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Sex Addiction Not Included in DSM as a Disorder

Update Date: Dec 10, 2012 06:33 AM EST

Contrary to earlier reports that "sex addiction" would be considered for an inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association reports that the condition does not make the cut as an official psychiatric disorder.

The APA approved the latest version of its mental health handbook known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) Dec. 1, and the new manual includes many new disorders such as hoarding and binge eating, reports The Huffington Post.

However, the diagnosis and treatment of sex addiction is not included in the new manual.

The decision was made after a study was published in October wherein the proposed criteria for hypersexual disorder were tested.

The proposed definition categorized a person showing symptoms like relentless sexual urges that feel out of their control, excessive sexual activities, frequent usage of sex to cope with stress, and interference of sexual activities in day-to-day life functioning as suffering from the disorder. However, a person who has sex frequently does not qualify for the disorder, Mail Online reported earlier.

Rory Reid, a research psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the lead researcher of the study, when asked about those who could be categorized as having the disorder had told the website MyHealthNewsDaily: "They might consider the consequences momentarily, but somehow feel their need for sex is more important, and choose sex even in situations where such choices might cause significant problems or harm, such as job loss, relationship problems or financial difficulties."

Reid was apparently not surprised with APA's decision to not include the hypersexual disorder in DSM-5, because sexual disorders are generally controversial, the Huffington Post report said.

There are still more issues the APA wants addressed. Reid's study included only people who were already seeking help for a mental condition. Thus, it remains unclear if the criteria would apply in diagnosing people in the general population, Reid said.

For a person to be diagnosed with the disorder, the sexual urges must have caused distress in the patient's life and should not be a result of any another mental disorder or drug intake.

Developing the criteria for the disorder was a significant step in the field because it allows researchers to study the disorder in a uniform way, Reid said, according to the report.

Reid further said that APA's rejection of inclusion of the disorder in DSM 5 would hardly make any difference in his day-to-day work.

"People are still coming into the therapist office and saying this is a problem. As a psychologist...I'm going to try to understand what's going on, I'm going to try to help them," he said. "That's true whether it's in the DSM or not."

There were no comments from APA reported.

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