SOURCE: NY Post
Compulsive sex behavior has been classified as a mental illness for the first time.
Its inclusion on the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases list comes a few weeks after gaming addiction was added.
Dr. Valerie Voon, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said between two and four percent of the UK population suffer from compulsive sex behavior. In the US, it’s estimated to affect between three and six percent of adults.
She added: “It is a behavior that tends to be hidden as it’s shameful and often sex addicts don’t come forward.”
“Adding this to the WHO list is an excellent step for patients as it allows them to recognize that they are suffering with a problem — it takes it out of the shadows and they are able to seek help for it.”
WHO’s list describes compulsive sexual behavior disorder as a “persistent pattern of failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in a repetitive sexual behavior.”
Symptoms include sex becoming the “central focus” of the person’s life at the neglect of health, personal care or interests and responsibilities.
The behavior should be clear for six months or more and cause distress in personal lives.
Voon said it may be treated alongside conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Ammanda Major, of the relationship charity Relate, also welcomed the move.
She said: “We hear from many people unable to control their sexual behavior.”
“This often negatively impacts on their lives and the wellbeing of partners and families.”