Are you overdoing the sexual act ?

Ever thought that someday you might need medical treatment for having sex? Hypersexuality is
something very few people know of or consider as a disorder. Anusha Iyengar throws light on the malady that sex is!

Hypersexuality, the name says it all. Getting into action all the time might sound like fun to some people! But it is much more complex than that. “Hyper sexuality or sex addiction can be attributed to two different factors: high testosterone level in your body or an addictive personality where a person feels the need to get addicted to something constantly. If not alcohol, then it can be tobacco, or drugs or sex,” explains Dr Rajan Bhonsle, M.D. Hon Professor & HOD, Department of Sexual Medicine, KEM Hospital, Mumbai, and GS Medical College, Mumbai.

What is hypersexuality?

Wikipedia defines it as a clinical diagnosis used by mental health care researchers to describe extremely frequent or suddenly increased sexual urges. Celebrities like Charlie Sheen, Russell Brand, Tiger Woods, Kanye West to name a few, have all accepted that they were sex addicts at some point in their lives! So how do you identify a hypersexual person? According to experts, a hypersexual person:

  1. Spends most of his/her time immersed in sexual fantasies and strategising the next plan of action.
  2. Depends on sex and sexual urges to get rid of depression, anxiety, boredom or irritability.
  3. Has a lot of unsuccessful attempts at reducing or controlling these sexual urges or fantasies.
  4. Has a rather unusual social life; while his friends and family are busy having a gala time with each other, he prefers being alone engaged in his sexual fantasies or behaviour.
  5. Gives in to his sexual urges despite knowing about all the harmful consequences he might face in the future.

Nothing cool about it

A lot of people – especially youngsters – believe that sex addiction is a cool thing. But it isn’t so. Many a times, hypersexuality has an adverse effect on people’s lives. People have been accused and boycotted by family and friends for being hyper sexual. Deepak G* (name changed), 30, was intelligent and successful. But he lost his job right before getting promoted as he was caught watching porn in the office. He is jobless now, as no other organisation wants to appoint him. Akshay K, 17, was appearing for his board exams. But sadly, he didn’t prepare for it because he was too pre-occupied thinking about and indulging in frequent sexual behaviour. Meenakshi S was a middle-aged woman with two grown-up sons. She was recently caught having sex with a man of her son’s age. During counselling, she revealed that she has had multiple partners as she can’t stop or control her sexual urges. Her husband, after several counselling sessions, was willing to accept her provided she stopped her sexcapades. She, however, could just not stop and her sons, ashamed and embarrassed, refused to accept her. “Mostly women do not open up about the problem because of the social stigma. However, gradually they are making some progress into accepting that they have a problem that needs to be treated. In most of these cases, the patients, both men and women, have had a record of severe emotional or attachment problems which has led to this abnormal sexual behaviour,” explains Dr Seema Hingoranny, a psychologist.

Help is at hand

Once a person understands that he/she is hypersexual, the most important factor to consider is acceptance – whether they ready to accept that they have a problem and need help. Only when they accept this fact will they be able to take a step further to deal with it. Besides that, what is also important is the society’s help and support. Different people deal with the malady differently. Ananya C*, a banker, recently came across a close family member who turned out to be a sex addict. “I just didn’t know what to do. But I definitely know that I’m not stepping foot into that family member’s house again. It’s sick and insane,” she says. According to experts, Ananya’s approach is not the right way to deal with the issues. People need to understand that it’s a medical condition and a hypersexual person needs the support of friends and family members. So instead of labelling them as perverts and shunning them, make an effort to take them to a psychologist, sexologist or a sex counsellor.

Of treatment and support

In a country like India where sex is still considered a taboo in a lot of places, it is difficult to come out and accept that you might have a problem. There is a constant fear of being judged by society. Then again, most of them fail to realise or accept that it is a problem and not just something you enjoy doing. The most important question is, can hypersexuality be treated? “Of course, it can be treated!” quips Dr Rajan Bhonsle. “There is a multi-model approach that all doctors and patients need to follow. Just medication or counselling is not enough,” he adds.
According to Dr Hingoranny, it is extremely important for doctors to know the past record of the patient before they decide on the treatment process. “It is necessary to know if the patient has been molested or sexually abused or is very low on confidence,” she says.
Dr Bhonsle suggests that, apart from medication and counselling, at times the patients also need to be admitted in a rehabilitation centre. “It is very crucial for doctors to supervise the routine and examine the behaviour of the patient. But all these three procedures (medication, counselling and getting admitted for a rehabilitation) must be followed simultaneously. Otherwise it doesn’t really help the patient much. It takes approximately three months for a person to get treated,” he concludes. So the next time you happen to notice an exceptional sexual behaviour in someone in or around your circle, take charge and offer your best help.

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