Sex addictions

Sexual addiction is a problem we hear more and more about in the medias.  Sex addiction, hypersexuality or compulsive sex are different terms used to talk about the same trouble. For us, sexual addiction refers to the inability to stop or decrease a behavior despite negative consequences. Here are 2 definitions uses to assess a sex addiction problem:

Sex addiction according to Patrick Carnes 2008

Patrick Carnes is the first in 1983 to have used the concept of dependence to
talk about the hypersexuality (Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual
Addiction, 1983, 1992, 2001).

At least three criteria are required to indicate a sexual addiction

1. Loss of control: The behavior goes further than expected or wanted
2. Compulsive behavior: A pattern of “uncontrolled behavior” unfolds with time
3. Efforts to stop the behavior: repeated attempts, without success
4. Waste of time: A lot of time spent planning behavior, conduct or have to rely
5. Concerns: obsessive thoughts about the behavior or the result of conduct
6. Neglect of duties: The behavior interferes with work, school, family and  friends
7. Continuation despite consequences: Inability to stop the behavior despite the problems it causes (social, legal, financial or physical)
8. Climbing: Need to increase the intensity, frequency and level of risk
9. Loss: Lose, limit, sacrifice aspects of her life which we take (hobbies, family, relationships, work)
10. Withdrawal: Stopping the behavior results in a considerable degree of distress, anxiety, agitation, irritability, physical discomfort

Hypersexuality new diagnosis for DSM-V

The 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) will be replaced in 2013 with a new diagnosis or hypersexuality.

The proposed diagnostic criteria for this disorder are:

A. Fantasies, sexual urges and recurrent, intense sexual behavior for a period
of at least six months, together with four or more of five criteria:

1. Much time is used by the fantasies and sexual urges and the planning and completion of sexual activity.
2. Repeatedly engage in fantasies, urges and sexual behavior in response to dysphoric mood states (eg anxiety, depression, boredom, irritability).
3. Repeatedly engage in fantasies, urges and sexual behavior in response to stressful events in life.
4. Repeated unsuccessful efforts to control or significantly reduce these fantasies, urges and sexual behavior.
5. Repeatedly engage in sexual activity without taking into account the risk of physical or emotional harm to self or others.

B. Presence of significant personal distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning associated with the frequency and intensity of these fantasies, urges and sexual behavior.

C. These fantasies, urges and sexual behavior are not due to direct physiological effects of a substance (eg a suitable drug abuse or drug).

Specify whether to: masturbation, pornography, sexual behavior between consenting adults, cybersex, phone sex, strip clubs or whatever.


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