Compulsive sexual behavior is sometimes called hypersexuality, hypersexuality disorder or sexual addiction. It's an excessive preoccupation with sexual fantasies, urges or behaviors that is difficult to control, causes you distress, or negatively affects your health, job, relationships or other parts of your life.
Compulsive sexual behavior may involve a variety of commonly enjoyable sexual experiences. Examples include masturbation, cybersex, multiple sexual partners, use of pornography or paying for sex. When these sexual behaviors become a major focus in your life, are difficult to control, and are disruptive or harmful to you or others, they may be considered compulsive sexual behavior.
Pornography addiction means being compulsively addicted to pornographic material despite the negative mental, physical and social effects. It is a behavioral addiction like compulsive internet use or cybersex addiction. Although diagnostic criteria do not exist for this disorder, it is seen as a compulsive disorder. Like pathological gambling or internet addiction, porn addicts see a decrease in the ability to stop, an increase in use over time, as well as adverse mental effects.
Internet addiction is particularly dangerous due to its accessibility and never-ending supply. One survey found that of 9,265 participants, 1% of Internet users are clearly addicted to cybersex and 17% of users meet criteria for problematic sexual compulsivity.
If you believe you are suffering from porn addiction, rehabilitation is essential to gaining back control and living a healthy sexual life. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often used to break the cycle of porn addiction. CBT focuses on minimizing dysfunctional thought patterns and actions. This is an effective therapeutic approach for those with mood disorders such as depression. The goal is to take self-defeating thoughts and transform them into positive messages. It also tries to find more positive and effective stress coping skills than substance abuse. CBT is often a short-term therapy that addresses immediate problems and includes abstinence from porn use. The resources to get you back to yourself exist. Now is the time to ask for help. If you love someone you believe may be suffering from a porn or sex addiction, intervention services are available.
There continues to be great debate in our society today concerning the issue of sex addiction. Some even question whether sex can become an addiction like drugs or alcohol. What is a sex addict? The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health defines sex addiction as:
The consequences of sex addiction and all that it encompasses leaves the individual with extreme shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. These emotions fuel the cycle of shame and guilt which in turn fuel the sex addiction cycle of addiction. To learn more about the cycle of shame and guilt, click here.
There are measurable criteria we access from an initial assessment and screening. We utilize the SAST- R, SDI, and PTSI screens which have helped thousands discover whether their behavior is situational in nature or has evolved into an actual addiction. We then take a comprehensive approach utilizing proven techniques to help you identify, understand, and process how your sex addiction has developed over your life.
The problem of cybersex addiction is difficult to address, but talking about it with a professional who is trained to deal with this issue can bring the person closer to developing a healthier sexuality and help restore relationships impacted by this addiction.
SCORING: A positive response to just one of the six questions would indicate a need for additional assessment with a certified sex addiction therapist. Two or more are considered to certainly indicate sexual addiction.
Like other addictions, the causes of cybersex addiction are multiple and complex. It is not clear why some individuals are susceptible to it while others are not. The truth is that the causes of online sex addiction are still being studied. In recent studies, the role of exposure to pornography, societal expectations about gender, age, sexual orientation and race have been found to play a role in cybersex addiction. It is also becoming more apparent that there are a number of personality disorders that may also be contributing factors.
Dr. Patrick Carnes has also written a book about cybersex addiction, called Cybersex Addicts Anonymous. In this book, he shares his discoveries about sexually compulsive behavior and the consequences related to it. One of his main points of discussion is how people treat virtual relationships and whether or not there is a connection between cybersex addiction and real-life sexual addiction. Dr. Carnes says that there are several similarities between online relationships and sexual addiction, but he also adds that there is a major difference. He believes that one major factor contributing to cybersex addiction is the fact that individuals may find virtual relationships to be more fulfilling than those in real life.
