Recognizing The Signs: Symptoms Of Hypersexuality Disorder

Updated January 18, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If you're struggling with an overwhelming need for sex, causing problems, you may be experiencing hypersexuality disorder. Also known as a compulsive sexual behavior disorder, hypersexuality is characterized by an intense and persistent preoccupation with sexual thoughts, urges, and behaviors that may interfere with daily life and cause significant distress. If you're worried that your sexual behavior may be out of control, it's ideal to recognize the signs and take steps to get help. We will explore the symptoms of hypersexuality disorder and discuss what you may do to manage and treat this condition.

Ready to break free from the hold of hypersexuality disorder?

Symptoms Of Hypersexuality Disorder

Symptoms of hypersexuality disorder might vary from person to person, but some common signs include the following:

Persistent and intense sexual thoughts and urges: People with hypersexuality disorder may experience frequent or constant sexual thoughts and urges that are difficult to control or ignore. These thoughts and urges may be accompanied by a strong desire to act on them, even if it is inappropriate or risky.

Engaging in risky sexual behaviors: People with hypersexuality disorder may engage in risky sexual behaviors, such as having unprotected sex or seeking out multiple partners. They may also engage in illegal behaviors like viewing or distributing child pornography.

Losing control over sexual behavior: People with hypersexuality disorder may feel unable to control their sexual behavior, even if it is causing problems in their life. They may continue to engage in sexual behaviors despite the negative consequences, such as the risk of sexually transmitted infections or damaged relationships.

Neglecting responsibilities or relationships due to sexual behaviors: People with hypersexuality disorder may prioritize their sexual behaviors over other responsibilities or relationships. They may spend excessive time thinking about or engaging in sexual activities, which may lead to neglecting work, school, or family obligations.

Experiencing negative consequences as a result of sexual behaviors: People with hypersexuality disorder may experience adverse effects due to their sexual behaviors, such as legal problems, financial difficulties, or damaged relationships. They may also experience physical consequences, such as sexually transmitted infections or other health problems.

Some Causes Of Hypersexuality Disorder

The causes of hypersexuality disorder are not fully understood, but biological, psychological, and social factors may influence them.

Biological factors: Hypersexuality disorder may be caused by imbalances in brain chemistry or hormones that affect sexual behavior. For example, some studies have suggested that imbalances in neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, may be involved in the development of compulsive sexual behavior. Hormonal imbalances, such as an overproduction of testosterone, may also play a role in the development of hypersexuality disorder.

Psychological factors: Psychological trauma, such as abuse or neglect, may increase the risk of developing hypersexuality disorder. Mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder, may also contribute to the development of compulsive sexual behavior.

Social and cultural factors: Societal attitudes towards sex and relationships may influence the development of hypersexuality disorder. For example, individuals exposed to sexual content at a young age or who grow up in an environment where open discussions about sex are not encouraged may be more likely to develop compulsive sexual behavior.

These factors may interact with each other and may not be the sole cause of hypersexuality disorder. Try to keep in mind that not everyone who experiences these factors will develop hypersexuality disorder.

Treatment Options For Hypersexuality Disorder

Treatment for hypersexuality disorder may be challenging, as it often involves addressing complex and interconnected issues. However, with the proper treatment approach, it is possible to manage and reduce compulsive sexual behavior. 

Treatment Options For Hypersexuality Disorder May Include:

  • Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that might help manage hypersexuality disorder. CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to the condition. Sex therapy may also help address specific sexual concerns and behaviors. Other types of therapy, such as psychodynamic or dialectical behavior therapy, may help address underlying psychological issues that contribute to hypersexuality disorder.

  • Medications: Antidepressant medications may help reduce compulsive sexual behavior. Mood stabilizers may also be used to treat hypersexuality disorder. These medications should be used in combination with therapy, and their effectiveness may vary from person to person.

  • Support from loved ones and self-help groups: Support from loved ones and participation in self-help groups may be helpful for managing hypersexuality disorder. Self-help groups might provide a safe space to discuss experiences and learn coping strategies from others with similar issues. These resources might give a sense of community, accountability, and practical strategies for managing compulsive sexual behavior.

It tends to be a better outcome when hypersexuality disorder patients work with a mental health professional to determine the best treatment approach for their individual needs and circumstances.

Benefits Of Online Therapy For Hypersexuality Disorder

The benefit of online therapy for treating hypersexuality disorder is that it may help individuals improve their relationships and overall quality of life. Hypersexuality disorder might take a toll on personal relationships, leading to strained or damaged connections with loved ones. Through online therapy, individuals with hypersexuality disorder have the ability to learn to communicate more effectively, set healthy boundaries, and repair any damaged relationships. In addition, online therapy might help individuals with hypersexuality disorder develop more beneficial coping mechanisms and improve their self-esteem, leading to a more fulfilling and satisfying life. By addressing the root causes of compulsive sexual behavior and learning new skills and strategies, individuals with hypersexuality disorder might take control of their lives and find greater happiness and fulfillment.

Ready to break free from the hold of hypersexuality disorder?

Effectiveness Of Online Therapy Paragraph

In a recent study by S. Kellett, the effectiveness of online cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) was examined in treating hypersexuality disorder (HD). Hypersexuality disorder may be characterized by recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors that interfere with daily functioning and may cause significant distress or impairment. To have these symptoms, it may have to persist for at least six months and cannot be attributed to the use of substances. After a three-week assessment baseline, online CAT was delivered through outpatient sessions, and a follow-up period lasting 63 days was implemented. The results showed that cruising and pornography usage were extinguished, the total sexual outlet score no longer met the criteria for HD, and the primary nomothetic hypersexuality outcome measure met the recovery criteria. Additionally, the study found that reduced pornography consumption was mediated by reduced obsessionality and greater interpersonal connectivity. These findings suggest that online CAT may be a successful treatment option for individuals with HD and related intimacy problems.

According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, individuals with hypersexuality disorder (also known as compulsive sexual behavior disorder) report significantly higher levels of distress and impairment compared to individuals without the disorder. In this study, individuals with hypersexuality disorder had an average distress score of 48.6 out of a maximum of 100. In contrast, individuals without the disorder had an average distress score of 5.6 out of 100. These findings may suggest that hypersexuality disorder might have a significant impact on an individual's quality of life and may warrant treatment.

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Conclusion

Online therapy may have the potential to be an effective treatment option for individuals with hypersexuality disorder( HD). It may allow individuals to gain insight into their behavior, learn to communicate more effectively, set healthy boundaries, and repair damaged relationships. Additionally, online therapy might help individuals with hypersexuality disorder develop healthier coping mechanisms and improve their self-esteem, leading to a more fulfilling and satisfying life. By addressing the root causes of compulsive sexual behavior and learning new skills and strategies, individuals with hypersexuality disorder might take control of their lives and find greater happiness and fulfillment. But try to remember that treatment for hypersexuality disorder should be tailored to the individual's needs and may include a combination of therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications. Ultimately, with the right help and support, individuals may be able to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.

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