Sex Addiction and Mental Illness, Surprising Crossovers
Posted under Sex Addiction Therapy on Thursday, April 19th, 2012
Sex addiction is a serious disorder, gaining more widespread acceptance among experts in both the psychological and medical communities.
In the public perception, sex addiction continues to garner a raised eyebrow or blunt response and much of the public remains uninformed of the symptoms and factors related to the addiction, including its connections to several types of mental illness.
Similar to alcohol or drug addictions, people with sex addiction may also have co-occurring or undiagnosed mental illness like personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or be living with bipolar disorder, according to recent articles.
In cases of a preexisting personality disorder, sex with multiple partners can become a way of manifesting a desire to self-harm. With bipolar disorder, dangerous or excessive sexual behaviors may be part of the manic phase.
For people who have PTSD, in many cases, abuse has taken place during their childhood and the sexual behaviors become a way to try to achieve a state of control regarding the trauma.
Sex addiction is also connected to love addiction, especially if the person has an underlying mental illness like dependent personality disorder.
Dependent personality disorder, also called an addiction to love, has recently become more acknowledged in celebrity cases and can be demonstrated by a person seeking a love relationship over and over, feeling incomplete or inadequate without one, and often using sex as a tool to draw in the next new partner in a romantic relationship.
The symptoms of sex addiction, such as being unable to control obsessive thoughts and behaviors involving sex, can also be linked to underlying obsessive-compulsive disorders for some people.
Similar to the mainstream treatment associated with alcohol addiction, researchers and experts continue to break down the stigma associated with sexual addiction with research and new treatment options.