What Mental Illness Causes Hypersexuality?

Hypersexuality or hypersexuality disorder is a psychological disorder characterized by abnormal irresistible, repetitive, and uncontrollable sexuality. It leads to persistence dwelling on sexual thoughts. The affected person always indulgences himself in activities like sexual fantasies, porn movies, masturbation, cybersex, extramarital sexual events, multiple sexual activities, etc. It can develop in males and females both. Males are more commonly affected. It harms or disrupts the patient and others. It eventually interferes with his work, relationship, daily activities, and career. If it is left untreated, it affects his self-confidence, self-esteem, health, career, relationship, and other aspects of life.

What Mental Illness Causes Hypersexuality?

Hypersexuality or Compulsive Sexual behavior is a disorder marked by one’s inability to manage one’s sexual behavior.(1) According to recent studies, hypersexuality is a mental illness. The presence of specific criteria confirms that hypersexuality is considered like mental illness.(2) These criteria include:

  • The affected person must feel such sexual behavior, fantasy, or repeatedly urge for more than six months.
  • This behavior, fantasy, and urges have not appeared after another medical condition, medication, substance abuse, or manic episodes directed to bipolar disorder.
  • He may have developed this Sexual addiction as a reaction to his current mood that may involve the feeling of sadness or depression.
  • Some people having this condition try to cope up with mental stress through excessive indulgences in sexual activities.
  • A person with this abnormal sexual behavior has utilized all his means to avoid or reduce this behavior, fantasy, or urge, but unable to control them.(2)

It is evident that, like any other mental illness, excessive sexual activities damage one’s self-esteem, relationship, work, and other aspects of life.(2) Although hypersexuality is considered as a mental disorder, whose other names are nymphomania or sexual addiction. It is sometimes a symptom of other mental illnesses. These involve-

Bipolar Disorder-Hypersexuality itself appears during a manic period of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a common mental disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), it is a brain disorder that leads to unusual shifts in mood, activity levels, energy, and the caliber to perform daily tasks.(3) Few research studies establish the link between bipolar disorder and hypersexuality, which estimates that 25 to 80 percent of individuals who have bipolar disorder will exhibit symptoms of hypersexuality during manic periods. (3) Bipolar disorder can also influence one’s sex life. It can result in a drastic increase in libido during periods of mania. In these periods, few people feel heightened sexuality, which is diagnosed as hypersexuality or sexual addiction.(4)

ADHD- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a mental condition marked by impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, and difficulty in paying attention that affects an adult’s life. It has two aspects of sexual symptoms, i.e., hypersexuality or hyposexuality. Hypersexuality can be a symptom when a person tries to cope up with ADHD through dopamine seeking behaviors.(5)

Schizophrenia – Schizophrenia is represented by delusions, hallucinations, false perceptions, and other cognitive difficulties that can become a lifelong problem. It usually causes a lack of interest in sexual activities. But, in a maniac condition, it may cause hypersexuality.(6)

PTSD – posttraumatic Stress disorder or PTSD is a pathological anxiety disorder that appears after facing a traumatic event in life. Its symptoms may develop after assault experience or combat events or traumatic events such as kidnaps, car accidents, terrorist attacks, natural calamities, etc. Obsessive-compulsive disorders and related conditions like hypersexuality may appear as a way of coping with stress.(7)


Hypersexuality is a mental illness that triggers persistent, repetitive, and uncontrollable sexual thoughts in a person. It sometimes emerges as a symptom of some mental illness such as bipolar disorder, ADHD, schizophrenia, and PTSD.


Also Read: