Time and again, we come across scandals in which a person is seen risking everything to satisfy his (or her) sexual desires. David Duchovny received treatment for sex addiction. So did Tiger Woods after he admitted to multiple infidelities. Eric Benet was allegedly cheating on his wife Halle Berry repeatedly, and when the 51-year-old singer was caught he checked into a 35-day rehab program for sex addiction.
Although all these cases differ in nature, it flags one common question – is sex addiction a bona fide medical condition, or is it simply a good way to dress up bad behaviour? The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has still not added Sexual Addiction into their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. However, Dr Sanjay Garg, Head of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Hospital says that he sees at least five patients a month with similar complaints.
It won’t be wrong to say that once APA recognises sex addiction as a mental health disorder, porn enthusiasts might turn themselves in for treatment, and those who have serial affairs can help make the rehab sector profitable as patients. According to TIME, following Woods claiming that he was suffering from sex addiction, Elements Behavioral Health Pvt Ltd which gives treatment on a breathtaking hilltop house in Malibu, California saw revenue growth of 50%.
“Loss of control is the biggest symptom of any mental illness. Likewise, in this case, we need to study the patient carefully and test their hormonal balance. Only then can we claim that the patient is suffering from sex addiction. Also, patients who have bipolar disorder tend to get turned into sex addicts. Cognitive behaviour therapy is very commonly used with these clinics”, said Dr Garg.
It took a while for alcoholism to be recognised as a medical condition and not just a result of failing resolve. Maybe over time, excessive lust and the need to act on it will be recognized as a biochemical disorder?