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Symptoms of Hypersexual Disorder (Sex Addiction)

In 2010, the American Psychiatric Association released draft, preliminary criteria that may define “sex addiction,” which they are formally called Hypersexual Disorder. Hypersexual disorder can only be diagnosed in adults 18 years or older, according to the draft criteria.

The symptoms of Hypersexual Disorder are:

  • Over a period of at least six months, a person experiences recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges, and sexual behavior in association with four or more of the following five criteria:
    1. Excessive time is consumed by sexual fantasies and urges, and by planning for and engaging in sexual behavior.
    2. Repetitively engaging in these sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior in response to dysphoric mood states (e.g., anxiety, depression, boredom, irritability).
    3. Repetitively engaging in sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior in response to stressful life events.
    4. Repetitive but unsuccessful efforts to control or significantly reduce these sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior.
    5. Repetitively engaging in sexual behavior while disregarding the risk for physical or emotional harm to self or others.
  • The person experiences clinically significant personal distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning associated with the frequency and intensity of these sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior.
  • These sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior are not due to direct physiological effects of drugs or medications, or to Manic Episodes.

Specify if:

  • Masturbation
  • Pornography
  • Sexual Behavior With Consenting Adults
  • Cybersex
  • Telephone Sex
  • Strip Clubs
  • Other:

Explore More About Sexual Addiction

Source: American Psychiatric Association

Symptoms of Hypersexual Disorder (Sex Addiction)

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder & CEO of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues -- as well as the intersection of technology and human behavior -- since 1992. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member and treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He writes regularly and extensively on mental health concerns, the intersection of technology and psychology, and advocating for greater acceptance of the importance and value of mental health in today's society. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2016). Symptoms of Hypersexual Disorder (Sex Addiction). Psych Central. Retrieved on October 16, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/symptoms-of-hypersexual-disorder-sex-addiction/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 17 Jul 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Jul 2016
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.