The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently raised eyebrows by declaring gaming addiction a mental health disorder. Those in the know agreed, others dismissed gaming addiction as nothing more than a harmless behavioural choice.
Now the World Health Organisation has declared sex addiction a mental health disorder also. PCP has years of experience in successfully treating this disorder and wholeheartedly agree.
What defines sex addiction? Can you really be addicted to sex? Is there such a thing as too much sex or the wrong type of sex?
Even though WHO has defined sex addiction as a mental health disorder, at present it is unclear if a treatment will be provided by the NHS. As a premier UK rehab treatment provider, we hope that this diagnosis will help more individuals to seek appropriate treatment.
Let’s Talk About Sex
Sex addiction is one of the least talked about addictions in today’s society; why? not because it is uncommon that is for sure. It is most likely due to the shame, guilt and stigma that shrouds this particular addiction, labelling it as somehow worse than others.
According to the NHS, 1 in 3 people are addicted to something.
A sex addict may be called a homewrecker, an adulterer or even a pervert. Being exposed as a sex addict can change certain people’s view of you and the truth could be very damaging to others. For this reason, sex addicts will go to extreme lengths to keep the truth of their sex addiction secret from loved ones and friends.
A sex addicts biggest fear is being found out and having to face the truth.
Is A Sex Addict Responsible or Just Very Unwell?
Many may well ask that now sex addiction has been officially recognised as a mental health disorder, does this absolve a sufferer from being accountable for their actions?
Our answer to this, is regardless of the substance or the activity involved, holding an addict accountable is crucial to breaking the denial and secrecy that enables addiction to continue. Yes they are very sick and they are compelled to engage in behaviours that cause them to feel great shame and guilt, but only be admitting and accepting that they have a problem, can they begin to get well and recover.
Signs and Symptoms of Sex Addiction
You may be wondering if you or a loved one suffer from sex addiction and what sex addiction is.
If so, it is helpful to first recognise the common signs and symptoms of a sex addict:
- Obsession or preoccupation with sex, pornography, chat lines or masturbation
- Continually seeking the next high from sex and taking bigger risks to get it
- Gaining excitement from arranging a sexual encounter and ritualistic behaviour
- Continuing to pursue sex in its varying forms, despite adverse consequences
- Disregard for one’s own health, safety and well being
- Secrecy and deceit around sexual behaviours
- Euphoric feelings during sex that create dissociation from the partner and escapism for the individual
- Feeling dissatisfied and irritable if cannot access sex, or cannot access the kind of sex that satisfies the addiction
- Compulsive behaviours that do not take into account partners feelings
- Feelings of shame, guilt, remorse and emptiness following sex, leading to seeking more sex
- Sexual behaviours are impacting on the individual’s personal relationships, socialising, work, finances and self-esteem, yet they cannot stop
- Lack of intimacy with partners or avoidance of intimacy
- Constantly seeking new and better experiences, involving different types of sex and multiple partners
- Feeling trapped and uncomfortable within themselves and unable to control personal sexual behaviours, leading to depression, anxiety and even suicidal ideation
Not all sex addicts will have all of these signs and symptoms but this is a general guide of some of the more common signs and symptoms of sex addiction.
Characteristics of Sex Addiction
Characteristics of any addiction, including sex addiction, can be simplified to the following criteria for a professional diagnosis:
- Loss of control
- Continuation despite adverse consequences
- Obsession and preoccupation
The presence of all three characteristics operationally defines the addiction to any substance, drug or behaviour
How Do I Help A Sex addict?
Challenging a partner or loved one around compulsive and harmful sexual behaviours is the most loving thing you can do for them. We understand it’s not easy to broach this subject. Believe it or not, people do die from sex addiction, usually from taking their own life.
Sex addiction can be particularly harmful when an innocent partner is involved or a spouse. Nevertheless, it is important that you do not ignore the signs if they are there. We suggest that you take an open-minded and non-judgemental approach and put it to them they may have an addiction that is a recognised mental health disorder and that there is treatment available if they want it.
Treating Sex Addiction
PCP treat sex addiction the same as we do any other addiction, we unearth the root causes of why the addiction has manifested and use evidence-based treatment methods to help our patients to heal.
All of our sex addiction treatments are delivered by qualified and experienced medical and therapeutic professionals. We offer a very safe and non-judgemental environment that is conducive to recovery. We treat each and every client very individually and comprehensively, healing the whole person within our UK addiction treatment centres and rehabs.
If private rehab for sex addiction is something you or a loved one are interested in, please do call us for more information on how we can help you with affordable sex addiction rehab in the UK.
If funding for rehab is a problem, there are other approaches that are free, although the NHS does not offer a professional or intensive treatment programme as yet. You or your loved one may find the following links helpful:
- Relate: understanding sexual addiction
- Relate: help with sex addiction
- Sexaholics Anonymous: find a meeting
- Sex Addicts Anonymous
- Association for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity
Please understand that sex addiction recovery is possible with the correct treatment and support, PCP is here to guide you around accessing the best private addiction treatment for this sensitive subject.
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