Hypersexuality can occur as a symptom of bipolar disorder or on its own. Psychologists also refer to it as compulsive sexual behavior or sex addiction. The mentioned dysfunction involves erotic fantasies, urges or behaviors that are out of control. It can negatively affect work, health, relationships and other aspects of life.
What is hypersexuality?
Increased sexual desire is a common symptom of mania in people with bipolar disorder. They experience rapid mood swings, ranging from feelings of excitement, risk-taking and a surge of energy, to sadness and low self-esteem. These mood swings, called episodes of mania and depression, are classic symptoms of bipolar disorder. During mania, such individuals may be prone to impulsive, reckless sexual behavior and an elevated libido. Hypersexuality should be taken as a warning sign.
Just as there is no single cause for bipolar disorder, there is no clear reason for hypersexuality, also known as sexaholism. Experts say a chemical imbalance in the brain can contribute to both disorders.
What are the symptoms of sexaholism?
Hypersexuality is sometimes accompanied by other symptoms, such as wordiness, trouble concentrating, excessive spending, and insomnia. People who experience it may have multiple sexual partners.
When bipolar disorder is not treated effectively, hyper-sexuality can wreak havoc on one’s personal life. It leads to many bad decisions, often involving serious and negative consequences. Treating the symptoms of bipolar disorder and managing mania can help with sex addiction.
In a sexaholic who repeatedly participates in illegal or unacceptable sexual behavior, paraphilic disorders are also often diagnosed. These can include exhibitionism, fetishism, masochism and sadism.
How do you treat sex addiction?
Remember that you are treating the disease, not the symptoms. Treatment usually includes mood stabilizers or antipsychotics, as well as psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal social rhythm therapy. The support of friends and family is crucial in treating the person suffering from hypersexuality.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) provides a variety of techniques and tools to help the patient change behavior. CBT equips a person with new techniques to cope with difficult situations. Additionally, it reduces the risk of uncontrolled sexual behavior
Social rhythm interpersonal therapy, on the other hand, aims to improve a patient’s mood by understanding and working with their biological and social rhythms. It assists individuals suffering from mood disorders. It shows how to deal with stressful situations. Additionally, she teaches how to improve social relationships.
Once the disease is under control, patients often regret their previous behavior. They may feel remorse. Many times they wonder how to get out of a difficult situation.
What is compulsive sexual behavior?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has included compulsive sexual behavior in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and has defined it as an impulsive disorder. They are characterized by a persistent pattern of inability to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges. Sexual behavior is then out of control.
In summary, hypersexuality is a condition in which a person is unable to control their sexual behavior, Persistent sexual thoughts interfere with a person’s ability to work, maintain relationships, and perform daily activities
What are the effects of hypersexuality?
Hypersexuality can be one of the most difficult symptoms for both the sufferer and their loved ones. Sometimes the inability to control sexual urges leads to divorce and the end of romantic relationships. Both people in the relationship may suffer if these desires lead to infidelity. A partner with bipolar disorder may feel distraught because they have hurt a loved one. The other partner feels embittered and deceived.
The sexually impulsive person has a marked tendency to engage in sexual activity without thinking about the possible negative consequences. Hypersexuality increases the risk of blood or sexually transmitted diseases, as well as unwanted pregnancy.
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