Definition of sexual addiction
Sexual addiction (also known as sex addiction) is a disease in which a person feels a compulsion of sexual behavior (in particular, compulsion to have sexual intercourse, however, it can be, e.g. compulsive masturbation, frequent watching pornography, etc.), despite the negative consequences of these behaviors – their destructive impact on emotional life or social of that person.
Specialists from various fields do not have a uniform view on how to classify sexual addiction. Therefore, sexual addiciton is not a clinical entity in either DSM or ICD classification.
However, it seems that the element of addiction is the most important for understanding sexual addiction and that the development of sexual addiction in a person is associated with similar factors as in the case of drug or other psychoactive substance addiction, primarily with mental addiction and the appearance of negative consequences (social, emotional) related to the practice of sexual behavior that is too frequent. Similarly as in the case of addiction to psychoactive substances, sexual addiction is associated with a sense of guilt, rationalization of some abnormal behavior, or blaming others for their own problems.
In some people, sexual addiction may be associated with hypersexuality, i.e. very frequent sexual intercourse, e.g. several times a day, but this is not the rule. Other people, in turn, may enjoy not so much the sexual intercourse itself, as, for example, romance or betrayal.
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Diagnosing sexual addiction
The key element in diagnosing sexual addiction is the feeling of coercion of sexual behavior and the continuation of these behaviors despite their negative consequences.
The therapy is conducted in the form of a conversation between the therapist and the addicted person. The therapist tries to determine the causes of addiction and help to get rid of it. The frequency of meetings is set individually by the therapist and the patient.
It is important at the same time that the goal of therapy is not only to help overcome addiction, but also to enable the patient to solve such problems in the future by himself.
Read more: Sexologist Warsaw