How To Tell If You May Have Hypersexuality Disorder

By: Robert Porter

Updated July 08, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Stephanie Chupein

Many people have sexual urges that they cannot control. If you suspect you might have an unusual sex drive or if sex is getting in the way of your everyday life, then it's possible you might have hypersexuality disorder. Having a desire for sex is completely normal, and many consider sex to be an important part of life. However, some sex habits have the potential to be harmful. If you're going through a tough time due to your sexual urges or habits, know that help is available for you.

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What Are Hypersexuality Disorders?

Hypersexuality disorders are sexual fantasies, urges, and behaviors that are recurrent and intense. People with hypersexuality disorders may spend excessive amounts of time fantasizing and engaging in sexual behavior. Hypersexual disorders are also frequently associated with dysphoric mood states such as anxiety and depression or responses to trauma and other stressful life events. People who suffer from these disorders generally have no regard for the physical or emotional risk they pose to themselves or others.

Many people commonly mistake hypersexuality disorders with individuals who have an unusually high sex drive, but the issue is much more complex. People who have a hypersexuality disorder are addicted to specific sex habits, much like an alcoholic is addicted to alcohol. Their relationship to sex is consuming and unhealthy; it puts their relationships with others at risk and can even cause harm to the person with the disorder. People with hypersexuality disorders may try to control their thoughts and behaviors, but they continually fail.

What Causes Hypersexual Disorder?

There are many theories regarding the cause of hypersexual disorders. Most people do not experience symptoms of this disorder until they are adults, but some may show signs as children or adolescents. Causes that have been explored include:

  • Unusually high levels of hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine
  • History of abuse
  • Familiar substance abuse
  • Androgen imbalance
  • Other mental health disorders including bipolar disorder

Sex addiction is estimated to affect 3-6 percent of American adults, which rivals the number of people in the country with cardiovascular disease. If you're dealing with hypersexuality disorder, you aren't alone. There are millions of other people in this country alone who are going through the same struggles. This might be making your life very difficult, but it's something you can get through with the right help.


Who Is At Risk for Hypersexuality Disorders?

Although more common in men, women can develop hypersexual disorders as well. The disorder can affect anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. People at a higher risk for sex addiction include:

  • People who have experienced or seen abuse
  • People who suffer from other mood disorders
  • People with alcohol or drug addiction issues
  • People whose family members have a history of addiction

Children who have experienced sexual abuse are at a much higher risk of developing a hypersexuality disorder. However, children who have been abused have a better chance of having a normal, healthy, sex life as an adult if they are treated by therapists who specialize in child abuse.

Indicators of Hypersexual Disorder

People with Hypersexual Disorders can have varying degrees or combinations of the symptoms listed below. This is not an exhaustive list of all signs and symptoms. Rather these are the most common and frequently reported symptoms:

  • Excessive masturbation is one of the most common early signs of hypersexuality. Sex addicts will often masturbate multiple times per day and also engage in other sexual behaviors such as watching pornography while simultaneously engaging in phone sex.
  • Having obsessive thoughts that interfere with daily life is another common symptom. People with hypersexuality disorders fantasize and have sexual thoughts that become consuming. They may begin to close themselves off from their loved ones, lose focus, become uninterested in other hobbies, and stop communicating with immediate family members.
  • Sex addicts often spend a lot of time planning sexual activities, including where to watch pornography, when to masturbate, and scheduling prostitutes. Similarly, they may spend a lot of time planning sexual activities with their partner and being adamant about sticking to that schedule.
  • They may frequently use sex services such as web chat, phone sex operators, webcam shows, and porn sites, or they may watch sexually explicit movies and television shows regularly.
  • People with hypersexuality disorders may have ongoing extramarital affairs, frequent one-night stands, and multiple concurrent sexual partners. They may also be emotionally detached from sexual partners and have sex frequently without protection.
  • Obsessing about someone you cannot have sex with is another sign of a hypersexuality disorder. When someone is unattainable, such as someone who is married, uninterested, or inappropriate, sex addicts will engage in risky and sometimes violent behavior to try to have sex with the person. This fixation can also lead to cyberstalking and spying.

The biggest indicator of a hypersexual disorder, however, is when a person knows they should not engage in the behavior, but they cannot stop. It’s important to know that even though the hypersexual disorder is not a condition listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual by the American Psychiatric Association if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these signs, contact your doctor or mental health professional You can still get diagnosed and treatments are available that can change your life.

