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Sex addiction 'to be recognised as psychiatric illness'

world Updated: Mar 14, 2011 13:26 IST

PTI
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Sex addiction, in which sufferers have relentless sexual urges, will soon be formally recognised as a psychiatric disorder by American Psychiatric Association, a media report said.

The "addiction" is being discussed by experts for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association, the Daily Mail reported.

The manual is considered the definitive guide to what constitutes a genuine psychological disorder rather than an imaginary one.

Sex addiction actually became highly publicised when celebrities such as Tiger Woods and Russell Brand sought treatment for the condition. Woods checked in for treatment in 2010 after admitting cheating on his wife Elin Nordegren with a string of different women.

The golfer underwent a six-week intensive programme at the Pine Grove clinic in Mississippi, designed to treat sexual addiction, sexual anorexia and sexual trauma.

The UK's health service is starting a preliminary project for sex addiction treatment, which experts say, could spark a boom in drug companies re-packaging anti-depressants and sex-drive-suppressants.

The Priory chain of clinics say its patients "work on themselves for eight or nine hours a day in group therapy, in individual sessions with their psychiatrists and with a wide range of trained therapists".

Clinical psychologist and sex therapist Dr Janet Hall said that patients with sex addiction problems now make up the majority of her clients.

She said that celebrity treatment has contributed to the rise. "It's saying 'if the famous and wealthy are addicts and get into trouble, I am not alone nor am I a horrible nasty person'."