Sex addiction is a big topic in the news headlines these days, especially as more prominent celebrity figures have checked themselves into rehab for it. So it’s not surprising that this last month TIME Magazine ran a lengthy article, Sex Addiction: A Read Disease or a Convenient Excuse?
Here are a couple of quotes from the article that caught my eye and I wanted to share with you:
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is debating whether sex addiction should be added to its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The addition of what the APA is calling “hypersexual disorder” would legitimize sex addiction in a way that was unthinkable just a few years ago, when Bill Clinton’s philandering was regarded as a moral failing or a joke — but not, in the main, as an illness.
Today the proposed APA definition of hypersexual disorder says you have an illness if you spend so much time pursuing intercourse or masturbation as to interfere with your job or other important activities. According to the working language of the diagnosis, “repetitively engaging” in sexual behaviors when you are anxious, depressed or stressed would be considered a major warning sign for the disorder.
So what can be done for those spending thousands on porn or seeing six prostitutes a week? According to Robert Weiss, who runs the Sexual Recovery Institute, the most seriously affected patients must enter a facility where they have no access to porn or sex workers. They start individual and group therapy that is, ideally, grounded in a cognitive-behavioral model designed to help them find rewarding activities other than sex — and consider the consequences of, say, looking at porn at work. But Weiss admits there is no simple way to teach sex addicts how to have healthy romantic relationships.