Definition of Addiction

Sex Addiction and the DSM-5

Sex addiction is a controversial topic, both amongst the general public, and the therapists and specialists who are focused on the field of addiction.

Some question that a behaviour can ever be addictive if a substance of psychoactive is not involved.

We understand that not only is it possible, it is increasingly common. Our question is how long it will take to be fully recognised as such, so that people can get the help they need.

The same view is held by Mark Griffiths, PhD, who is a Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Gambling Studies at the Nottingham Trent University. He is also Director of the International Gaming Research Unit, and spending almost 30 years in the field, is internationally known for his work in behavioural addictions.

He’s posted a highly relevant article asking why it should be that, given the latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has reclassified ‘gambling disorder’ from an impulse control to a behavioural addiction, the same publication has not done the same for sex addiction.

He explores the possible reasons for this in his article [link], touching on empirical evidence and cultural norms – how some might see the term “sex addiction” as an excuse to justify infidelity, inflating the evidence for sex addiction by those with a vested interest.

Sexual addiction is a reality. Sex therapists consider it to be on the increase, with factors such as Internet contributing by making sexual material so easy to access.

Read Mark Griffith’s full article here.

There are also a number of articles on this page which address Sexual Compulsivity, which you may find relevant and useful.