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Sex Addiction On The Rise In Australia: Experts

by VR Sreeraman on March 5, 2011 at 12:50 PM
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 Sex Addiction On The Rise In Australia: Experts

Psychologists have reported that there is a rise in the number of patients referred to them who are seeking treatment for sex addiction.

Clinical psychologist and sex therapist Janet Hall said well-publicised cases of celebrity sex addiction and its treatment, like golfer Tiger Woods' case, have contributed to the rise.


"It's saying 'if the famous and wealthy are addicts and get into trouble, I am not alone nor am I a horrible nasty person'," News.com.au quoted Hall as saying.

"It is a help actually for those who see that treatment is available and it's not the end of the world to say you need it. Sadly there would also be some who say: 'The celebrities get away with it, so why can't I?'" she explained.

Sex addiction manifests itself in a variety of ways. Many seek out multiple partners to avoid the intimacy of relationships.

For others it is an addiction to pornography - an easy vice to access on the Internet. Or it could be a number of regular sexual partners. For many it is all of the above.

Dr Michelle Thomson, principal psychologist and owner of Life Resolutions in Cheltenham, said referrals for sex addiction, which now make up the majority of her clients, have increased from one every two months to around 24, something she also attributes to Woods' announcement.

"There's a lot more push. A lot are coming in and saying 'I think I'm like him'. It's great. A lot of men were keeping it from partners and now they're coming forward," Thomson said.

Thomson said many of her female clients, who she sees for relationship counselling as well as sex addiction, didn't notice their partner had a problem until they heard about cases such as Woods' in the media, and started "getting suspicious".

Sex addiction is not currently recognised by any official diagnosis in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is considered the definitive word on psychological disorders.

However Thomson believes "the majority of psychologists recognise sex addiction as a real issue".

"I define sex addiction as when an individual is unable to control their sexual behaviours and they interfere with their day to day living such as work and their relationships," she said.

"In addition the behaviour causes distress in the individual and the behaviours are only done for the individual's gratification.

"In the case of sex with multiple partners, the addict is usually not concerned about their partners level of pleasure or satisfaction," she stated.

Source: ANI

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