The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders can best be described as the Bible for psychologists. In it, every single mental disorder recognized by the medical community is detailed and explained. During this year’s revision to the manual the topic of sex addiction came up. After much debate, psychologists decided to leave sex addiction out of the book, essentially saying that it was not a valid psychological disorder. Many people feel this was a poor decision and that sex addiction ruins the lives of many Americans every year, however there is not detox rehab for sex addiction so it is more difficult for those seeking help to get it. .
There are a few different criteria a person must meet before they can be labeled as a hypersexual. The main way to determine if a person is a hypersexual is if they spend a large amount of time being consumed by sexual fantasies and urges. Also, if the person spends a lot of time planning for and engaging in these urges, they might have a sex addiction. One of the last ways you can determine if a person is hypersexual is if they continually engage in their sexual fantasies to combat feelings of depression, anxiety, boredom, or irritability .
When an individual repeatedly engages in risky sexual behavior with complete disregard for their health or emotional well-being, and cannot seem to help themselves from stopping, the debate becomes a little more complicated. Many psychiatrists do not think that sex addiction is a real thing, and that some in the medical community are making it up to sell expensive treatment plans to people who don’t really need them.
While it is very easy to look at the brain of someone who is addicted to heroin or opiates and see that something is wrong. They will display very serious physical symptoms if they do not get the drug they are addicted to and will begin to go through withdrawal. It is unclear if the same can be said for people who claim to have addictions to sex. This is why more research and studies need to be conducted on this topic.
The increasing sexual awareness of our society may have played a role in people thinking that they have developed addictions to sex. For example, television shows and movies portray casual sex much more than they ever did in the past. However, this does fully explain why so many new people are coming forward claiming to be hypersexual. The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity defines sexual addiction as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.” Basically, a sex addict will continue to take part in certain sexual behaviors despite facing potential health risks, financial problems, shattered relationships or even arrest.
People who have addictions to sex should not be discounted from those who have other psychological disorders. While it’s true that there is a major difference between an addiction to drugs and an addiction to sex, that does not mean that the latter isn’t harmful and destructive to an individual’s life. It is important that anyone who believes they have a sex addiction seek help from a medical counselor so that they can explore treatment options, there may not be a detox-rehab but there is certainly help out there.. Even though sex addiction is not included in the new guide for mental disorders, that should not mean that we ignore the problem all together.