Monday, March 14, 2011

Sex addiction to be formally recognised as a psychiatric illness

Sex addiction might have once been seen as an excuse for high profile philanderers, but the condition is about to become formally recognised as a psychiatric disorder. The ‘addiction’, in which sufferers have relentless sexual urges that feel out of one’s control, is being discussed by experts for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) publishes the manual, which is considered the definitive guide to what constitutes a genuine psychological disorder rather than an imaginary one. Despite recognition by the APA, the NHS does not currently recognise sex addiction in Britain but some British psychiatrists have reported seeing up to three ‘sufferers’ a year.

While in the U.S, some American psychiatrists have claimed to treat one or two sex addicts per week. Sex addiction became highly publicised when celebrities such as Tiger Woods and Russell Brand sought treatment for the condition.

Tiger Woods checked in for treatment in 2010 after admitting cheating on his wife Elin Nordegren with a string of different women. The shamed golfer underwent a six-week intensive programme at the Pine Grove clinic in Mississippi, designed to treat sexual addiction, sexual anorexia, relationship addiction and sexual trauma.

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