March 28th, 2018
Is Sex Addiction Real? There are two sides to the tale when it comes to sex addiction. On one hand, we legitimize sex addiction, on the other we reject it because of its lack of scientific proof. We often hear about sex addiction when a celebrity or person of high status causes damage or major problems. By labeling these risky sexual behaviors as an addiction, it becomes associated with the destructive behaviors caused by addictive drugs.
The phenomenon of sex addiction became popular only about 30 years ago, when Patrick Carnes wrote a book that established compulsive sexual behaviors with addiction. Once Carnes’ book was published, treatment centers and addiction programs profited off this ‘disorder’ although it was never scientifically proven nor accepted clinically.
Those who diagnose and treat sex addiction as a brain disorder look at sex addiction the same way as drug addiction. They believe sex alters the brain the same way that drugs can. These indications can be: withdrawal symptoms, habituation, or risk-taking behavior. As the scientific community becomes more familiar with the signs of hypersexuality, many associate sex addiction to gambling addiction since both involve behaviors, not a substance.
Sex addiction is categorized by someone who partakes in risky and dangerous behavior in order to have sex. They do not crave or need to have sex all the time, but rather jeopardize the most important things in their lives such as: their jobs, their heath, and their relationships. Most people who categorize themselves as sex addicts have other mental problems such as anxiety, depression, and stress. Often, for sex addicts, sex actually provides little pleasure.
The repetitive nature of these behaviors also constitutes a sex addiction. If negative sexual patterns repeat and profound problems keep happening as a result, sex addiction is usually to blame. This is defined by sex addiction therapists as “compulsive sexual behavior without regard to consequences.”
Today sex addiction is commonly known as hypersexual disorder. Although there is limited scientific data, we can see that sexual patterns change behavior. If you feel like your sexual health is abnormal or your behavior is changing due to your sex life, sexual health experts such as Dr. Elist can help you manage and get back on track.
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