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Sexual overdrive

THE ASIAN AGE. | DR NARAYANA REDDY
Published : Oct 25, 2017, 12:29 am IST
Updated : Oct 25, 2017, 12:29 am IST

A person who likes to have a lot of sex generally has a feeling of well being after sexual activity.

Harvey Weinstein
 Harvey Weinstein

The recent sensation about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein calling himself as sex addict and getting admitted to a rehabilitation centre created curiosity and interest among the public about ‘sex addiction’.

What exactly is Sexual Addiction?

Scientific opinion is divided. This is due to the difficulty to draw a line between fiercely healthy male sexual drive and one that has shifted into something compulsive and out of control.

Dr. Patrick Carnes author of Out of the shadows — Understanding Sexual Addiction noticed many similarities between alcoholics, drug addicts and people who are obsessed with sex. Dr. Jennifer. P. Schneider a specialist in Addiction Medicine at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine defines sexual addiction as “A sexual behavior which is compulsive and continued despite serious adverse consequences.”

A person who likes to have a lot of sex generally has a feeling of well being after sexual activity. But an addict feels despair, depression and shame. An addict is obsessed with a certain sexual behavior, gets anxious if he can’t get it and can’t stop doing it even if he wants to stop. He will pursue sex in a desperate, out-of-control way, and he will continue to do it despite all adverse consequence — loss of his job, broken marriage, etc.

The causes of this addiction are not known. However two theories are popular. One has a “biochemical” basis and the other a “psychodynamic” basis. The first theory proposes that certain brain chemicals are released in large quantities producing euphoria. The second theory attributes the addiction to the person’s childhood development. Psychotherapy, certain medications and self help groups have all been shown to be beneficial for addicts.

The writer is a sexologist. Mail him at dr.narayana@deccanmail.com

Tags: harvey weinstein, sexual addiction