New Classification Redefines Sex Addiction as a Mental Disorder

A new classification by the World Health Organization on sex addiction as a mental disorder is hoping to change the disorder's perception in society. 

In June, WHO updated their International Classification of Diseases and now defines "compulsive sexual health disorder" as a "persistent pattern of failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behavior."

Sex addiction can now be diagnosed based on whether repetitive sexual activities become the focus of a person's life and if someone experiences numerous unsuccessful efforts to reduce sexual behavior and continued sexual activity despite deriving little satisfaction from it. 

The cost of treating sex addiction ranges, with most only getting insurance coverage if they have been previously diagnosed with a concurring mental health disorder like anxiety or depression. Sex therapists hope this new classification will help patients receive better coverage. 

But now we have AB 1810 that allows convicted criminals to go before a judge and ask for their charges to be dismissed if they can prove they have a treatable mental disorder. Will sex offenders come forward and claim they have a sex addiction and they need help? Will their arrest records be wiped clean just because a judge feels sorry they could not control their urges when they raped somebody? 

Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey have both been accused of sexual abuse and harassment and have both reportedly spent time at a rehab center for sex addiction treatment. 

However, according to therapists, sex addicts and sex offenders are two very different categories. 

"Most sex offenders do not meet the clinical requirements for sex addictions, and conversely, most sex addicts never commit a sexual offense," said Milton Magness, a sex addictions therapist.

This new classification as well as the new bill could become a recipe for disaster. 

Photo: Getty Images

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