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WHO declares sex addiction as a mental illness

News Desk
News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, July 10, 2018 | 10:32 pm
WHO declares sex addiction as a mental illness

Just weeks after classifying gaming addiction as a mental illness for the first time, the World Health Organization (WHO) has done the same for compulsive sexual behavior. (Shutterstock/File)

Just weeks after classifying gaming addiction as a mental illness for the first time, the World Health Organization (WHO) has done the same for compulsive sexual behavior. 

The WHO describes the condition as “persistent pattern of failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in a repetitive sexual behavior.”

Dr. Valerie Voon, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, told the New York Post that an estimated 2 to 4 percent of the UK population suffers from compulsive sexual behavior, while in the US, the amount lies between 3 and 6 percent of adults.

“It is a behavior that tends to be hidden as it’s shameful and often sex addicts don’t come forward,” she said.

Read also: 'Sex addict' therapy unlikely to help Harvey Weinstein: experts

“Adding this to the WHO list is an excellent step for patients as it allows them to recognize that they are suffering with a problem—it takes it out of the shadows and they are able to seek help for it.”

Voon also added that sex addiction can be treated alongside other issues such as depression and anxiety.

Symptoms of compulsive sexual behavior, according to WHO, include sex becoming the “central focus” of a person’s life at the expense of other crucial issues, such as health, interests and responsibilities.

 “We hear from many people unable to control their sexual behavior,” said Ammanda Major, who is a part of relationship charity Relate, welcoming the move. “This often negatively impacts on their lives and the wellbeing of partners and families.” (sul/kes)

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