Sex addiction is a common occurrence among individuals with established personality disorders, especially borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder. Sex addiction is a term used to describe a type of behavioural addiction that involves compulsive sexual behaviours, urges or thoughts. According to a study published in the Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity journal, individuals affected by the symptoms linked to sex addiction have an unusually high tendency to also exhibit symptoms of at least one personality disorder.
What Is Sex Addiction?
Sex addiction goes by many names, such as compulsive sexual behaviour, nymphomania, and hypersexuality. Some individuals affected by sex addiction develop compulsive behaviours or thought patterns associated with the sexual practices that are usually shared by consenting adults. Other sex addicts develop compulsive patterns linked to less common behaviours or thoughts that may or may not violate laws or socially accepted standards.
Either way, sex-related conduct or thought reduces an affected person’s sense of well-being and ability to maintain or create a productive regime.
What Are Personality Disorders?
Personality disorders are a set of conditions that involve long-lasting, dysfunctional changes in a person’s daily personality. Each personality disorder creates its own distinguishing mental health issues. According to the American Psychiatric Association guidelines, the ten official personality disorders include:
- Schizoid Personality Disorder
- Paranoid Personality Disorder
- Schizotypal Personality Disorder
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Histrionic Personality Disorder
- Antisocial Personality Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
- Avoidant Personality Disorder
- Dependent Personality Disorder
As a general rule, each personality disorder begins during adolescence and is officially diagnosable in adulthood. Personality disorders produce mild, moderate or severe disturbances in intimate or social relationships, school or careers or other important public or personal obligations.
Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders: Sex Addiction And Personality Disorders
Evidence has started to suggest that sex addiction is linked to the presence of dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders. Research is uncovering that people who suffer from sex addiction also often suffer from other psychological conditions. According to a study, over 90 percent of sex addicts display symptoms of personality disorders.
Similarly to other forms of addiction, the relationship between dual diagnosis and sex addiction is extremely complex. The complexity stems from the fact that hypersexuality is a symptom of many emotional and mental disorders. Thus, the issue becomes whether the hypersexuality that a sex addict displays is a symptom of a secondary diagnosis or a symptom of a co-occurring condition. In reality, it likely occurs both ways and depends on the person and their symptoms.
Some of the most common co-occurring personality disorders that have been found among people who are suffering from sex addiction include Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Bipolar Disorder and Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD).
Borderline Personality Disorder And Sex Addiction
BPD is a complex condition that causes people to become so impulsive that they end up being self-destructive. In addition, they have unpredictable behaviours and moods that cause instability in their relationships. Furthermore, people who suffer from BPD regularly display brief psychotic episodes, which has conventionally made it easy to confuse BPD symptoms with other conditions.
The primary attributes of BPD include impulsive and reckless behaviour, the inability to regulate emotions and thoughts and having unhealthy or unstable relationships. Due to BPD’s self-destructive tendencies, people who suffer from both BPD and sex addiction tend to use hypersexual behaviour as a method of endangerment and self-harm, especially in regards to practicing safe sex.
Bipolar Disorder And Sex Addiction
Bipolar disorder is one of the most common personality disorders and describes a condition where an individual experiences unpredictable shifts in energy and mood level. These shifts result in a person alternating between a depressive state and an energetic, manic state. These two distinctive states are usually severe and dramatic in people with bipolar disorder.
During episodes of mania, the person usually suffers from racing thoughts that are on the edge of delusional. This makes it difficult for them to focus and often causes them to become reckless and impulsive, which is how sex addiction tends to form.
Dependent Personality Disorder And Sex Addiction
DPD is often referred to as love addiction since individuals with this condition have a compulsive need to be taken care of, to the point of clinginess, excessive attachment, and submissiveness. Regarding dual diagnosis of DPD and sex addiction, the person often starts using sex as a way to inspire their partner to take care of them. Sex then becomes a type of currency that the person uses to attract a caregiver. Furthermore, sex serves a way of validating their relationship along with signifying the submissive role that the sex addict must adopt.
Treatment For Personality Disorder And Sex Addiction At The Dawn Rehab Thailand
When a person suffering from dual diagnosis seeks treatment at a sex addiction rehab centre, they must receive a proper assessment before starting treatment. It is important to find a mental health and sex rehab centre that is qualified to handle co-occurring disorders.
The Dawn Medical Rehab & Wellness Centre provides an effective inpatient sex addiction treatment programme that will help the person overcome their sex addiction and personality disorder simultaneously in a nurturing and safe environment.