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Tiger Woods apology links infidelity and sex addiction

Posted Feb 25 2010 9:59am

Tiger Woods certainly hurt his wife, his family, his friends -- but in so doing he has helped take sex addiction out of the closet and has created awareness about infidelity as it relates to this disorder. 

While some still wonder if he is really a sex addict, I ask if they would pose the same question of a drug addict or an alcoholic?

Although sex addiction is not listed in the physician's Bible, the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, as an official diagnosis, that may change soon.

Reuters reports that"Dr. Dan Zucker of the University of Toronto, who heads a working group dealing with the next edition of the manual, said he expected 'hypersexuality disorder' to be listed.

" 'Certainly a lot of clinicians believe there is a clinical phenomenon of people who experience a lot of distress or get into a lot of trouble from having excessive sex,'" Zucker said.  Tiger Woods case puts spotlight on "sex addiction"

Here is information that I posted earlier

Psychology Today -- What is a sex addict?

Psychology Today defines a sex addict as follows: “Insatiable sexual hunger is not really a desire, an act of will, but rather a desperate need, a compulsion that is experienced as a craving. The need is pursued like a drug. . . . Like a drug addict or alcoholic, the sex addict relentlessly seeks satisfaction from an external source to palliate an internal pain.”  What Drives a Sex Addict?

The Cleveland Clinic -- Introduction to sex addiction

"The term sex addiction describes the behavior of someone who has an unusually strong sex drive or sexual obsession. Sex and thoughts of sex dominate a sex addict's thinking, making it difficult to work or engage in healthy personal relationships. Introduction to sexual addiction

For spouses and families, sex addiction is both hurtful and humilitating.

Here are some symptoms outlined by the Cleveland Clinic, which we have all read about in Tiger Woods stories 

  • Multiple affairs (extra-marital affairs)
  • Multiple or anonymous sexual partners and/or one-night stands
  • Consistent use of pornography
  • Unsafe sex
  • Phone or computer sex (cybersex)
  • Prostitution or use of prostitutes 

Treatment of sexual addiction focuses on controlling the addictive behavior and helping the person develop a healthy sexuality. Treatment includes education about healthy sexuality, individual counseling, and marital and/or family therapy. Support groups and 12 step recovery programs for people with sexual addictions (like Sex Addicts Anonymous) also are available. How is sexual addiction treated?

The addictive behavior of a sex addict means infidelity if he or she is married.He and Elin have a lot of healing ahead. 

As Tiger Woods made clear in his public apology -- it won't be words that will win back his wife, but rather his actions.  We wish them well.

TO SEE VIDEO and links to experts and sources Keep Reading »

Copyright 2010 Rita Watson

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