Hypersexual Disorder

Updated: DECEMBER 24, 2018

Hypersexuality, also known as hypersexual disorder or sex addiction, is a disorder marked by a set of very specific criteria of the course of six months or more. These include sexual impulses, actions, or fantasies that match four or more of these five criteria:

  1. Allowing excessive amounts time to be consumed by sexual thoughts and desires as well as plans to act on them.
  2. Recurrent use of sex (even fantasy) to cope with things like boredom, anxiety, or depression.
  3. Recurrent use of sex (even fantasy) to cope with stress.
  4. Repeated failed attempts to reduce sexual activities.
  5. Continual sexual acting out with no regard for the physical or emotional risks it can pose to oneself or others.

Additionally, a diagnosis is dependant on whether the patient's daily function is being impacted by the sexual behaviors and whether the behaviors can be tied to medication use of the occurence of a manic episode.

More About Hypersexual Disorder

The concept of sex addiction is hotly debated. Because so many of the behaviors can be indicative of other disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders, many feel that the sexual behaviors are simply symptoms of those disorders and it would be best to treat the underlying problem. However there is a strong argument for the idea that the terms "hypersexuality" and "sex addict" give the people struggling with these issues (regardless of what has brought them on) a strating point from which to work towards feeling better.


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