Sex addiction: causes, what symptoms?

Sex addiction causes what symptoms

“Addicted people use sex for other reasons, such as to relieve discomfort or seek relief.”

“We talk about sexual addiction when we have a excessive expression of impulses,
of fantasies and or sexual behaviors which are recurrent, intense and which will interfere at different levels in the person’s daily life”
defines Dr. Florence Pileyre, addictologist and sexologist. Some people will, for example, need to masturbate very regularly, every day, to be well, it is a need, a necessity. “Addicted people use sex for other reasons like fill a discomfort or seek appeasement.” We also talk about “loss of sexual control”, of “compulsive sexual disorder” or hypersexuality but there is a small nuance with this last term: “When we talk about addiction, there is necessarily a notion of suffering and of guilt that we don’t necessarily have in hypersexuality” explains the addictologist. Generally, sexual addiction concerns more young adults and more men than women but “L’female hypersexuality is hidden, taboo and we don’t have all the data.”

Same as nymphomania?

“The term nymphomania is no longer used because it has negative connotations and is gendered” warns Dr. Pileyre. “Nymphomania represents female hypersexuality.” It is therefore not systematically associated with an “addiction” as such, that is to say it does not lead to suffering and guilt.

What are the signs of sex addiction?

“The signs that should alert you to a sex addiction are the same as for other addictions to products or behaviors” informs the addictologist. “The pattern of addiction takes place when a product or behavior encounters an individual at a given moment in life where they are in a situation of personal fragility.” Thus, a person shows signs of addiction:

  • If the behavior takes time and encroaches on his daily life.
  • If they’isolated because of this.
  • If she hides things from those around him.

There are several clinical forms of sexual addiction:

  • Some people will have problems with compulsive masturbation with or without internet.
  • Others will have concerns related to sexual use of the internet such as viewing pornographic sites.
  • Other addictions relate more to frequenting places of prostitution, massage places etc…
  • Other clinical forms relate to virtual or real sex with several consenting adultssite or chat.

A simple test to find out if you are addicted to sex

“There is a simple and quick test to find out if you have a sexual addiction: THE Dr. Carnes’ peacce test which dates from 2002″ explains Dr. Florence Pileyre. It consists of 26 questions: if 13 are positive, this is a sign of a possible sex addiction. Among these questions

  • Do you have to hide certain aspects of your sexuality from others?
  • Are you often preoccupied with thoughts of a sexual nature?
  • Has your partner ever suffered or complained about your sexual behavior?

What are the causes ?

► Discomfort : “The causes of a sexual addiction are the same as those of other addictions : a behavior or a product occurs at a time of life when the person is fragile. indicates the addictologist. “It occurs in individuals who are used to doing certain normal practices, but who take refuge in a behavior or a product to escape and compensate for this fragility. It is at this moment that the loss of control and so the mechanism of addiction is put into place.”

Medication : “Hypersexuality remains the most common sexual behavior disorder among Parkinson’s patients, indicates Dr Maria-Carmelita Scheiber-nogueira, neurologist and neuro-urologist, Lyon on the France Parkinson association website. It can be expressed in different ways: compulsive masturbation, repeated and excessive demand for sexual intercourse, multiple partners, compulsive use of pornography, new sexual orientations…” There dopamine plays an important role in controlling sexual behavior. In people with Parkinson’s, the degradation of dopaminergic pathways associated with chronic use of dopamine replacement therapy may be responsible for deregulation of systems linked to the control of sexual behavior. These practices are part of the side effects of the disease and certain treatments.

Serious consequences: social, medical, relational…

Sexual addiction impacts an individual’s life on several levels. She has :

  • Of the medical consequences : “The more people you interact with, the higher your risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).”
  • Of the psychological consequences : “L“Sex addiction can be associated with depressive episodes, anxiety, suffering and feelings of guilt.”
  • Of the relational consequences : “It can create problems within the couple, but also with other loved ones because addiction isolates the individual who suffers from it.”
  • Of the consequences on sexuality : “It can cause sexual difficulties, with the appearance of sexual disorders such as erectile dysfunction or problems premature ejaculation.”
  • Of the social consequences : “If sex addiction invades the work sphere, the person may find themselves unemployed. They will arrive late because of their addictive behavior, they will consult pornographic sites in the workplace, they will be less productive… “

To cure: consult a psychologist and/or an addictologist

“To treat a sex addiction, you need to set up psychological and addictological monitoringbegins Dr. Pileyre. “It is advisable to consult in individual sessions, but also in groups if possible.” Sharing groups are growing in France.Peer support in recovery from addiction is important.” What techniques are used in therapy? “We use cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) and follow-up with motivational interview to change the addictive behavior and put other things in place of the addiction.” There is no specific medical treatment to treat sexual addiction. “However, treatments can be implemented to help treat comorbidities and polyaddictions, that is to say the other addictions from which the person suffers. If a person is depressed, they may be prescribed antidepressants. If she’s addicted to cocaine, she can go to a rehab program.”

Addiction takes its toll on couples

“Sex addiction wreaks havoc on the couple because the spouse may take the problem personally, even though it is not necessarily related. The problem is individual” says Dr. Florence Pileyre. The solution ? “You should not hesitate to consult an addictologist to manage addiction, but also a sexologist to resolve the problem linked to the person’s sexuality. Often, people addicted to sex have sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction, etc. They also fantasize about sexuality a lot because of their behavior (consulting pornographic sites, etc.) and take substances to perform better. “We must help them regain normal physiological sexuality.”

Thanks to Dr Florence Pileyre, addictologist and sexologist.