Psychology 1000 Study Guide - Final Guide: Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, Internet Addiction Disorder

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27 Dec 2013
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Addiction Behaviours
- Sexual Addiction
- Internet Addiction
- Change and motivation
Sexual Addiction
Sexual Addiction Towards An Understanding
- A progressive intimacy disorder characterized by sexual thoughts and acts
- Negative impact on addict and family increases as disorder progresses
- Addict has to intensify addictive behaviour over time to achieve same results
Terms Used In The Past
- Nymphomania term used for females only
- Satyriasis term used for men only
- Erotomania
- Don Juanism term used for men only; has a predatory quality/connotation
- Paraphilia-related Disorders Paraphilias are sexual disorders listed in the DSM referring to what we may
consider quirky sexual behaviours; e.g. foot fetish
- Hypersexuality interchangeable with sexual addiction term
- Last 2 terms are still in use
Origins Of Term “Sexual Addiction”
- Patrick Carnes (1983) popularized the concept of compulsive sexual behaviour as an addiction in his book Out of
the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction now widely used in treatment centers
- Himself a recovering sex addict, he is largely responsible for the current common use of the term
- Executive Director of Gentle Path program at Pine Grove Behavioural Centre, Mississippi
- “Engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behaviour acted out despite increasing negative
consequences to self and others” (National Council on Sexual Addiction)
- Consequences, i.e. potential health risks, financial problems, shattered relationships, or even arrest
American Psychiatric Association (2010)
- Hypersexual Disorder
- “Over a period of at least 6 months, a person experiences recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges, and
sexual behaviour in association with four or more of the following five criteria”:
1. Excessive time consumed by sexual fantasies and planning of sexual behaviour
2. Repetitively engaging in fantasies and behaviours in response to dysphoric mood
3. Or in response to stressful life events
4. Repetitive but unsuccessful efforts to control or reduce fantasies and behaviours
5. Disregarding risk of physical or emotional harm to self or others
DSM IV (1994)
- De-listed Sexual Addiction from DSM II
- Referred to as “Sexual Disorders Not Otherwise Specified”
o “Distress about a pattern of repeated sexual relationships involving a succession of lovers who are
experiences by the individual only as things to be used”
o “Compulsive searching for multiple partners, compulsive fixation on an unattainable partner, compulsive
masturbation, compulsive love relationships and compulsive sexuality in a relationship”
DSM V (2013)
- Does not contain diagnostic criteria or treatment suggestions for sex addiction or hypersexuality
- However, it is listed among the conditions that require more research
- Key concepts failure to control the behaviour and continuing despite harmful consequences
- “Addictive sexual disorders that do not fit into standard DSM IV categories can best be diagnosed using an
adaptation of the DSM-IV criteria for substance dependence”
- Sexual addiction is not referring to frequent sex, multiple partners, unusual behaviours (paraphilias) reference
alcoholism/drug addiction
- Criteria must include the impact the behaviours have on individual’s functioning, emotional and psychological
well-being, negative consequences to others, loss of control, tolerance, psychological withdrawal, etc.
