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Do I Have A Sex Addiction?

Addiction is usually associated with drugs or alcohol. The psychological or physical dependence on or craving something despite negative consequences is the definition of addiction. Based on that definition, can it be possible to have an addiction to love or sex?

What Is Sex Addiction?

The term “sex addiction” is commonly used for hypersexuality or compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD). Although the term sex addiction is disputed and misunderstood, the behaviors of someone with CBSD can disrupt their life. A person with CSBD has a history of repeated sexual behaviors, urges, or fantasies. Those impulses can cause anxiety, damage relationships, or make daily tasks difficult.

As the conversation about the legitimacy of CSBD as a diagnosis continues in the medical community, sex therapist Michael Vigorito has introduced a new concept, out of control sexual behavior (OCSB). The idea is instead of defining sex addiction as a clinical diagnosis, therapists can consider it as a set of behaviors. A person with OCSB has sexual urges, behaviors, or ideations that can overtake their life.

What Are the Symptoms of Sex Addiction?

There are several symptoms of CSBD or OCSB. If a person has the following symptoms over a long period – six months or more – and in many situations, they might have a sex addiction.

Symptoms of CBSD or OCSB include:

  • Repeated sexual behaviors performed to satisfy urges or thoughts
  • Attempts to stop desires, behaviors, or fantasies
  • Watching an excessive amount of pornography
  • Excessive masturbation
  • Risky sexual behaviors
  • Placing sexual behaviors before work or relationships
  • Affairs
  • Cybersex

What Are the Causes of Sex Addiction?

Since there is little research on sex addiction, the medical community can’t say the exact causes. However, a few suggestions for the causes of sex addiction include:

  • Side effects from medications: Medications that focus on dopamine, like those for addiction or Parkinson’s disease, are connected with increased CSBD.
  • Chemical imbalances: Neurological disorders can disrupt brain chemicals and increase sexual urges or behaviors.
  • Past trauma: A person who experienced a specific type of trauma, for example, sexual assault, may have CSBD because they’re trying to cope with harmful emotions.
  • Mental health disorders: Two mental health disorders, depression or anxiety, could be underlying causes for CSBD.

Can I Get Help for a Sex Addiction?

While there aren’t medications for use, doctors can prescribe specific medications used for addiction or co-morbid issues that can help. If someone thinks they have a CSBD, they should talk with their medical provider. They can also enter a mental health treatment center with a program for those with a CSBD.

Sex addiction isn’t classified as an addiction by the medical community. However, those living with sex addiction face many of the same issues as those with a substance use disorder. Compulsive sexual behavior disorder can also create a dangerous pattern of seeking to fulfill sexual urges, thoughts, or fantasies despite the risk. If you think you have a sex addiction, contact The Guest House. Our therapists will guide you through your treatment, helping you heal. In addition, you will find encouragement and serenity as you immerse yourself in our program. Contact us to learn more at (855) 483-7800.