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Defining a Sexual Addiction

Defining a Sexual AddictionThe headlines surrounding sexual addiction often point to debilitating conditions that leave an individual out of control. Others may suggest the label serves as nothing more than an excuse for inappropriate behavior. It may just be up to the mental health industry to determine the difference.

A recent Herald.ie report examines the difference between the individual suffering from an addiction and the one bent on securing multiple sexual partners in search of extended gratification. Thanks to the release of the film, Shame, sex addiction is back in national headlines.

The film itself focuses on the story of a thirty-something sex addict driven by little more than his need for sexual encounters. It offers clear insight into a condition that has the power to destroy a life, rather than one providing an excuse for cheating behavior.

Educating the public about the risks involved with sex addiction is an important point, given the easy access young people have to pornographic material. Treatment experts even suggest that the instant access to pornography online is putting society at risk of exponential growth in sexual health issues.

For the sex addict, this access is like a drug, feeding an addiction that lacks the capacity to be full. For the young person first exposed to excessive sexual content, it could open the door for addictive behavior.

While the behavior of a sex addict does revolve around an otherwise enjoyable activity, he or she may not derive any enjoyment from the act itself, further damaging the emotional state. Like any addiction, the substance or activity is pleasurable at first, yet explodes into the only thing that creates a feeling of normalcy for the addict.

Sexual addiction is still on track to gain notice from the mental health industry as a condition worth treatment as the Society for Advancement of Sexual Health suggests as much as five percent of the U.S. population is afflicted.

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