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Sex Addiction

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Case 1

Sara is a 15 years old girl who is always coming home late night. She attends school and is an average student. She is well behaved at home. After she went missing from home for several days, her parents made a police report. Police later found Sara in a house with 3 boys. She later admitted to the police officer that she had consented sex with the 3 boys and has been sexually active since Form 1. She has been having multiple sexual partners and admitted that she can’t stop thinking about having sex. Each time she sees a boy, she can’t control her urge.

Case 2

Nabil was 9 years old when he stumbled across pornography on his home computer while looking for music. After that, he started hunting for it. By the age of 12, he was looking at pornography three to four times a week. By 14, it was multiple times a day. His studies deteriorated

What is sexual addiction?

Sexual addiction is any sexual activity and/ or thoughts that feel ‘out of control’ and you counld not stop engaging in it.

Sex addiction means you crave for sex and can’t do without sex.  You become excessively preoccupied with sexual thoughts and /or behaviors; so much so that other activities and interactions become seriously affected.

Other terms used are “hypersexual disorder” and “sex addiction.”

During sex, our bodies release a powerful cocktail of chemicals that make us feel good and some people get addicted to the high these chemicals produce. Like substance addictions, the body gets used to these chemicals and the sufferer soon finds that they need more and more sex in order to achieve the same buzz.

Sex addiction is common among young people but many will not admit to suffering from it due to the negative stigmata.
Some people are addicted to Internet pornography. Others solicit sex workers, have one-night stands, masturbate or expose themselves in public.

They know what they are doing is wrong, but just like other addiction they can’t stop themselves.

Sex addiction may require the addict to significantly alter his life and activities in order to perform sexual acts multiple times a day. A sex addict cannot stop his or her behavior, despite severe negative consequences.

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Signs of Sex Addiction

Sex addiction can be difficult to spot from the outside. Most addicts become skilled at hiding their behavior.

For parents:

1. Look for changes in your child’s behavior, such as more time alone in their room or secrecy about their Internet searches.
2. Some teens may begin a sexual addiction through sexting, so know what messages they are sending and to whom.
3. If you child is away from home or coming home late
5. If you child has school issues as playing truant, deterioration of school performance

For teens:

You might be a sex addict if you exhibit some or all of the following behaviors:

  • Chronic, obsessive sexual thoughts and fantasies

  • Relations with multiple partners on a frequent basis, especially with strangers

  • Preoccupation with having sex, even when it interferes with daily life, productivity, work performance, etc.

  • Inability to stop compulsive sexual behaviors or restrain sexual activity

  • Putting oneself or others in danger due to sexual behavior

  • Compulsive self-stimulation (masturbation)

  • Persistent use of pornography

  • Sexual rage disorder (becoming distressed, anxious, restless and even violent if unable to engage in their addiction)

Remember that enjoying sexual activity does not make one a sex addict.  A sex addict is typically someone who has a compulsive need to perform sexual acts and appears to have no control over these impulses.

David Duchovny

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Duchovny has been married to Tea Leoni since 1997 and has two children, but that didn’t stop rumors from flying about his promiscuous ways. In August 2008, Duchovny admitted to having a sex addiction and checked into rehabilitation for treatment.

What causes sexual addiction?

As Internet sex sites rise and sexual material on television and other media forms hits all-time highs, teenagers are showing more signs of developing sexual addictions at an early age

Why some people and not others, develop a sex addiction is poorly understood. Possibly some biochemical abnormality or other brain changes increase the risk.

Research also has found that sex addicts often come from dysfunctional families and are more likely than non-sex addicts to have been abused.

Incidence

There are no reliable estimates of how many people has the disorder.

Some studies suggest that it’s more common in men, and gay men in particular, than women.

Wickenburg http://www.themeadows.org/

Diagnosis:

1. There is no test to diagnose the problem, The doctors usually diagnose it after detailed history taking.

2. Other mental health issues need to be ruled out since some of the symptoms of sex addiction can also occur in other mental illnesses e.g.anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, substance abuse and personality disorder among others.

Addicted: Golfer Tiger Woods a formal apology in 2010 for his infidelity. The shamed golfer underwent a six-week intensive programme to treat his sex addiction

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Treatment

Many teens are too ashamed of the problem to seek help, and many adults may consider the obsessive behavior a normal part of adolescence.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This therapy can help a sex addict identify triggers for sexual impulses and ultimately teach the addict how to cope with them through behavioral changes.

Many teens may use sexual behaviors, as a way to escape negative feelings, so learning new coping tools can be effective.

Medication

Some sex addicts may benefit from a course of drug therapy treatment.

Antidepressants, antiseizure medications and medications that decrease male hormones have been found to decrease the compulsive urges and/or impulses associated with sexual addictions for some sufferers.

What are complications of sexual addiction?

  • Sexually transmitted disease as many of them has multiple sexual partners and don’t use protection. They also usually solicit prostitute.

  • Decreased work and school performance as they are spending hours viewing sexual material online.

  • Legal problems

  • Rape/ sexual harassment

  • Debts as they need money to solicit prostitutes and pay for online pornography

  • Broken relationships and separation as they cant be faithful to their partners

References:

Last Reviewed : 25 November 2014
Writer : Dr. Hargeet Kaur A/P Basant Singh
Accreditor : Dr. Norharlina bte. Bahar