Since sex addiction isn’t outlined in the DSM-5, there’s considerable controversy about what criteria constitute an addiction.One characteristic may be secrecy of behaviors, in which the person with the disorder becomes skilled at hiding their behavior and can even keep the condition secret from spouses, partners, and family members.By way of a definition, “sex addiction” is described as a compulsive need to perform sexual acts in order to achieve the kind of “fix” that a person with alcohol use disorder gets from a drink or someone with opiate use disorder gets from using opiates.Sex addiction (the compulsive sexual behavior described here) should not be confused with disorders such as pedophilia or bestiality.The person addressing sex addiction faces a unique set of challenges.They may be engaging in behaviors that put their relationships, their own safety and health, and the health of their partner in jeopardy.Considerable controversy surrounds the diagnosis of “sex addiction.” It’s been excluded from the fifth edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5), but it’s still written about and studied in psychology and counseling circles.
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Some report that it may manifest itself as a compulsive need to masturbate, view pornography, or be in sexually stimulating situations.
A person with sex addiction may significantly alter their life and activities in order to perform sexual acts multiple times a day and are reportedly unable to control their behavior, despite severe negative consequences.
At the same time, sex addiction is considered a controversial diagnosis and it’s lacking diagnostic criteria as well as evidence-based treatments.
If you feel that you have a sex addiction, begin by talking with your family doctor.