Problematic internet use or pathological internet use is generally defined as problematic, compulsive use of the internet, that results in significant impairment in an individual's function in various life domains over a prolonged period of time. Young people are at particular risk of developing internet addiction disorder, with case studies highlighting students whose academic performance plummets as they spend more and more time online. Some also experience health consequences from loss of sleep, as they stay up later and later to chat online, check for social network status updates or to further progress in a game.
A longitudinal study of Chinese high school students (2010) suggests that individuals with moderate to severe risk of Internet addiction are 2.5 times more likely to develop depressive symptoms than their IAD-free counterparts. Researchers studied pathological or uncontrolled Internet use, and later mental health problems in one thousand and forty-one teenage students in China. The students were free of depression and anxiety at the start of the study. Nine months later, the youngsters were evaluated again for anxiety and depression, and eighty-seven were judged as having developed depression. Eight reported significant anxiety symptoms. Another longitudinal study of high school students from Helsinki found that problematic internet usage and depressive symptoms may produce a positive feedback loop. Problematic internet usage is also associated with increased risk of substance abuse.
The best-documented evidence of Internet addiction so far is time-disruption, which subsequently results in interference with regular social life, including academic, professional performance and daily routines. Some studies also reveal that IAD can lead to disruption of social relationships in Europe and Taiwan. It is, however, also noted by others that IAD is beneficial for peer relations in Taiwan.
As a result of its complex nature, some scholars do not provide a definition of Internet addiction disorder and throughout time, different terms are used to describe the same phenomenon of excessive Internet use. Internet addiction disorder is used interchangeably with problematic Internet use, pathological Internet use, and Internet addictive disorder. In some cases, this behavior is also referred to as Internet overuse, problematic computer use, compulsive Internet use, Internet abuse, harmful use of the Internet, and Internet dependency.
Gaming disorder (colloquially video game addiction) is a known issue around the world. Incidence and severity grew in the 2000s, with the advent of broadband technology, games allowing for the creation of avatars, 'second life' games, and MMORPGs (massive multiplayer online role playing games). World of Warcraft has the largest MMORPG community online and there have been a number of studies about the addictive qualities of the game. Addicts of the game range from children to mature adults. A well-known example is Ryan van Cleave, a university professor whose life declined as he became involved in online gaming. Andrew Doan, a physician with a research background in neuroscience, battled his own addictions with video games, investing over 20,000 hours of playing games over a period of nine years.
Online gaming addiction may be considered in terms of B.F. Skinner's theory of operant conditioning, which claims that the frequency of a given behavior is directly linked to rewarding and punishment of that behavior. If a behavior is rewarded, it is more likely to be repeated. If it is punished, it becomes suppressed.
Jim Rossignol, a finance journalist who reports on Internet gaming, has described how he overcame his own addiction and channeled his compulsion into a desirable direction as a reporter of Internet gaming and gaming culture.
Universally accepted diagnostic criteria do not exist for pornography addiction or problematic Internet pornography viewing. Pornography addiction is often defined operationally by the frequency of pornography viewing and negative consequences. The only diagnostic criteria for a behavioral addiction in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders are for pathological gambling, and they are similar to those for substance abuse and dependence, such as preoccupation with the behavior, diminished ability to control the behavior, tolerance, withdrawal, and adverse psychosocial consequences. Diagnostic criteria have been proposed for other behavioral addictions, and these are usually also based on established diagnoses for substance abuse and dependence.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, some psychological and behavioral changes characteristic of addiction brain changes include addictive cravings, impulsiveness, weakened executive function, desensitization, and dysphoria. BOLD fMRI results have shown that individuals diagnosed with compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) show enhanced cue reactivity in brain regions associated traditionally with drug-cue reactivity. These regions include the amygdala and the ventral striatum. Men without CSB who had a long history of viewing pornography exhibited a less intense response to pornographic images in the left ventral putamen, possibly suggestive of desensitization. ASAMs position is inconsistent with the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, who cite lack of strong evidence for such classification, describing ASAM as not informed by "accurate human sexuality knowledge". 2b1af7f3a8