Is it fair to call Tiger Woods a sex addict?
Tiger Woods’ relationship woes are making national headlines following his breakup with Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, and rumors are swirling that he may have cheated again.
This comes on the heels of his 2009 marriage debacle, where Woods was called many things, including a “sex addict” on social media.
The term is often thrown around carelessly, but mental health experts say the definition needs clarification.
“Without speaking to him, it is hard to tell if Tiger is a sex addict,” says Dr. Pradeep Thapar, psychiatrist with Advocate Physician Partners. “He may have other things that may cause him to use sex as a relief from stress. Regardless, it would be best for him to see a therapist and help him deal with any mental issue he is having.”
Nearly 12 million people suffer from sexual addiction within the U.S., according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
Dr. Thapar shares a few signs that a sex addict may display:
- Multiple sexual partners in a week or month
- Frequent masturbation and/or need to view pornography
- Not receiving pleasure from sex, just needing to do it
- They are hyper sexualized due to previous sexual abuse or over exposure to sex
For those who exhibit these signs, Dr. Thapar says they need to seek help.
“The first step is recognizing that there is a problem,” he says. “The next step would actually getting the help you need. Treatment may include psychotherapy and potentially medication, if needed.”
Dr. Thapar also notes that quite often patients are sexual addicts because of childhood sexual abuse, or because they have a mental disorder such as being bi-polar.
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