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What Is Hypersexuality Or Sex Addiction

The existence of the "sex addiction" is under heated debate. However, in a controversial decision, compulsive sexual behavior disorder was added to the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases

Hyper-sexual disorder is proposed diagnosis for the people who engage in the sex or think about the sex through the fantasies and urges more than normal. These individuals may engage in the activities such as the porn, masturbation, sex for pay, and the multiple partners, among others. As a result, these people may feel distress in areas of life including the work and relationships.

The existence of the “sex addiction” is under heated debate. However, in a controversial decision, compulsive sexual behavior disorder was added to the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases.Because of such disagreement over validity of this behavior, the number of those affected is also under scrutiny—some say it is 3 percent to 10 percent of adults.

Other experts believe that real causes of behavior include the emotional states, namely the anxiety, depression, or the relationship conflict.

For some individuals, shame and morality may also be involved. Whether the condition exists or not, psychotherapy may be useful for individuals seeking to regulate emotions and gain insight into their sexuality.

Hyper-sexuality is not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. The 2010 proposal for the addition of the hyper-sexual disorder into the DSM-5 included the criteria of uncontrollable sexual behavior. Supporters of the behavior’s inclusion argued that people who engage in this excessiveness suffer from the great distress. In proposed criteria, the hypersexual disorder was conceived as nonparaphilic sexual desire disorder with the impulsivity component.

The proposed diagnosis was not added to the DSM-5. Experts note that there isn’t enough empirical evidence to support the diagnosis. Many do not view it as an addiction and believe it has no similarities to other addictions.


It is very important to note that the sexual behavior is a normal, healthy part of life and many people enjoy being active with the multiple sexual partners or seeking out many different kinds of the sexual experiences. Hyper sexuality becomes problematic when it causes the significant distress to individual, or puts them at risk of harming themselves or the someone else.

Following criteria may be a way of identifying hyper-sexuality. For a period of at least six months:

  • Have recurrent, intense sexual fantasies, urges, and/or behaviors
  • The behaviors consistently interfere with other activities and obligations
  • Behaviors occur in response to the dysphoric mood states (anxiety, depression, boredom, irritability) or the stressful life events
  • Engage in the consistent but unsuccessful efforts to control or reduce the sexual fantasies, urges, or the behaviors
  • Engage in the sexual behaviors while disregarding potential for the physical or the emotional harm to self or others
  • The frequency or intensity of sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors cause significant distress or impairment

As mentioned, hypersexuality may also be linked to depression and anxiety. Some individuals may avoid difficult emotions, such as sadness or shame, and seek temporary relief by engaging in sexual behavior. Sexual cravings, therefore, can mask other issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress.


The causes of the hypersexual behavior are not well understood. Some children or adolescents may engage in increased or developmentally inappropriate sexual behavior as a result of traumatic experiences, stressors, or mental illness. While there is no standard definition of hypersexuality in children, it is known that sexually abused children may display increased sexual behaviors and high-risk sexual behavior is associated with socio-demographic factors such as family dysfunction and social stress.

It’s also important to consider the role culture plays in the concept of hypersexuality. The Cultures that view the sexuality in a more positive light may have values that don’t judge the sexual behavior as being “excessive.”


Sexual addiction and hypersexual disorder are not included in the DSM-5, but if a person engages in sexual behaviors that causes distress, specialized counseling is available.

Treatment may involve the following:

  • Rebuilding relationships
  • Managing stress
  • Finding alternative behaviors that are less destructive
  • identify the triggers

Why should we be concerned about compulsive sexual behavior?

Some estimates claim that pornography business (online, the video, and the magazines) makes $10 billion to $14 billion in annual sales globally and that it is bigger industry than all major league sports and possibly even bigger than Hollywood movie industry.

Companies earn the revenue by making the adult movies available in the people’s homes and the hotel rooms. There are many debates about social and personal aspects of the pornography, but what we know is that most people who use it can control their behavior. As with many of behaviors we discuss on this blog, however, a portion of the people cannot control their use of pornography. These individuals might have problem referred to as the compulsive sexual behavior.

Compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) is term that characterizes repetitive and intense preoccupations with sexual fantasies, urges, and the behaviors that are very distressing to the individual and/or result in psychosocial impairment. Individuals with CSB often perceive their sexual behavior to be the excessive but are unable to control it at all. They act out impulsively (act on impulses and lack impulse control) or compulsively (are plagued by intrusive obsessive thoughts and driven behaviors).

CSB can involve fantasies and urges in addition to or in place of the behavior, but it must rise to a level of clinically significant distress and interference in one’s daily life to qualify as a disorder.
Over centuries, the compulsive sexual behavior has gone by many names, such as the hypersexuality, the hyperphilia, erotomania, the satyriasis, promiscuity,the Don Juanism, Don Juanitaism, and more recently the sexual addiction, impulsive-compulsive sexual behavior, and the paraphilia-related disorder. The terminology has often implied different values, attitudes, and theoretical orientations.

Compulsive sexual behavior can be divided into two main categories:

  • Paraphilic
  • Nonparaphilic.

Paraphilias (for example, fetishism, exhibitionism, sexual sadism, and pedophilia) are typically behaviors that have been deemed socially unacceptable. They may involve non-human objects, the suffering of one’s self or a partner, or sex with children or a nonconsenting person.

Nonparaphilic CSB, which is typical sexual desires, includes the compulsive sexual acts with the multiple partners, constant fixation on the partner who may be considered the unobtainable, the compulsive masturbation, the compulsive use of pornography, and the compulsive sex and sexual acts within consensual relationship.

CSB is not currently recognized by the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5). Although CSB was considered for inclusion, its inclusion was not approved. In fact, there was considerable debate about the disorder, whether it was a “real” problem, and what, if anything, it was similar to. Although DSM-5 did not ultimately acknowledge CSB as an independent disorder, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended it be included in the forthcoming eleventh edition of the International Classification of Diseases as an impulse control disorder.

The WHO believes that diagnoses, such as CSB, that affect public health should be recognized. CSB is associated with sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection, unintended pregnancies, viewing of pornography at home and in the workplace, and extensive cybersex users who use the Internet to seek partners. Thus, the WHO believes that it is clinically useful to view CSB as being related to other disorders that are also characterized by repeated failures to resist impulses, drives, or urges despite long-term harm. (source) (source)

For more related articles click below:

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What are the Signs to Identify Teen Drug Abuse

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Benefits Of Talk Therapy For Mental Disorders

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Wrist Band That Can Track Your Emotions


Self life hacks

Doctor by profession and blogger by passion

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