Yes, it will probably take another decade of studies until the DSM (the Bible of Psychiatric Diagnostics), accepts it as a diagnosis, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has just released its latest literature, The ICD-11 (11th version of the International Classification of Diseases) and compulsive sexual behavior is now listed as a diagnosable mental health condition.
This is actually a super huge deal.
Why is this so important? Because health professionals around the world treat this as one of the most important guides to diagnose physical and mental health issues. It’s also used by government agencies around the globe. The WHO is a well-respected organization with no political agenda.
If you’re reading this from the US, you’ll get this analogy: It would be like NBC (WHO) going on the air 10 minutes before everyone and announcing there was an earthquake. Ten minutes later ABC and CBS (DSM) would catch up. It’s akin to breaking news and now it will take a long time to understand what the real fallout is.
Unfortunately, many insurance agencies side with the DSM when it comes to these kind of things. I had to be processed into rehab with an impulse control disorder to have insurance cover my treatment. Even gambling addiction, which is recognized by the DSM, is still scoffed at as a legitimate diagnoses by many insurance companies.
While WHO came just short of calling this compulsive sexual behavior and addiction, it does define it as preoccupation to the point of obsession with and loss of control over sexual fantasy and behavior.
So the next time somebody says to you “Sex addiction isn’t real” or “Porn addiction isn’t real” you can punch them in the stomach and say, “Well Joshua Shea and the World Health Organization says it is!”
We now return you to Wheel of Fortune, already in progress….