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HTW 618 : Addiction Or Disorder

tag 0 Download 7 Pages / 1,713 Words tag 03-02-2021


IF YOUR sex life gets you into trouble does that make you a sex addict, or just someone who has made some bad choices? The debate over sex addiction has taken a twist, as guidelines are being drawn up that may recognise sexual compulsivity as a mental disorder.

Sex addiction usually hits the headlines when someone famous gets caught behaving badly and lays the blame on their "disorder". In recent months, celebrities such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey have reportedly sought treatment for it.

But many health professionals say sex addiction isn't a real illness. Even in the US, where the idea is most popular, this diagnosis doesn't feature in the official textbook of psychiatric illnesses, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Soon those who support the idea of sex addiction could get some support from an alternative set of diagnostic guidelines, from the World Health Organization.

The WHO has put out for consultation an updated version of its International Classification of Diseases. The document was originally going to include sex addiction, but after debate this was softened to "compulsive sexual behaviour", defined as a persistent pattern of failure to control intense sexual impulses. But it is still more controversial than the old category of "excessive sexual drive", which was more neutral about possible causes.

Sceptics say the idea of addiction or compulsive behaviour around sex is just a way for people to duck responsibility for
Another problem with the concept is that there is no evidence-based "treatment" available at sex addiction clinics. They usually provide group therapy along the lines of 12-step programmes for alcohol addiction. But this has not been shown to work for people who think they are addicted to sex. Clare Wilson 
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