Sex Addiction Open for Debate: Doctor

Article excerpt

Byline: Danny Rose of AAP

SEX addiction a fact or convenient fiction?

Tiger Woods has joined the list of high profile figures being treated for the malady, and yet there is debate in the medical community about whether it is a diagnosable mental condition.

And therefore, says New Zealand-based psychiatrist and addiction expert Dr John Berks, there is debate about whether his profession should treat it and how.

"I'd say there is much less research and evidence around (sex addiction) than, for example, alcohol addiction which has had many, many years of research around it," Dr Berks said yesterday.

"And it wouldn't be fully accepted as a mental health or addiction diagnosis by the majority of people in the profession in Australasia.

a... whether it should be seen as an addiction or not is up for debate."

Dr Berks will discuss the issue at the annual scientific meeting of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists which is under way in Auckland this week.

He said the college needed to develop a policy on sex addiction because with rising references to it, particularly in the US, the a[approximately]a[approximately]issue is not going to go away''.

The first alove addictsa group was set up in 1975, Dr Berks said, but a amore mainstream awarenessa of the issue had emerged over the past decade.

"It is likely to be something that we are going to be confronted with (as a profession) and asked to cite whether we consider it a real illness and diagnosis," he said. …