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Sexual addiction is a complex disorder that has received a lot of attention in the past couple of years, largely due to celebrities who sought treatment for it after their extra-marital affairs were exposed.
Many people assume that a sexual addiction involves an out-of-control drive to have sex (i.e.
He requests treatment to help "cure" him of this sexual interest.
While not acting out his sexual desire, he has been secretly spending 3-8 hours per week hunting images of young girls on the internet.
Through their addiction, they may injure themselves physically, experience psychological distress, lose their livelihood, and ruin meaningful relationships.
Sexual addiction often coexists with chemical dependency, and untreated sexual addiction contributes to relapse to chemical use.
I will describe a few cases and then explore clinical aspects of the problem in this brief paper.
Case Studies: (all names and identifying information have been changed) Mike: A 24 year old single man living with his girl friend (Dora) of four years reveals that he has an "unhealthy" sexual desire for teen age girls.
Addicts may jeopardize their marriage and family relationships, allow their job performance to deteriorate, and endanger themselves and their partner through multiple sexual exposures.
These patients not only endanger themselves but also put their loved ones at risk for AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Physicians can help by learning about this phenomenon, which is gaining increasing attention in behavioral medicine, and then educating these patients and their families.
That’s why we developed a series of tools to help sex addicts avoid this trap.
Can looking be considered a compulsive behavior — one associated with a sexual addiction?
Even though they realize the consequences, they cannot control their compulsions without appropriate treatment.