Sex Addiction's Surprising Ties to Mental Illness

unmade bedWhen it comes to sex addiction, I'm guilty ... of rolling my eyes every time another celebrity uses it as a defense when he gets caught having an affair:

Boo-hoo, woe is me, I couldn't stop myself! I'm ... a sex addict!

Sure y'are, buddy. Everybody totally buys that excuse.

But it's not really fair for me (or anybody) to dismiss sex addiction as a made-up adultery Get Out of Jail Free card.

Especially considering that the condition is usually caused by an underlying disorder -- and it's tough to treat one without treating the other.

These are just a few of the mental illnesses linked to sex addiction:


Bipolar Disorder High-risk sexual activity can be symptomatic of manic states.

Borderline Personality Disorder Unsafe sex can be "part of a pattern" of self-harming behavior.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Sometimes seen in survivors of childhood sexual abuse, compulsive sexual behavior in these cases is a "subconscious attempt to gain control over their childhood trauma."

Dependent Personality Disorder Also known as "love addiction" (which I personally never heard about before Rachel Uchitel went on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew), love addicts apparently use sex to get "love."

Aspergers Syndrome "Out-of-control" sexual behavior is a common problem for men with Aspergers.

Have you ever known anyone with a sex addiction? Can you make any connections between these conditions and that person?

Do you think sex addiction is a form of mental illness?


Image via thien-kim/Flickr

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