WHO recognizes ‘compulsive sexual behavior’ as a mental disorder

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The World Health Organization has recognized ‘compulsive sexual behavior’ as a mental disorder, but said on Saturday it was unclear whether it was an addiction on the same basis as gambling or gambling. substance addiction.

The controversial term “sex addiction” has been around for decades, but experts disagree that the condition exists.

In the latest update to its catalog of diseases and injuries around the world, the WHO takes a step towards legitimizing the concept, recognizing “compulsive sexual behavior disorder”, or CSBD, as a mental illness.

But the United Nations health body stops short of grouping the condition with addictive behaviors like drug addiction or gambling, insisting that more research is needed before describing the disorder as an addiction.

“Conservatively, we don’t think the evidence is there yet (…) that the process is equivalent to the process with alcohol or heroin,” the expert told AFP on Saturday. WHO Geoffrey Reed.

In its International Classification of Diseases (ICD) update, published last month, the WHO said CSBD is “characterized by a persistent failure to control intense and repetitive sexual impulses or urges…which cause marked distress or impairment”.

But he said scientific debate was still ongoing over “whether or not compulsive sexual behavior disorder constitutes a manifestation of behavioral addiction”.

Reed said it was important that the ICD registry, which is widely used as a reference for diagnoses and health insurers, includes a concise definition of compulsive sexual behavior disorder to ensure those affected can get help.

“There is a population of people who feel out of control about their own sexual behavior and who suffer because of it,” he said, pointing out that their sexual behavior sometimes has “very serious consequences”. .

“This is a true clinical population of people who have a legitimate medical condition and can legitimately receive services,” he said.

It’s still unclear how many people have the disease, but Reed said the ICD list would likely prompt more research into the disease and its prevalence, as well as determining the most effective treatments.

“Maybe we’ll end up saying, yeah, it’s an addiction, but that’s just not where we are at this point,” Reed said.

But even without the addiction label, he said he thinks the new categorization would be “reassuring” because it lets people know they have “a real condition” and can seek treatment.

No excuse for rape

Allegations of “sex addiction” have increasingly made headlines in step with the #MeToo movement, which has seen people around the world report allegations of sexual abuse.

The uprising has brought down powerful men in every industry, including disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who is believed to have spent months in treatment for sex addiction.

Reed said he doesn’t believe there is any concern that the new CSBD list could be used by people like Weinstein to excuse alleged criminal behavior.

“It doesn’t excuse someone being sexually abused or raped… any more than being an alcoholic excuses you from driving a car when you’re drunk. You still made the decision to act,” he said. -he declares.

Although it did not recognize sex addiction in its first ICD catalog update since the 1990s, the WHO has for the first time recognized video gaming as an addiction, listing it alongside addictions. gambling and drugs like cocaine.

The document, which member states will be asked to approve at the World Health Assembly in Geneva next May, will take effect from January 1, 2022 if adopted.


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© 2018AFP

Quote: WHO recognizes ‘compulsive sexual behavior’ as a mental disorder (2018, July 15) Retrieved May 27, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-07-recognises-compulsive-sexual-behaviour-mental .html

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