Bipolar disorder is one of the most common mood disorders in the world, affecting millions of people each year. This common disorder is also very complex and can produce a wide range of side effects that can contribute to the development of additional disorders and addictions.
Can Bipolar Disorder Cause Sex Addiction?
Someone who has certain types of bipolar disorder will experience episodes of mania or hypomania. Mania is considered a period of intense, over-active behavior that creates a number of residual side effects, while hypomania does the same but only on a smaller scale. Both hypomania and mania can play a vital role in the development of sex addiction in the following ways:
- Increased hypersexuality – Hypersexuality is a common symptom of hypomania/mania in bipolar disorder and causes individuals to experience lowered inhibitions that play into their desire to engage in sexual acts with either themselves or others. If hypomanic symptoms are not controlled, hypersexuality can become excessive to the extent that the individual becomes constantly sexually active.
- Heightened confidence – Another major symptom of bipolar hypomania/mania is a heightened sense of self. This increased confidence can create egotistical and boisterous behavior, which can be reinforced through the participation in sexual activities.
- No fear of consequences – Most individuals who experience hypomania often find that during this period of time, they are not concerned with the consequences of their actions. This, coupled with their increased hypersexuality, can lead to sexual binges and dangerous sexual encounters that can harm them physically, as well as harm their significant others emotionally.
These side effects of bipolar disorder can propel sufferers into a cycle of addiction.
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder and Sex Addiction
Many individuals who have bipolar disorder often find themselves struggling with one or more co-morbid issues that impact their daily life. For some, that issue is sex addiction. By getting treatment for bipolar disorder, which often includes medications and therapeutic assistance, these individuals can begin learning how to live with bipolar in ways that do not interrupt their everyday lives. They can begin to adapt new skills into their lives that help curb their increased sexual desires as well as address additional issues pertaining to both their bipolar disorder and their associated sex addiction.