Hypersexuality or compulsive sexual behavior is an evolving psychiatric condition with major social and psychiatric implications and is also referred to as sexual addiction.
Knowledge of this disorder has developed recently and information on social, psychological and biological risk factors contributing to this disorder is emerging. So empirical data of this condition is limited. Clinical problems also persist as there is the natural way of treating sexual addictions and no specific best practices have been defined to deal with it.(1)
Still, there are large numbers of patients and populations are seeking help with this issue. A key feature to remember is that hypersexuality isn’t inherently indicative of compulsive sexual conduct or a disorder.(2)
How Long Will It Take To Recover From Hypersexuality?
The successful recovery from hypersexuality depends on many factors. Hypersexuality, just like drug use and mood disorders or impulse control problems, can appear in a number of ways and degrees of seriousness. It often cannot be the main reason because signs cannot be identified unless they are questioned or examined. Although there are not formalized standards, some psychiatric symptoms are typically found in these patients.
One of the main characteristics of hypersexuality is the continued participation in sexual activity, even though these behaviors have negative impacts. There are similar trends observed in impulse control issues and drug abuse problems.
The implication in these individuals is that sexual behaviors are the primary means of dealing and addressing the issues, which in turn cause a spiral of more difficulties and build frustration, dissatisfaction, and worry. The main cause of such sexual behavior is to avoid physical or psychological distress or to cope with stresses and tensions in life.(2)
How Long Does The Symptoms Last?
It is difficult to predict the duration of the symptoms or how long they will last. It depends on various factors including the seriousness or severity of the disease, whether and when the affected individual has taken outside help to control the symptoms. Once detected, one should continue the treatment still the symptoms persist and seek immediate attention whenever he or she feels that the symptoms are coming back.(3)
How To Manage The Symptoms?
Limit The Triggers: It’s the most complicated part of the therapy. Controlling the hypersexuality triggers requires immense self-control, motivation, and determination. Patients with this disorder may get distressed or have the urge started as soon as they see something intimate or subtle erotic in nature in movies, television, magazine cover, and in daily life. They seem to get badly affected and the symptoms get triggered.
The patient has to avoid these triggers to improve his or her condition. This means changing the TV channel, avoiding the sites and situations or switching to the radio station. It may mean you can’t even see some of your favorite films again. This is the reality you have to accept to stop your hypersexuality behavior.
Writing The Feelings: Many of you may consider this to be a surprise, but It helps. This will give you a sense of relief as you express your problems in writing and clear your mind of all the depressive outlooks of hypersexuality.
Consult A Medical Professional: Don’t miss the early warning signs and claim to be able to cope with them. It may seem weird and crazy, but patients often delay and even continue to cling on to psychosis. Nobody wishes to get over the excitement the hypersexuality and the bipolar syndrome bring to their life. This is where the problem deepens. Earlier or later, though, your mind gets trapped with mania and it makes you do stuff you will never do in a sane mind. Don’t allow it to be too late. Have medical assistance as quickly as possible. Get yourself checked in the emergency department if required. Do everything you can to ensure that the case does not get out of reach.
Keep The Focus On Your Goals: It is not easy to cope with hypersexuality and getting rid of the behavior. You need to focus consistently for a long period to see a positive change. There is no fixed time frame as it depends on multiple factors such as your will, seriousness of the condition, and whether early therapy is initiated. But, never lose hope and keep focusing on avoiding the triggers.(3)(4)
- Birchard T. Overcoming sex addiction: A self-help guide. Routledge; 2017.
- Kraus SW, Voon V, Potenza MN. Should compulsive sexual behavior be considered an addiction? Addiction. 2016;111(12):2097-2106.
- Carnes PJ, Adams KM. Clinical management of sex addiction. Routledge; 2019.
- Efrati Y, Gola M. Treating compulsive sexual behavior. Current Sexual Health Reports. 2018;10(2):57-64.