Sex addiction is a term that typically produces wide ranging views from, on the one hand, some psychiatrists, who argue that there is insufficient evidence for the term to be included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Disorders, to others in the therapeutic community, notably Dr Patrick Carnes and Paula Hall amongst others, who acknowledge the condition as an illness in the same way that alcoholism and gambling is treated. The term can also produce a fair degree of titillation, even amongst therapists, about the apparent glamour associated with the behaviour. I believe that if there is less emphasis on the word ‘sex’, and more emphasis is placed on the word ‘addiction’, then we might be better able to address the depth of the suffering that can take place for individuals and those associated with them.
Far from being glamorous, sex addiction can produce hugely detrimental effects on self esteem, self worth, professional reputation and on the maintenance of relationships. Of course, if your lifestyle choices do not produce any negative impacts on other parts of your life then it is not a problem.
See also my interview with Paula Hall.
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