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26 Jul 2007

Addiction question
When will it be correct to say someone is a sex addict? And what can you do about it? Can it be fixed?
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Expert
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
gay, lesbian and bisexual expert

01 Jan 0001

Hi Cpl, a warm welcome to the forum and thanks for your post.

There is some controversy over the term "sexual addiction" - some see it as an "addiction" while others see it as an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Other theorists see it as simply a matter of an individual not being willing to assume responsibility for their actions, arguing that people can say "no" if they really want to, or a problem related to impulsivity.

Besides that, sex becomes problematic when it negates any other area of an individual's functioning (as LoneWolf says). If sex, or the pursuit of sex, impacts negatively on your relationships, work or social life you could have a problem. It could manifest in many ways - endless cruising, endless hours of watching porn or surfing websites, for example - and can include elements of putting yourself at risk but feeling unable to curb your behaviour. Some people with a sexual addiction literally 'exist' from one sexual interaction to the next. I often think this is unexplored and under-reported in some elements of the gay community.

If you're concerned I advise you to seek professional help. Sexual addictions respond well to a 12-step programme (as do people with alcohol and drug addictions) and I know of at least one sexual addictions therapeutic group running in Cape Town at the moment. Psychiatric medication - similar to that used to treat other obsessive-compulsive disorders - can also be useful.

For more info on this subject please feel free to post to CyberShrink here on Health24.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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