Is Sex Addiction Real? Jada Says Yes

Jada Pinkett Smith is the latest celeb who says she’s struggled with sex addiction – but many experts aren’t convinced that’s a real disease.

| Prevention – Jada Pinkett-Smith is the latest in a string of celebrities who’ve come out as sex addicts.

“When I was younger, I definitely think I had a sex addiction of some kind, yes, that everything could be fixed by sex,” the actress revealed in the latest episode of her Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk.

But it’s not just the rich and famous who are being treated for this disorder. Some sex addiction organizations estimate that the condition affects up to 6 percent of American adults.

The signs of sex addiction

Alexandra Katehakis, clinical director of the Center for Healthy Sex, a Santa Monica, CA-based sex addiction treatment center, says that people who identify as sex addicts usually have a “constellation” of symptoms:

  • Repeatedly fail to resist impulses for certain sexual behaviors (like going to a strip club or masturbating at work)
  • Have urges that interfere with their day-to-day life
  • Continue to engage in sexual activity despite its negative consequences
  • Spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about sex
  • Feel an intense need to have more frequent or intense sex
  • Feel distressed about the symptoms above

Problem: Some experts say sex addiction isn’t a thing

Clinicians, therapists, and doctors are split on whether sex addiction is even a real condition. Sex addiction isn’t part of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Psychiatric Disorders (DSM-5)—or the “bible” of mental health conditions—which means it’s not a diagnosable mental health condition.

And though the World Health Organization will classify “compulsive sexual behavior” in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), the group has stopped short of calling it “sex addiction.” Read the full story at Prevention. Featured image: Athena LeTrelle, CC BY-ND 2.0

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