Are You a Sex Addict?
February 14, 2020
Hyper-Sexuality: What Is It and Should You Be Worried?
Sex is something most of us find incredibly pleasurable. So, it’s evident that we can get addicted to it. And maybe hypersexuality sounds funny, but it’s an addiction like any other.
Experiencing extreme sex urges isn’t as interesting as it seems. Like drug or alcohol addiction, it can affect your job, relationships, and the way you see yourself. And the worst thing is that hypersexuality is often a result or symptom of other disorders, emotional baggage, or trauma.
Here you can read about the causes, consequences, and treatments of hypersexuality.
What Is Hypersexuality?
Scientists and psychologists don’t really agree on what hypersexuality is. And some people don’t even believe this illness exists! They think that hypersexual behavior is simply something that people judge, but not necessarily bad.
However, there’s the fact that people who suffer from it can’t control their sexual drives and impulses. And this can make a negative impact on other aspects of their lives. They usually obsess over their sexual fantasies and engage in sexual activities so much that it affects their jobs, relationships, and even self-esteem.
READ: What Is The Psychological Definition of Libido?
And only in this case, when sexual behavior becomes compulsive, risky, and damaging, can we call it a sex addiction or hypersexual disorder.
Consequences of Hypersexuality
You can think of hypersexuality like any other addiction. In case the addict doesn’t seek help, the consequences can be grave and severe.
As we mentioned, people who suffer from hypersexual disorder engage in damaging activities. For example, their high sexual drive will lead them to promiscuity. And this means they are at higher risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV.
Also, they may be incapable of establishing a healthy, stable relationship. There’s a theory that one of the symptoms (or causes) of the hypersexual disorder is the fear and lack of intimacy and emotional connection. So, they use sex to feel close to others. That will only cause damage to their current relationships and bonds.
Addiction is often a sign of a person trying to fulfill their needs, but choosing the wrong way of doing it. Also, it has a lot to do with avoiding actual problems and running away from reality.
And for that reason, sex addicts may ignore their responsibilities and, say, lose their job. Or, they may lose their friends due to their lack of interest. They can even have trouble with the law. And of course, they damage other people, just as much as they hurt themselves.
What Causes Hypersexuality?
There are many theories about what causes hypersexuality. And given that people don’t even know how to define it, it’s evident that they can’t be sure about what causes it.
Many psychologists think hypersexuality is one type of obsessive-compulsive disorder; the others think it’s a separate sexual disorder in itself. On the other hand, some see hypersexuality rather as symptoms of other mental issues, but not as an actual disorder per se.
But biology can give us some straightforward answers. The part of the brain that regulates libido in men and women is in the frontal lobe. So, some conditions (like Pick’s disease) that damage this part of your brain can make you extremely horny. You may become hypersexual if you have an accident or brain surgery that causes frontal lobe damage, for example.
Also, some mental disorders have to do with intense sexual needs. Among them are bipolar disorder and borderline personality.
Sexual addiction can also be a consequence of substance abuse. Street drugs like meth can cause excessive and uncontrollable libido. Also, meds people use for treating Alzheimer’s disease can have hypersexuality as a side effect. Learn more about substance abuse in this WebMD Article.
And many other factors can contribute to sexual addiction. As we mentioned, the fear of intimacy may drive you to search for the wrong ways to fulfill your basic human need to feel close to others. And one more thing that often causes hypersexuality is sexual trauma, especially if it’s something that happened in childhood.
Like any other mental illness, hypersexuality requires treatment. And this health problem usually comes with a feeling of loneliness, intimacy, anorexia, dementia, depression, etc. That’s why seeking help is of extreme importance!
The treatment usually includes psychotherapy, counseling, and meds. In most cases, you have to treat other mental health issues you have that can be symptoms, results, or causes of sex addiction.
There are also groups of people who identify as sex addicts you can reach. They are based on the 12-step program that works for many people. This type of treatment is a perfect solution if you feel that you’re alone. Getting sex advice from other addicts whose experience is similar to yours is always a good idea!
Whatever method you choose, the goal of therapy is to learn how to control your impulses and urges. It may take a while and be hard at first. However, don’t forget that asking for help is a big step itself! You can look at it as a sign that you’re ready to do this.
Are You Hypersexual?
Now that we’ve explained what hypersexuality is, you are probably wondering — Am I a sex addict? Most people think of it now and then. And the reason is obvious — We all enjoy sex and think of it often!
But where’s the line between having healthy sexual habits and suffering from sexual addiction?
So, we’ve seen that engaging in compulsive sexual behavior has a lot of consequences. Sex addicts usually have trouble maintaining their relationships or even establishing them. Also, their fiery sex drive and unhealthy sexual behavior may affect their careers. They are damaging to their surroundings and themselves.
That means sex addicts have a difficult time controlling their life in general. Like alcoholics or drug addicts, they are willing to risk a lot to get what they need.
So, in case your sexual activities look more like manic episodes, and you don’t mind hurting others and risking your job to have sex, you should seek help. But if you merely love sex and enjoy it regularly, there’s nothing wrong with you.
That is rather a sign of health than of illness!