World Health Organization lists sex addiction as mental illness

Harvey Weinstein

Actor David Duchovny, who was married to actress Téa Leoni, sought treatment for his addiction after he cheated on Leoni and actress Lindsay Lohan also admitted to being a "crazy sex addict".

While this is the first time World Health Organization has stated sex addiction as a mental disorder, the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has a listing on the range of sexual compulsions under 'Sexual Disorder Not Otherwise Specified'.

Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey have reportedly spent time at a high-end facility for the treatment of sex addiction, USA Today said, but they have been accused of sexual abuse and harassment.

Ammanda Major, Head of Clinical Practice at the charity, said they deal with people who are "unable to control their sexual behaviour".

But the WHO's change in stance could mean that the NHS could follow suit when reviewing rules on who can and who can't get mental health care.

For years there has been controversy surrounding the topic of sex addiction, which comes attached with a stigma implying moral failings, but things are starting to change. They continue the same pattern even when they derive no pleasure out of it.

Voon also added that sex addiction can be treated alongside other issues such as depression and anxiety.

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Therapists hope that could change.

In reality, sex addicts and sex offenders are two very different categories, therapists said.

Further, the cost of treatment can serve as a deterrent, especially considering that most health insurance companies will not cover therapy.

You can find out more about sex addiction on Relate's website here. "That's a disorder of power and control, not sex addiction".

Most sex addicts, Magness said, are ordinary people. "And they are involved in behaviors they do not want and repeat them, despite repeated attempts to stop". The ICD is WHO's tool for diagnosing, managing and treating various physical and mental disorders.

"If this is classified as a mental disorder and we've got diagnostic criteria that we can accept, and the person's able to see this is a proper diagnosis for them", Weiss said, "then I believe that spells hope".

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