There appears to be an epidemic among the numerous celebrities identifying as sex addicts. It has become commonplace for those caught having affairs to apologize, call themselves a sex addict, and go to rehab. But what many don't know is the severity of such a diagnosis. Making light of a diagnosable mental disorder by people who simply lack self-control is a slap in the face to the 3-5% of people in the U.S. who meet the criteria for sexual compulsion disorders (better known as sex addition).
What is sex addiction?
"The behavior of a person who has an unusually intense sex drive or an obsession with sex. Sex and the thought of sex tend to dominate the sex addict's thinking, making it difficult to work or engage in healthy personal relationships"
Sex addicts will attempt to justify their behavior through irrational means, making excuses and denying responsibility. They engage in risky behaviors (unprotected sex, prostitution, exhibitionism, voyeurism), have the potential for breaking laws, and their behaviors get progressively worse. Most sex addicts do not get sexual gratification from their behaviors.
Other behaviors associated with sex addition:
-excessive use of pornography/strip clubs
(mostly anonymous one-night stands)
-obsessive dating through dating sites/want ads
Can it be treated?
Yes. Sex addition is very similar to other addictions with regard to physiological, environmental, and emotional factors. Addicts will participate in 12-step programs, individual and family therapy, behavioral therapies, and medication to treat their behavior.
Do you think you may be a sex addict? Take the Male Sex Addiction Test or the Female Sex Addiction Test. These tests do not diagnose sex addiction, but can be tools to determine if you need help.
Need to find a therapist in your area? http://www.therapistlocator.net/