Obsessive sexual behavior has many labels including nymphomaniac, erotomania, hypersexuality or one having a sexual addiction. People who have this disorder may start to disassociate with family members, quit or get fired from their jobs and spend vast amounts of time thinking of ways to fulfill their sexual needs. The sexual behavior of people with this disorder is often unhealthy and self-destructive. Unfortunately the end result of this behavior is even deeper feelings of depression and unfulfilled needs.
Individuals that have obsessive sexual behavior can identify the problem by noting certain behaviors. Reading pornographic material constantly, having multiple sexual partners or frequenting prostitutes, exhibitionism and exposing yourself in public are signs of this disorder. The sexual behavior of people with this disorder often includes engaging in sadistic or masochistic sexual behavior that causes pain to yourself or your partner.
People that have an unhealthy view towards sex and are male are most often diagnosed with obsessive sexual behavior as adults. The underlying problem may be depression, bipolar disorder or other neurological disorders such as epilepsy or dementia. Individuals with this disorder often appear fine on the outside but they are usually chronically depressed on the inside.
Negative consequences of this disorder may include sexually transmitted diseases, HIV or AIDS, engaging in other high risk behavior such as using intravenous drugs and large quantities of alcohol, experiencing financial losses due to spending money in strip clubs, sex chat lines and Internet sex chats. Individuals with this disorder may also jeopardize their marriage and their jobs because they have lost interest in everything else but getting their next sexual "fix."
Questions that can help determine whether or not an individual has this disorder include asking them whether or not they can control their sexual impulses, have they been arrested because of their sexual behavior, is sex always on their mind and if they are neglecting friends and family so that they can engage in or think about sexual fantasies. If any of these questions can be answered positively then they should seek professional help. Primary care physicians can offer referrals to specialists that treat obsessive sexual behavior. Treatment usually consists of one or more of the following: psychological counseling, marriage counseling, self-help groups and drugs such as ReVia, Zoloft, Paxil or Prozac.
If obsessive sexual behavior is left untreated it may lead to further depression, feelings of extreme loneliness and negativity. Continuing this behavior can lead to intense negative feelings and depression, especially after engaging in negative sexual behavior. Individuals should seek counseling as soon as they realize that the quality of their life is suffering.
There are many forms of treatment available for this disorder. Individuals that are uncomfortable talking to therapists in person may also find help by phone-in help lines and therapists that offer help on the Internet.