Treatment for Hypersexual Disorder

The treatment for hypersexual disorders, sex addiction, porn addiction, and intimacy disorders is very similar to being treated for drug or alcohol addiction. There are rehabilitation centers focused on providing closed-door treatment for people whose sexual behaviors are interfering with their lives. These centers provide an environment where the sex addict can feel emotionally safe and have access to the therapy they need to overcome their addiction.

In most hypersexual disorder treatment facilities, doctors will focus on four primary aspects of the addiction:

1. Separation from the addictive activity
2. Reducing or managing sexual urges
3. Identifying triggers for sexual impulses
4. Dealing with the emotional aspects of sex addiction

Inpatient treatment is the most effective way to combat and overcome hypersexuality disorders. Other techniques include individual and group therapy, family counseling, medication, and support groups.

Learn More About Hypersexuality Disorder By Talking To A Licensed Counselor
Don't Wait - Talk About Your Sexuality Honestly in Online Therapy Today


Medications used to treat hypersexual disorders can reduce obsessive behaviors and thought patterns in addition to managing the hormones associated with sexuality. These include antidepressants such as Zoloft and Paxil, which are also used to treat anxiety and depression. Alternatively mood stabilizers like lithium can help those who suffer from manic episodes and intense sexual urges. Finally, Naltrexone, a drug used to treat opioid addiction and alcoholism, can also be used to treat sex addiction in severe cases. This drug targets the pleasure zones of the brain and inhibits addictive behavior.

Even though they're last on the list, support groups are the most important part of treatment. The people in these groups are all going through the same thing, so they can identify and empathize with one another. Support groups also are part of keeping patients accountable and can provide support to people when they are having trouble with their urges and desires.

When You Should See a Doctor

Just because someone watches pornography or masturbates, it does not mean they have a sex addiction. Most sexual acts between consenting adults are normal and healthy; it is when sexual behaviors begin to influence or dictate your life that you may have an addiction or intimacy issues that need to be addressed.

Obsessive-compulsive sexual behaviors tend to get worse or more frequent as time goes by. If your behavior is causing harm, risk, or problems for yourself or those close to you, you should ask yourself these questions:

1. Am I unable to manage my sexual impulses?
2. Are my sexual behaviors distressing to myself or others?
3. Are my relationships strained or affected by my behavior?
4. Is my work being affected by my behavior?
5. Is my sexual behavior something I try to hide or feel ashamed of?

If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, you should seek help from your primary care physician or mental health professional. Understand that you are not alone, and set aside any shame or embarrassment you may feel. Everything you and your doctor talk about is protected under patient-doctor confidentiality. You should focus on getting the help you need. Overcoming a hypersexuality disorder is not easy, and it certainly isn't something you should try to do alone. Getting the right help can get your life back on track.


Overcome Your Hypersexuality Issues Using BetterHelp

Going through these sexual problems can be tough. It's even possible your family and friends are suffering as well. These sexual urges can be stopped, but you need to reach out to professionals for help. Thankfully, the experts at BetterHelp can offer you online therapy from the comfort and privacy of your own home. You can get the help you need to overcome a hypersexuality disorder.

A licensed therapist can work with you to help you cope with your urges. You can change your habits over time and start living a healthier life. You don't have to resign yourself to living with this addiction when help is available. BetterHelp is a discreet way to get the online therapy you need, and you can get real results. Suffering from a disorder like this can put you in a very vulnerable position, but you can overcome these issues and move toward a happier future.

Counselor Reviews

Please take the time to look at some BetterHelp counselor reviews. Others have gone through similar struggles and have been able to solve their issues with the assistance of these compassionate professionals.

"My situation seemed so different before I began working with Pat. She's there completely. She's giving me different ways to cope or approach the same situation and actually get a different response from a situation that had me feeling trapped. She gives me ways to keep me healthy and make sure I'm taking care of me. I'm so relieved to have found BetterHelp but mostly that they were able to get me to Pat; that will continue to help me find me again."

"Amy has been very insightful, offering the right series of skills to help me take control of my own thinking and emotions. She is supportive and always responds from a place of reflection and non-judgment, which gives me greater insight into how to solve my own problems better, rather than stress further. Highly recommend her to anyone, especially if you're feeling "stuck" in life's patterns."

