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Shame stops women from getting help

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012
The New Paper
By Maureen Koh

In her opinion, "all human beings are born sexual and there is no limit placed on the frequency of sexual encounters that humans can engage in".

Psychiatrist Tan Teng Kiat, who runs a private practice, explains that as with all other forms of addiction, the progressive intimacy disorder is characterised by a person's "compulsive sexual thoughts and acts".

"It all depends on the intensity of the addictive nature as the disorder progresses," he says. In most cases, all activities are restricted to masturbation or porn indulgence.

But when the addiction moves on to include exhibitionism, voyeurism, child molestation or rape, it indicates the condition is serious, says Mr Lim.

All three experts reiterate that sex addicts don't necessarily become sex offenders. "Just as not all sex offenders are sex addicts," Dr Tan says.

Depending on the person and the extent of the addiction, there are various methods to treat sex addiction.

Dr Lee says one method includes the use of anti-depressants which essentially lower a person's sex drive.

But generally, says Dr Tan, it takes sessions of psychotherapy to help addicts develop strategies to help them cope with their urges.

Mr Lim says: "Once they are willing to go from the first step of admission and move to the next step of accepting the cope-strategy, it's more than half the battle won."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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