Why is Sex Addiction So Tricky To Diagnose?

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Because it’s sex. Sex is used to sell, it’s used in advertising, it’s used to market products and services. Sex is used in many different ways than just “normal healthy human intimacy” When we’re dealing with sex addiction, there is no simple test that can come back with a diagnoses. There are many online tests you can take to determine if you think you have a sex addiction. If the test shows you might have a sex addiction, then it will take a therapists working with you to engage you and truly learn about you behavior before sex addiction should be considered. Sex is a natural behavior and standards on what’s appropriate behavior can vary from person to person and because it’s a behavioral addiction its not easy to separate true addiction from say bad morals or unhealthy behaviors.

Mainly sex addicts experience a compulsive need to act out in a way that harms them despite their best efforts to control or stop the behavior. Compulsion is not a want or a desire, it’s a need. I’ll say that again, sex becomes a need, not a normal healthy human activity. The harmful affects of sex addiction are the behaviors and activities  that would cause a “normal” person who is in control of themselves to stop these behaviors. A sex addict attempts to control or stop the behaviors and this is a signal the sex addict is aware of the problem and realizes they do not have the capacity to fix it.

What makes diagnosing sex addiction troublesome is a person who lacks a proper sexual education and understanding of its role in relationships and those who have a poor sense of  judgment or self-control could also be diagnosed with a sex addiction when it may not be.

Sex Addicts typical exhibit their problem behaviors over a long period of time, say a year, during which the behavior escalates in frequency and intensity. Routines and rituals crop up around the behavior to the point where engaging in the routines can trigger a desire to act out sexually. Addicts go to great lengths to hide their behavior and spend a lot of their time thinking about sex or planning to act out.

It takes work with a therapists to separate what is addiction behavior from the “normal” bad behaviors people can engage in. It’s also crucial a person not use a sex addict diagnosis to justify or excuse their behavior as this can limit recovery.

What are your thoughts about diagnosing sex addiction? Comment below or share this post.

 

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