In Conclusion

Hypersexuality disorder is a serious problem, but you can get through it with the help of a skilled therapist. Contact an online therapist today. You can work together to address these sexual urges, so you can start living a more fulfilling life. Take the first step today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Mental Illnesses Causes Hypersexuality?

Currently, as of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (DSM-5) by the American Psychiatric Association,  having a hypersexual disorder is not considered a distinct mental health condition; however, you can still get help and there are various conditions that are in the DSM that may contribute to this disorder.

Mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder can cause hypersexuality, where they use it as a way to escape from their problems and develop into a compulsion. This also correlates with the connection between neurotransmitters, like serotonin and norepinephrine, which are linked with mental disorders like depression and anxiety.

People who struggle with addictions, such as gambling or substance abuse, may also engage in hypersexual behavior as well and it can also lead to sex addiction.

Additionally, people who have seen or been physically or sexually abused or experienced a traumatic event, especially at a young age, might also be more prone to having hypersexual disorder later on in life.

What Drugs Cause Hypersexuality?

Compulsive sexual behavior can be caused by the use of various substances. One of the most frequently reported classes of drugs that can cause hypersexuality as a side-effect are stimulants, particularly amphetamines.

Amphetamines are a type of central nervous system stimulant, and drugs within this group can be illegal or legal. Nonetheless, regardless of legality, amphetamine-type drugs can be abused and it’s common for people to compulsively engage in sexual behavior while under the influence of them.

However, a prescription medication based on amphetamines that are designed to treat people with ADHD can cause hypersexuality, and it’s a side-effect that you should be aware of if you are taking these drugs for their intended purpose.

Similarly, certain dopaminergic drugs, which alter the levels of dopamine in the brain, and can be used to treat disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, may also have hypersexuality as a side-effect.

Why Do I Feel Sexually Excited All of The Time?

Sex drive is something that can vary from person to person and change day by day, and things like hormones and certain foods can influence it. Some people might have a much stronger sex drive than others and will have more frequent sexual fantasies and urges than them, and in most cases, this is completely normal.

On the other hand, if your fantasies, urges, or behaviors are getting in the way of your day-to-day living and affecting your well-being and important areas of functioning, you might have hypersexuality disorder and it’s recommended that you seek treatment so you can learn how to keep it under control.

What Does Hypersexuality Feel Like?

Hypersexuality can feel like an uncontrollable sensation of sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors, and it can be difficult to manage and cause distress or impairment.

People may notice its effects on occupational and other important areas of life, and it can also lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders, which can cause a vicious cycle due to people using compulsive sexual behavior as a way to cope with their negative emotions.

Unfortunately, many people will have unsuccessful efforts to control their hypersexual behavior and sexual addiction on their own, which is why getting help is crucial to keeping fantasies and urges under control so you can live a happier and more productive life.

How Do You Know If Someone Is Hypersexual?

While hypersexuality can be entirely in a person’s mind, such as their fantasies and urges, and not observable, there are also signs of hypersexuality that you may be able to notice.

For example, you might interact with someone who is preoccupied or obsessed with sexual activity, and they may openly discuss intense sexual fantasies with you repeatedly.

They may also spend a lot of time watching adult content, having frequent one-night-stands and be unable to commit to relationships, or they have an affair, sometimes with multiple people.

These are some examples of how you can identify is someone is hypersexual, but it’s recommended that you read the Indicators of Hypersexual Disorder section above to get a more comprehensive picture of how hypersexuality can present itself in people.

The reasons why people can become hypersexual can vary, and many people might do it because of depression, anxiety, boredom, or irritability, so it’s important to recognize signs of these issues as well.

What Causes Female Hypersexuality?

When it comes to sex drive, males are often the first to come to mind, because of the effects of the sex hormone testosterone.

However, females can also be hypersexual too, and neurotransmitters and hormones can also affect their libido, just like men. Women also have androgens, and if there is a hormonal imbalance, this can influence sexual behavior.

Females are just as susceptible to other factors that can lead to hypersexual behavior such as, physical or emotional harm, substance abuse, and mental illness.


Hypersexuality disorder is a serious problem, but you can get through it with the help of a skilled therapist. Contact an online therapist today. You can work together to address these sexual urges, so you can start living a more fulfilling life. Take the first step today.

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