There are about 17 to 37 million Americans who are struggling with sex addiction problems (Hagedorn and Juhnke, 2005). That is a very big number of people who are suffering from the disorder. These figures are even higher than people who are addicted to gambling and eating disorders. However, the condition has been neglected and is not being given much attention as it needs. Perhaps, it is because it is not easy to determine if a person is addicted to sex or not. Adding the disorder to the manual of mental disorders will give many people a reason to cheat on their spouses. There is no doubt that this number is bound to increase given the increase in internet use. With the internet, people have the freedom to watch pornographic videos at any time. There has been debate on whether sex addiction is a problem or if it is just an excuse for people to behave badly.
It may seem like an excuse for people who are not faithful to their partners. It is common for most people to say this. The million-dollar question is whether sex addiction is real. Sex is one of the basic needs of life. However, the problem comes when one does not know when to stop. Such a person needs help since they can no longer control their desires. It is like someone who is addicted to alcohol and can no longer control himself. A person, who has numerous affairs, hires prostitutes on a regular basis and watches pornography excessively.
There are many people who are struggling with the out of control sexual behaviour. A person who is addicted will suffer emotionally since their addiction will lead to the destruction of their families. The problem also affects their public reputation. The problem can also cause financial ruin since they will end up spending money on prostitutes. Sex addicts also suffer because their behaviour causes them to have problems with the law. It also exposes them to sexually transmitted diseases. Their lives are also falling apart as a result of the addition that they are dealing with, but they cannot stop. It is also hard being a sex addict since the people who are supposed to help will find it hard to believe whether the sex addiction is a condition or just an excuse.
According to Hall (2006), about 20% to 30 % of the people using the internet have been involved in sexual activities online. With the internet, one can watch pornography videos and even get involved in internet sex. Nowadays, most people have smartphones which allows one to do a lot of things all at once. It snows a wonder that sexual addiction is rampant among college students. As much as sexual addiction has been around for years, there is still not enough treatment. Most clinicians have problems treating sexual addiction since it is invisible (Hagedorn and Juhnke, 2005). Sexual addiction is an issue that has been given less attention. However, it is evident that it possesses psychosocial problems for several people -1. The out-of-control behaviour can be compared to alcohol addiction. It is just a disorder like all the others.
A person who is addicted to sex will pay more attention to intimate relationships, while other aspects of the person’s life will not receive much attention. Such a person will direct all their energy and thoughts to get sexual pleasure. Sexual addiction will make a person lose control of his actions, feelings and thoughts. An addict will use sex to suppress feelings like anxiety, sadness, anger and even fear. Sexual addictions are similar to other addictions in terms of being obsessed with sexual ideas and promiscuity of choice (Shaffer, 2009, P.154). Karia et.al (2014, p4019) believe that no matter the type of sexual behaviour, it will turn into an addiction when there are compulsive elements.
The sexual addiction symptoms manifested include low moral values, psychological instability, an increase in sexual impulses, withdrawal signs, and the desire to have sex even with strangers (Schaeffer, 2009). There are several behaviours which are associated with sex addiction. Some of the behavioural symptoms of sex addiction include engaging in masturbation, frequent sexual encounters, absence of control in most aspects of life, and indifference towards s a regular partner.
There are several treatment programs that can be used to help people who struggle with an out of control sexual behaviour. A treatment program should be one that includes therapy for the problem. It is also vital to have behavioural strategies in place which will help in the condition. Some of the problems could be to get rid of the computer or phone in case the addict is using it to watch pornography. Peer support will also be helpful since people will realize they are not alone with that problem. However, there is no standard treatment.
Some of the authors who agree with the fact that sex addiction is a condition argue that it has the same consequences as other disorders. Carnes was of the view that sexual addiction is a psychopathological condition-10. Mick and Hollander also share the same view that sexual addiction is a disorder from the impulsive-compulsive spectrum.
Given that there is no much evidence to determine that sexual addiction is a disorder thus, it makes it hard to be included in the statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM). The disorder should be included in the DSM since it has all the diagnostic characteristics which are negative repercussions, withdrawal, and tolerance. There are ways of telling if someone has a sex addiction problem. Looking at the signs will help determine if the person has out-of-control sexual behaviour or not.
Some of the criteria used to consider if an individual has unusual sexual behaviour is tolerated. Tolerance is when sexual behaviour does give an individual the desired effect or if it does not increase the frequency. Withdrawal symptoms are also common. Some of the withdrawal symptoms are depression and anxiety when one stops the out-of-control behaviour. Another criterion that is used to determine sexual addiction is when the person participates in sexual intercourse in large amounts. The person also has a persistent desire to control their behaviour. A sex addict will also spend most of his time engaging in activities that will prepare them for sexual behaviour. The person will also give up his recreational activities because they are engaging in sexual behaviour. The sexual behaviour will continue even though the individual has recurrent psychological problems. Despite what it is called, it is necessary to find ways to help people who are suffering from the out of control sexual behaviour.
Someone with sexual addiction is addicted to sex or masturbation. A sex addict requires explicit pornographic material to be aroused. They always desire to have different sexual experiences. The individual will not be content with more than one sexual partner. They can have intercourse with anyone even though they only met the person for a short time. Additionally, such a person does not have control over their sexual behaviour, and it leads them to severe consequences. . They never get enough. Sex addiction is a problem which needs to be contained to avoid an increase in complications. A sex addict will experience secretiveness, shame and abusiveness. One can get treatment for the problem by going for rehabilitation.
Many people do not consider sex addiction to be a disorder. But it is hard to explain how a person could not get enough of sex. It is something that has made several researchers look into the issue and determine when sex addiction is a real problem or if it is just an obsession.
There have not been enough studies to show that sex addiction is a disorder. Treatments take many forms, and what works for one patient may not work for the other. Therefore, it is necessary for clinicians to diagnose an individual as accurately as possible. In doing so, it will help addicts to heal faster. Sex addicts have been going to hospitals for treatment. However, one may wonder what kind of treatment a person would go through if they are addicted to sex. It is very expensive to treat this disorder. Sex addicts can go to rehabilitation groups and get help with their out-of-control sexual behaviour. They will be in an environment where there are people with a similar problems. They can also go through group therapy or individual therapy. There is also medication management to help with the condition. Most of the facilities offer inpatient sexual addiction treatment. The addicts are separated based on their gender and anything that could trigger their addiction.
The sexual urges and the personality and personal characteristics of different people is determinant of the preoccupation with sexual activity. Patients do not have control of the activity. Sex addiction can have social, functional and even economically. The psychological mechanisms of sex addiction have started to unfold; there are no tried and tested psychological treatments for the problem. There is a need to conduct future research by considering the heterogeneity of the disorder.
The debate on the issue has been going on for a long time. However, some people could use it as an excuse for their immoral ways.
Conclusively, there has been a lot of debate on whether sex addiction is a disorder or not. There are experts who are of the opinion that sex addiction is just like any other disorder. There are those who think that it is progressive intimacy disorder which is triggered by bisexual acts and thoughts. College students report a high number of people who are addicted to sex. It is because of the increase in pornography. Sex addiction is a real problem, but it should be addressed in order to help those who suffer from the problem. It can make a person lose control and break their family.