An addiction is a compulsive behavior that affects the mental and physical health of a person. Like any addiction, sex addiction is also harmful when not treated properly. So what is sex addiction actually means? According to the books, it refers to the range of behavior or sexual activities done in excess and significantly impacts one’s life negatively. The diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders (DSM-5) does not list sex addiction as a diagnosable condition yet. Still, researches prove that sex addiction can cause some serious damages to your physical and mental health.
SAST- Sexual Addiction Screening Test is an early assessment tool in diagnosing sex addiction behavior. It is basically a 25 item questionnaire developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes, but the revised version is recently proven to be more accurate than the original. Hence SAST-R, a 45 item questionnaire, emerged. Each item is designed by keeping in mind to assess the core symptoms of sexual addiction. The major pros of a psychometric tool like SAST are, people hesitate to open up to a medical practitioner in case of a questionnaire they can easily answer. In an area like sex addiction, coming out of the taboo is difficult, so the SAST tool helps diagnose primarily.
Though sex addiction and porn addiction seems to be the same, they are different. But porn addiction is also a type of sex addiction. There are few types of sex addiction like porn addiction, masturbating/fantasy addiction, sadistic sexual behavior, other excessivesexual pursuits. A person with sex addiction may come under any of the above-mentioned categories. You should not take this as an easy condition; research worldwide has proven that many mental disorders can result from sexual addiction.
In the Sex Addiction Screening Test -revised questionnaire, there are 45 questions. Each of the questions aims to discover your sexual habits' hidden symptoms that can possibly be a reason for addictive behavior. Questions like “Do you hide your sexual behavior from others?” “Do you often get filled with sexual thoughts?” helps you discover that a habit of yours is turning into an addiction. Each question has a standard binary response of yes or no; accordingly, a score of “1” is given to each question you answer “Yes.”
A SAST-R questionnaire score is calculated by adding the total no. of questions answered “Yes.”
There may be various reasons behind the cause for sex addiction in an individual, like Biological - Your hormones work that way, Psychological - various mental disorders can cause sex addiction or Social - many cases of sex addiction are exposed to child abuse by a close family or friend in the early stage. But what is crucial is to be aware of what you are going through can help you maintain the harmony between mind and body. So open up, take a SAST assessment, and look for a therapist if needed.
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