Hypersexualité : quand la sexualité est perçue comme une maladie

Hypersexuality: when sexuality is perceived as a disorder!

Sexual Obsession, Sex Addict, Nymphomaniac… Numerous terms are used to describe individuals suffering from hypersexuality. Affecting both men (satyriasis) and women (nymphomania), this disorder is what specialists refer to as an exaggeration of sexual drive. If left untreated, compulsive sexuality can have serious repercussions on the life of the hypersexual individual. To overcome this, seeking the assistance of a psychiatrist or participating in support groups is essential.

Also known as compulsive sexuality, hypersexuality applies to both men (satyriasis) and women (nymphomania). It is an obsession characterized by persistent and continuous pursuit of sexual pleasure. In the life of a hypersexual person, libido takes such precedence that it negatively impacts all areas of life.

What is Hypersexuality?

The term hypersexuality was used to replace the notions of satyriasis and nymphomania in the early 21st century. It is a specific condition that manifests as an excessive libido accompanied by obsessive thoughts surrounding sexuality. It is a behavioral disorder where sex becomes a way to alleviate deep-seated anxiety. It qualifies as hypersexuality when the sexual conduct adopted has negative consequences in the social domain. In fact, hypersexual individuals may jeopardize their lives solely to satisfy their sexual urges.

Hypersexuality leads to a constant feeling of dissatisfaction. Always in need, the hypersexual person craves more sexual pleasure, and this need never abates. The frequency and number of sexual encounters escalate to the point where it affects their daily life. Beyond the frequency and number of sexual encounters, it is the magnitude of this obsession in daily life that is most concerning. Consequently, psychological distress, such as depression or addictions, is common.

Different Symptoms of Compulsive Sexuality

As a genuine psychological disorder, hypersexuality causes significant psychological distress. This automatically has adverse effects on everyday life and social relationships. This obsession is characterized by:

  • Monomania of sexual pleasure.
  • Compulsive acts of engaging in sexual activities (masturbatory or with one or multiple partners). • Insatiable sexual desire.
  • A sense of dissatisfaction despite multiple sexual encounters.
  • An irresistible urge to have sex despite negative consequences.
  • Emotional and psychological distress.
  • Repeated and uncontrollable sexual acts without clear rational motivation.
  • Severe impacts on finances, career, personal life, family, and medical well-being.
  • Feelings of guilt and shame.

To diagnose hypersexuality, the duration of the behavior must be sufficiently long, lasting one to several months. However, this disorder should not be linked to medication use or any other medical condition.

Possible Causes of Hypersexuality

There are numerous factors that can lead to hypersexuality, and it is the combination of these factors that explains this behavioral disorder.

  1. Psychological Factors

A lack of love or emotional deprivation during childhood can be the main origins of hypersexuality. Manic phase or depression can also be the cause of this behavioral disorder.

  • Neurological Origins

A functional disorder of the limbic system can be the cause of excessive sexuality. This may lead to exaggerated preoccupations, abusive compulsions, voyeurism, and exhibitionism.

  • Environmental Causes High exposure to deviant sexual behaviors or pornography can cause hypersexuality. Additionally, traumatic elements such as sexual assaults and rapes can contribute to this disorder.
  • Hormonal and Medication

Factors Excessive testosterone levels can be the origin of hypersexuality. Certain medications can also lead to this disorder, such as traumatic brain injury, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and the use of antiparkinsonian drugs.

What Are the Consequences of This Disorder?

Individuals experiencing hypersexuality often feel guilt and shame due to their inability to control their impulses, especially when they are aware of the consequences of their actions. These consequences can be numerous, including neglect of their partner, divorce, financial debt (related to pornography, prostitutes, phone lines, etc.). They may also contract sexually transmitted diseases or lose their jobs.

Furthermore, they may engage in sexual activities that are not tolerated by society, such as frotteurism, voyeurism, or exhibitionism. Those suffering from hypersexuality often run the risk of committing highly criminal acts such as child pornography, rape, pedophilia, or incest. As a result, they face the possibility of being brought to justice for sexual offenses.

Can Hypersexuality Be Treated?

For an effective outcome, it is crucial to determine the specific type of hypersexuality the patient is experiencing. It is essential to identify if they suffer from paraphilias or unspecified impulse control disorders. Treatment may involve mood stabilizers, antidepressant medications, and in cases of rape or pedophilia, the use of medications that can prevent sexual arousal may be necessary. Negative reinforcement techniques can also be very effective.

Different support groups are created to assist individuals suffering from hypersexuality. These groups, similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, operate as psychotherapy sessions where individuals with sexual addictions share their experiences.

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