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Sex Addiction a Diagnosable Mental Disorder, WHO Now Says

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By    |   Thursday, 12 July 2018 10:34 AM

Sex addiction is a diagnosable mental disorder, the World Health Organization is now saying, giving experts hope that the world’s view of the problem will shift to a more accepting stance, USA Today reported.

For years there has been controversy surrounding the topic of sex addiction, which comes attached with a stigma implying moral failings, but things are starting to change.

In June, the WHO updated its list of International Classification of Diseases, which saw sex addiction, or compulsive sexual behavior, classified as a mental disorder for the first time.

By moving the disorder into what can be deemed as a medical issue, the WHO has now opened many doors in terms of treatment and how society understands sex addiction.

Based on the definition of compulsive sexual health disorder, which the WHO describes as a “persistent pattern of failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behavior,” the disorder can now be diagnosed according to a list of criteria, USA Today said.

According to online directory and information porthole Addiction Hope, the National Council on Sexual Addiction Compulsivity estimated that between six to eight percent of Americans are sex addicts, which equals about 18 to 24 million people.

Sex addiction is commonly portrayed in the media as a problem facing badly behaving celebrities, USA Today said, noting that Golfer Tiger Woods, reality TV star Josh Duggar and actors Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas and David Duchovny have all discussed sex addiction or checked into a rehab facility to treat a sex or pornography addiction, and recently actress Jada Pinkett Smith said she used to be addicted to sex.

Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey have reportedly spent time at a high-end facility for the treatment of sex addiction, USA Today said, but they have been accused of sexual abuse and harassment.

Therapists note that sex addicts and sex offenders are different categories.

"Most sex offenders do not meet the clinical requirements for sex addictions, and conversely, most sex addicts never commit a sexual offense," said Milton Magness, a sex addictions therapist and director of a counseling service in Houston, USA Today said.

Carol Juergensen Sheets, a certified sexual addictions therapist, said in sex addiction people want to fix the problem and are unable. She said she doesn’t see that in sex offenders.

"I never saw any indication, I never heard any indication that they ever wanted to stop," USA Today quoted Sheets as saying about high-profile people accused of sexual assault. "That's a disorder of power and control, not sex addiction."

"If somebody doesn’t know what to call this disease, this disorder, this illness, they will not know how to get help for it; they'll continue to try to do it on their own," Sheets said.

With proper diagnoses comes effective treatment options. The problem is that, until now, the stigma surrounding sex addiction has prevented many from actively seeking help.

Further, the cost of treatment can serve as a deterrent, especially considering that most health insurance companies will not cover therapy.

If therapy remains inaccessible, millions will go untreated.

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Sex addiction is a diagnosable mental disorder, the World Health Organization is now saying, giving experts hope that the world’s view of the problem will shift to a more accepting stance.
sex addiction, mental, disorder, who
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2018-34-12
Thursday, 12 July 2018 10:34 AM
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