The World Health Organisation recently declared sex addiction a mental health disorder and noted that people who suffer from the disorder for at least six months and experience substantial distress should be entitled to medical treatment.
Even though up to four per cent of people in the UK are believed to suffer from sex addiction, the NHS currently does not recognise it as an illness. This could change in future and one day sex addiction may also be treated on the NHS along with depression and anxiety, health professionals believe.
According to Dr Valerie Voon from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, sex addiction is still considered a taboo subject and WHO’s recognition as a mental health disorder could help take it out of the shadows.
She told The Sun: “It is a behaviour that tends to be hidden as it’s shameful and often sex addicts don’t come forward. Adding this to the WHO list is an excellent step for patients as it allows them to recognise that they are suffering with a problem. It takes it out of the shadows and they are able to seek help for it.”
In recent times, quite a number of people, including celebrities, have opened up about their battle with sex addiction in a bid to get rid off the shame associated with the disorder.
Earlier this year, author Erica Garza released her memoir titled Getting Off: One Woman’s Journey Through Sex and Porn Addiction, where she detailed her own experience with sex addiction. She penned the book to give people an insight into the nature and prevalence of sex addiction.
“I think the common narrative with sex addictions and most addictions is that it’s preceded by abuse and trauma and so I really wanted to open up that narrative and show that it could really happen to anyone, even if you had a safe, loving childhood as I had,” she explained to The Guardian.