex Addiction Most people enjoy sex and seek it out from time to time. Common s of sex addiction include Prolonged periods of promiscuity with multiple partners or one-night stands. Compulsive pornography. Excessive masturbation sometimes to the point of physical injury. Excessive cybersex or sexting. Prostitution or use of prostitutes.
Multiple acts of marital infidelity. Frequent unsafe sex. What Causes Sex Addiction? Mood Sexual compulsions may be a way to cope with emotional pain or stress. Hormones Androgen is a sex hormone that affects libido. History of abuse A large majority of people with sex addiction report a history of abuse. In many cases, sex addiction is caused by multiple factors working in tandem. Sexual Addiction and Mental Health Most cases of sex addiction occur alongside other mental health issues.
The most common comorbidities include: Depression. Substance abuse. Gambling addiction. Compulsive shopping. References: Ajegena, B. Sex and sexual addiction in the United States of America: An overview of its epidemiology, management and prevention strategies. The Independent. Compulsive sexual behavior: A review of the literature. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 4 2 , Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39 2 , Sex addiction: A dangerous clinical concept. What Is Sexual Addiction? Can Women Be Sex Addicts? Last Update: Is Porn Addiction Even a Thing? GoodTherapy!
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