Is Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder A Progressive Disease & Alternative Treatments For It?

Compulsive sexual behavior is often referred to as hypersexuality or simply as sexual addiction. It is an unhealthy obsession with sexual fantasies, impulses or behavior that is hard to control, leading to distress or has a detrimental impact on the health, employment, friendships, relationships, families or other aspects of the affected person’s life. The condition can include various sexual activities that are normal and perceived enjoyable.(1)

Is Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder A Progressive Disease?

Compulsive sexual behavior disorder is mostly characterized by persuasive sexual thoughts and actions which are progressive in nature. Compulsive sexual behavior disorder is often a progressive problem and situations become worse with every passing day. Like any dependency or addiction, Compulsive sexual behavior disorder has severe consequences on the affected person and his or her family members and friends. They are adversely affected more and more as the condition progresses.

The abuser usually needs to increase his addictive habits over time in order to attain the same effects. The activity of several sex addicts goes beyond masturbation addiction or the excessive use of porn and other cybersex services. Others may indulge in illegal activities like indecent telephone calls, child abuse, rape, voyeurism or exhibitionism.(3)

Alternative Treatments For Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder

Psychotherapy, counseling and self-help programs usually provide care for compulsive sexual behavior disorder. A common treatment objective is to support you control impulses and reduce oppressive behavior and at the same time maintaining normal sexual activity. You might also require medication for some specific mental health disorders if you have hypersexuality (comorbid conditions). Persons with Compulsive sexual behavior disorder also experience issues with substance abuse or alcoholism and other concerns related to mental health (depression, mood disorder, and anxiety).

Psychotherapy or talk therapy usually may assist you in learning how to control and cope with Compulsive sexual behavior disorder. Some of the talk therapies involve:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy lets you identify and eliminate harmful negative beliefs and habits, by more constructive strategies of care. You learn how to make such habits less personal or secret and how to navigate away from sexual content more effectively.
  • Acceptance And Commitment is a type of therapy that stresses the recognition of thoughts and desires and a commitment to practices that embody more important and meaningful values of life.
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is another treatment method focused on raising awareness about the subconscious thoughts, building fresh insights to inspire and motivate you, and supporting conflict resolution.(4)
  • Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder may include addiction to pornography, cybersex, masturbation, more than one sexual partner, paid sex, etc. But, when these sexual practices become a key focus of your daily life, become hard to regulate and have a damaging impact on you and others, then you may be suffering from Compulsive sexual behavior disorder.

Some signs that you may have issues with sexual addiction include:

  • You appear tempted to do some sexual conduct to release a kind of tension build inside you. But also have a feeling of guilt or shame after conducting the behavior.
  • You are making hypersensitivity as a diversion from other issues like stress, loneliness, sadness, anxiety, pain or depression.
  • You carry on engaging in sexual activity which has serious implications, for example, the possibility of having STDs, loss of meaningful relationships, legal issues, negative impacts on your job or financial stress.
  • You have difficulty building and keeping stable and happy relationships.
  • You have failed attempt to suppress or regulate your sexual desires, fantasies, expectations or actions.
  • You have frequent and strong sexual thoughts, desires and actions, which consume the majority of your time and seem like they are not within your control.(1)(2)

When To Seek Professional Help For Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder?

Get help, particularly if your actions create issues for you or others, when you feel you have lost the command over your sexual conduct. Sexual addiction continues to escalate with time, so seek counseling once you think it could be a problem.

Ask yourself the following questions before deciding to take medical help:

  • Am I trying to conceal by sexual conduct?
  • Could my sex urges be managed by me?
  • Was I ashamed and stressed about my sexual conduct?
  • Would my sexual behavior cause severe negative impacts such as being detained, losing my job, affecting my family relations or my life?.(3)


  1. Kraus SW, Voon V, Potenza MN. Should compulsive sexual behavior be considered an addiction? Addiction. 2016;111(12):2097-2106.
  2. Kraus SW, Voon V, Potenza MN. Neurobiology of compulsive sexual behavior: emerging science. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2016;41(1):385.
  3. Efrati Y, Mikulincer M. Individual-based Compulsive Sexual Behavior Scale: Its development and importance in examining compulsive sexual behavior. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. 2018;44(3):249-259.
  4. Derbyshire KL, Grant JE. Compulsive sexual behavior: A review of the literature. Journal of behavioral addictions. 2015;4(2):37-43.

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