Sexual Addiction

Restoring the Wisdom of the Nervous System: Reducing the Vulnerability to Relapse from Sexual Addiction

Out of control sexual behavior creates an imbalanced nervous system. The anticipation and hunt for sex leaves you dysregulated, as you remain lost in the attempt to numb your pain and escape your feelings. Dysregulation describes the disruption of the nervous system: up-regulation refers to internal states such as panic or rage, and down-regulation refers to disconnection or shutting down.

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Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder

A few months ago, the World Health Organization recognized and included “compulsive sexual behavior disorder” in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). This is the first time that anything close to “sex addiction” has been validated as a diagnostic code. For many years there has been an effort by sex addiction therapists to include “sexual addiction” as a classification/diagnosis, but to no avail. Sexual addiction was coined by Patrick Carnes in the 1980s, but it’s always been a controversial term accepted by some clinicians and rejected by others.

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