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Before you snigger into your latte, sex addiction is a very real, although not clearly definable, disorder.

While not a clinical entry into medical classification, the phrase 'sex addiction' refers to patterns of sexual behaviour that qualify as necessitating medical treatment.

According to everyone's first resource, Wikipedia, sexual addiction is characterised by compulsive engagement in a behaviour, despite negative consequences.

This means that the term 'sex addict' cannot be used synonymously with 'high sex drive'.

Moreover, a high number of sexual partners or frequent sexual intercourse does not bear any relation to sexual addiction.

Rather, sexual addiction implies a lack of control with destructive implications, which is more comparable to drug or alcohol addictions.

In fact, research from the University of Cambridge showed people with compulsive sexual behaviour showed similar signs of brain engagement (relating to reward and motivation) as people with drug addiction.

However, it remains unclear whether sexual addiction is one manifestation of issues such as depression, anxiety etc, or whether sexual addiction is in itself a root problem.

Nevertheless, according to psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendriksen, there six signs that can help you identify the difference between a high libido, and a problem with sex addiction.

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