Although sex addiction is not currently recognized as a mental health disorder by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual 5 (DSM-5), many individuals struggle with excessive sexual behavior. Sex addiction has been compared to other behavioral addictions, such as gambling disorder, and is associated with other difficulties like depression and anxiety, impulsivity, increased-risk taking behaviors (like substance use), and loneliness.
People who struggle with sex addiction may notice experiencing the following:
· Being preoccupied with sexual thoughts
· Hiding some of their sexual behavior from others
· Seeking treatment for sexual behavior they did not like
· Having their sexual behavior result in other being hurt emotionally
· Feeling controlled by their sexual desire
· Feeling sad or depressed after sex
· Unsuccessful efforts to control or cut down their sexual behavior
Helpful treatments for sexual addiction may include cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, dialectical behavior therapy techniques, peer-support programs, or 12-step programs, like Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.
If you or someone you know is struggling with issues related to sex addiction, there are many resources available to assist in the process of support and problem-solving, including professional counseling. Call (215) 487-1330 or email us at Greenridge@intercommunityaction.org for more information about our counseling services, which include one-on-one therapy with a trained clinician.
Author: Lauren Matturro, M.A.
Rosenberg, K.P., Carnes, P., & O’Connor, S. (2014). Evaluation and treatment of sex addiction. Journal of Sex & Martial Therapy, 40(2), 77-91.
Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. Retrieved from https://slaafws.org/
Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., & Griffiths, M. D. (2016). Meditation awareness training for the treatment of sex addiction: A case study. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 5(2), 363-372.