Sex addiction is a real disorder which may affect people who cannot stop sexual activities which interfere with their daily lives, according a new University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) study. Researchers participating in the study defined not only the aspects of the addiction but developed a series of quantifying symptoms to diagnose patients.
UCLA researchers do not consider sexual addiction as just an excuse for philandering behavior or infidelity, according to the Daily Mail. Sufferers often complain of relentless urges to have sex that they cannot control. The addiction to intercourse is reportedly now being considered for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which would legitimatize the disorder.
Insurance coverage for treatment of uncontrollable urges for sex would be far more likely if the condition was included in the all-important publication, which lists addictions accepted by the mental health community. Until the University of California Los Angeles study, a formal definition of what many mental health professionals referred to as a hypersexual disorder was not available.
The study defined the undeniable desire for sex as a recurrent state with intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges, and sexual behavior lasting at least six months. The symptoms of those diagnosed with the disorder must not be brought on by another mental disorder or drugs and alcohol.
Research psychologist Rory Reid had this to say about the sex addiction study during an interview with My Health Daily News:
“They might consider the consequences momentarily, but somehow feel their need for sex is more important, and choose sex even in situations where such choices might cause significant problems or harm, such as job loss, relationship problems or financial difficulties.”
UCLA researchers interviewed more than 200 individuals at a mental health clinic who did not know the reason for their referral. A total of 150 of the research subjects were believed to have sexual behavior issues. The study, which was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, has been sent to the American Psychiatric Association for review.
If sex addiction becomes an accepted mental disorder, could it be used as a defense in rape cases?