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Sexual Compulsion and Trauma

There is currently no consensus on the nature or definition of sexual compulsion, or indeed whether it should exist as a legitimate psychiatric diagnosis. Most sources characterize sexual compulsion as a compulsive or addiction disorder, with the primary pathological characteristic being an inability to control one's thoughts, urges, or behaviors of a sexual nature. Individuals who experience these issues may spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about, seeking, or having sexual encounters and often are severely impaired in their ability to retain marriages, careers, and interpersonal relationships. This entry discusses views on sexual compulsion, the role of trauma, and treatment options.

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors (such as checking or hand washing) or mental acts (such as recitation of a phrase or counting) that are performed ...

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