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WHO lists sex addiction as mental illness


Couple having Sex PHOTO:AFP

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed sex addiction as a mental illness.

This is coming a month after it listed gaming as mental health disorder.

According to WHO, a person is addicted to sex when they show “persistent pattern of failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behaviour.”

“It is a behaviour that tends to be hidden as it’s shameful and often sex addicts don’t come forward,” Dr. Valerie Voon of the Royal College of Psychiatrists told The Sun UK.


“Adding this to the WHO list is an excellent step for patients as it allows them to recognize that they are suffering with a problem — it takes it out of the shadows and they are able to seek help for it.”

Symptoms include sex becoming the “central focus” of the person’s life at the neglect of health, personal care or interests and responsibilities.

The behaviour should be clear for six months or more and cause distress in personal lives.

Voon said it may be treated alongside conditions such as depression and anxiety.

WHO added sex addiction to their 11th edition of its International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11) which was released on June 18. The ICD is WHO’s tool for diagnosing, managing and treating various physical and mental disorders.

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