Some people scoff at the notion that someone can be addicted to sex in the same way a person can be hooked on booze, drugs or gambling. But researchers say a new UCLA study justifies the inclusion of hypersexuality in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the comprehensive manual used by psychiatric professionals to diagnose and treat personality disorders.
The study, reported recently in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, concludes that there are certain specific characteristics, behaviors and consequences associated with hypersexuality or sex addiction. For example, people deemed to have a sex addiction may show patterns such as using intimate encounters to cope with stress or depression.
While their findings are sure to be controversial (even some respected psychiatrists says it opens the door for lots of randy folks to justify their infidelities by claiming they have a disorder) researchers say it’s a gateway for improved treatment, diagnosis and research into the emotional disorder.
The diagnosis of sex addiction is set to be included in the next edition of the DSM, considered the bible of mental health clinicians.