Educating and Being Aware of Sex Addiction or Hypersexuality
Sex addiction is not a clinical diagnosis but it is referred to as a condition in which the individual feels compulsive to engage in sexual behavior that is disruptive and this kind of condition is actually a topic of concern. There are different viewpoints amongst people when talking about sex addiction, as some consider this sex addiction as an excuse for people to portray greedy and irresponsible behavior, whereas another sex addiction is an emotional concern for those who have it and their loved ones. Researches indicate that sex addiction has a similar impact on our brain activation as in other addictions like drug, alcohol, etc. Whereas, sex addiction is also criticized as being just a means to judge others' sexual behavior morally in current times (as earlier it used to connect with victimization, danger, and powerlessness).
Sex addiction is not a novel terminology, it dates back to ancient Rome and Greece in the second century reported severe sexuality as hyperaesthesia or hypersexuality in males, and furor uterine (uterine fury) or nymphomania in females. Hypersexuality or compulsive sexual behavior is a condition in which the individual is extremely absorbed in sexual behaviors, fantasies, or urges, that cause distress, are difficult to control, has a negative impact on our functioning in various areas of our lives. There are several symptoms that help in identifying hypersexuality, like, feeling preoccupied with sexual urges, fantasies, and behaviors so intensely that they are uncontrollable; feeling relief after doing certain sexual behaviors but also experiencing guilt; have had unsuccessful attempts to control or decrease these sexual fantasies, behaviors and urges; these sexual behavior are an escape from other concerns of life; continuing sexual behavior even when it is risky and is impacting negatively on different spheres of life, and facing trouble in keeping or sustaining stable or healthy relationships. Many individuals who have hypersexuality or sex addiction, also have a comorbid mental health concerns, some of them are anxiety disorders, mood disorders (including bipolar disorders), personality disorders, other addictive disorders, past records of attempting suicide, impulse control disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorders, etc. Individual who is addicted to sex experience various emotions in their journey, such as guilt, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, powerlessness, lonely, scared, and suicide as well.
There is no clear definition or fact behind what can be the reason due to which hypersexuality is caused but there are some theories that are in play, such as, greater levels of certain chemicals (like, dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, etc) in the brain might lead to greater desire or need to indulge in sexual behaviors; other disorders that damage the brain areas in control of sexual activity can also contribute to hypersexuality; modified or altered functions in the brain that develops new routes of addictive behaviors; the severe impact of certain medication (like, levodopa-used in treating Parkinson’s disease); and abuse of substances (like, cocaine, alcohol, or amphetamines, etc.).
There are many people whose lives are affected by hypersexuality but they don't talk about it. Psychotherapy, medications, and group counseling sessions are used to treat and provide support to people suffering from hypersexuality or compulsive sexual behavior. Psychotherapeutic techniques include acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing. Pharmacological medication includes mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, antiandrogens, naltrexone, and other medications.
There are many factors of our lives that are impacted by hypersexuality negatively (like job, social relations, personal relations, mental health, etc.), if not addressed and asked for treatment by professionals. It is important that we identify and notice what bothers us, our lives, and how much control it has over us. Thus, sexual addiction or hypersexuality, or compulsive sexual behavior is an essential concern in our lives.