Sex Addiction: Up for Debate

A lot of people have something to say when it comes to talking about whether sex addiction is a real thing. Even among therapists who would be considered experts in their fields, there’s a lot of debate and controversy. What’s the deal?

Well, even therapists who have many years of studying the human condition under their belts just have varying beliefs. Of course, science is one part of it and you can’t argue with numbers or statistics, if they’re from a valid source that is, but the other part of it is professional opinion. Nothing is set in stone when it comes to the human condition, if you think about it.

On the one hand, there are many therapists who’ve studied long and hard on the subject and helped a great many people and tend to lean towards believing that sex isn’t addictive and that labeling it as such has the potential for shaming and as a byproduct of the label, harming folks.

On the opposite end you have dedicated sex addiction therapists who truly believe that sex and sexual behaviors can truly be harmful for those they deem meet the qualifications of sex addiction. When sex and related behaviors begin to take over one’s life and choices and negatively affect the person, who’s to say that’s not as related to addiction as any substance would be?

When it comes down to it, sex addiction is no new thing. Back in the 80’s Patrick Carnes published one of the first books that spoke about compulsive sexual behavior. Even though the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders had not accepted it as a clinical diagnosis, many therapists, recovery programs and treatment centers alike began to use the label and offer treatment geared towards sexual addiction.

Either way, no matter what you believe in, there are people out there who need help with compulsive sexual behaviors and the affects that their “out of control” behaviors are causing in their lives. Call it an addiction or don’t but people are still needing help. So, if you or someone you love needs help with this, don’t be afraid to reach out. Because there are people out there and programs out there that are willing to help.

Kerner, I. “Is Sex Addiction Real? Depends on Whom You Ask”. CNN. (website). March 2018
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