Sex Addiction: the Chicken-and-Egg Dilemma of Diagnosis

Michael Berry


In May 2013, the American Psychiatric Association will release the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). Interestingly, sex addiction, despite significant attention from mainstream media, will be omitted from the manual. This omission presents a challenge to clinicians who treat sex addiction, and researchers aiming to further our understanding of the issue. This commentary outlines some of the reasons sex addiction was not included in the DSM-V, including a ‘chicken-and-egg’ conundrum, which makes it difficult to generate research without a clear diagnosis, and difficult to establish a definitive diagnosis without a supportive body of research.


sex addiction; hypersexuality; DSM-V; psychosexual therapy; sex therapy

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