Sex Addiction's Surprising Ties to Mental Illness

Jacqueline Burt Cote Health Check

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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