Does Sex Addiction Exist?

Lynne Schultz

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In his article, “What Sexual Scientists Know About Compulsive Sexual Behavior,” Eli Coleman, Ph.D. professor and director of the program in human sexuality at the University of Minnesota, wrote that any behavior can become compulsive. These include “paraphilic” and “non-paraphilic” behaviors.

Paraphilic v. Non-paraphilic Compulsive Sexual Behavior

Paraphilic compulsive sexual behavior, according to Coleman, are unconventional behaviors that are obsessive and compulsive and interfere with relationships. They include non-human objects, suffering or humiliation and children or other non-consenting persons.

Non-paraphilic compulsive sexual behaviors include conventional behaviors that are taken to such obsessive extremes that they interfere with everyday life.

Causes and Treatment

Either can be caused mood or personality disorders. In other cases, neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease or epilepsy may be the cause.

Treatment usually includes a combination of psychotherapy and prescription medication. The medications may be anti-androgens that suppress male sexual hormones or anti-depressants such as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil.

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