Sex Addicts/Sex Offenders
- Sex addicts do not necessarily become sex offenders
- Not all sex offenders are sex addicts
- About 55% of convicted sex offenders can be considered sex addicts
- About 71% of child molesters are sex addicts
- Possible biochemical abnormality (antidepressants and psychotropic medications have shown more efficacy)
- Seek pleasure, avoid unpleasant feelings or respond to outside stressors such as work or interpersonal problems
- More likely to have been abused as children (82% of sex addicts report being sexually abused as children)
- Often come from dysfunctional families
- Parents often described as rigid, distant, uncaring
- Parents more likely to be substance abusers
- 80% of recovering sex addicts report some type of addiction in their families of origin
Continuum Of Behaviours Of Sex Addiction:
- Compulsive masturbation
- Extensive use of pornography, phone or internet sex services
- Anonymous sex
- Repeated infidelity
- Compulsive use of escort services and prostitutes
- Exhibitionism
- Obscene phone calls
- Voyeurism
- Child molestation
- Rape/sexual assault
- Continuum Least harmful to most harmful
- Exhibitionism is illegal
- Voyeurism Watching other people; voyeurs often “peeping Toms”; invading on people’s privacy
- Poorly understood and difficult to diagnose
- Controversy about what to call it
- Inconsistencies in the way it is diagnosed make it hard to determine prevalence, but best estimate indicate
between 3 and 6% of Americans (National Association of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity)
Symptoms For Assessment
- Frequently engaging in more sex and with more partners than intended
- Preoccupation with or persistent craving for sex
- Wanting to cut down and unsuccessfully attempting to limit sexual activity
- Mental obsession thinking of sex to the detriment of other activities or continually engaging in excessive sexual
practices despite a desire to stop
- Spending considerable time in activities related to sex, such as cruising for partners or spending hours online
visiting pornographic websites
- Neglecting obligations such as work, school or family in pursuit of sex
- Continuing despite negative consequences
- Escalating scope or frequency of sexual activity to achieve the desired effect
- Feeling irritable when unable to engage in the desired behaviour
- Organizing their lives around sex as the primary goal
Treatment And Recovery
- 60 90 day self-imposed abstinence often recommended
- Facing guilt, shame and depression
- Exploration of emotional cues and circumstances that trigger sexual thought and compulsive behaviour
- Exploration of arousal templates and contamination of same
- Facilitated disclosure in couples work
- 12-step program
- CBT (cognitive-behavioural therapy)
- Trauma therapy
- Group therapy
- Development of healthy sexual behaviours template
- Medication Particularly antidepressants may have some benefit in reducing sexual obsessions
Support Groups
- Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA)
- Sexaholics Anonymous
- Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous 12-step
- Sexual Compulsives Anonymous 12-step
- Sexual Recovery Anonymous 12-step
Support Groups For Family Members
- S-Anon 12-step program
- Co-Dependents of Sexual Addiction (COSA)
- And for couples:
o Recovering Couples Anonymous 12-step
Internet Addiction
Some Facts About Internet Use
- 71% of office workers use the internet for personal purposes during work hours
- Cybersex, online affairs, and online gambling are the most common forms of internet addiction
- Internet predators are twice as likely to have an internet addiction
- Chinese government banned the opening of internet cafes in 2007
o 2004 boot camp for males 14 19 years old
- Serious epidemic in China, Korea and Taiwan
- Studies have documented internet addiction in Australia, Italy, Pakistan, Iran, Germany, Amsterdam, India and the
Czech Republic
Death By Internet
- Daniel Petric, June 2007 16 years old, home sick with a staph infection, became obsessed with video games
When parents tried to limit him, he shot them both in the head
o Tried as minor and received 23 years in prison
o His attorney used Internet Addiction as the defense, arguing that the boy thought he was still in the game
- Chris Stanforth, July 2011, 20-year-old Xbox addict from Sheffield, England, who died suddenly after playing 12
straight hours
o Died of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), a blood clot from inactivity that travelled from his left calf into his
- South Korean couple, May 2010, remained at an internet café all night on a video game bender, ironically playing a
game in which they raised a virtual child
o Meanwhile, their real child, born premature and weighing only 5 pounds, died of malnourishment at home
o Were to serve 2 years in prison, but wife given amnesty because she was pregnant at sentencing
- South Korea one of highest rates of internet addiction and most-wired countries in the world
- Roughly 1 in 20 internet users is an internet addict
- Chen Shi, 16, September 2010, China Killed at Beiteng School in Changsha, China, a boot-camp for internet
addiction Intensive labour and beatings
o Chen beaten to death for not following an order Parents were told it was sunstroke
o China Internet epidemic, 1 in 10 Chinese internet users is allegedly an addict
- 13-year-old Vietnamese boy, 2007 Strangled an 81-year-old woman with a rope and buried her under a pile of
sand in his front yard