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But unlike other addictions, this one isn't officially recognized.There's no health coverage for it, no medication, and for those trapped in its strange and unrelenting spell, no easy way out.
The number of certified sex-addiction therapists has more than doubled since 2008, according to the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals.You act out—you can’t act out—in order to escape from unbearable feelings: depression, severe ADD, bipolar disorders, the scars of family trauma, profound despair.Most addictions require you to extend yourself in some way—go to a particular place, spend a certain amount of money. The fuel for your disease is all around you, invading your senses. But when I ask him if he’s tired, he says no, just the opposite: "I sleep In a wedding photograph on the wall, Jacob holds hands with his wife, Ashley, on a country lane.It's like living with a meth dealer at your side, or a brick of cocaine in your pocket.Worse, you can get a potential high from every person you meet.Hollywood is just the latest market to capitalize on this phenomenon, even if filmmakers’ depictions tend to do more harm than good.
On-screen, sex addiction tends to be portrayed as glamorous, even fleetingly aspirational—either posey, broody, and existential or chaotically fun in a Warren Beatty-in-the-’70s kind of way.
I’d hoped to talk with Ashley today, but she and Jacob have decided against it.
I get the impression that her forgiveness may be so provisional that simply facing a reporter’s questions for an hour could undo it.
Eli Coleman, a psychologist and director of the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota, estimates that approximately 19 million Americans—5 to 7 percent of the population—are hypersexual. "We’re all blind in this field," says UCLA neuroscientist Nicole Prause.
This much is certain: More and more people are seeking treatment. In each year over the past decade, the number of groups registered with Sex Addicts Anonymous, one of the nation’s largest twelve-step organizations for sex addiction, has grown by 10 percent.
Research has yet to confirm that extreme sexual behavior really is addictive in the same neuroscientific sense that, for instance, habitual heroin use appears to be.