WHAT’S SEX ADDICTION Interview to Tonino Cantelmi, psychiatrist

  • Italiano

Money decrease visibly. Or even we get to cheat just to have them. Concentration becomes almost nothing. Friendships are rare, superficial or manipulative to get more money. trying a thousand excuses to be absent from the workplace. Lies bloom uncontrollably in every family, work and relationships. And it ends up being increasingly isolated, often aggressive without reason, with a delirium of omnipotence that expires quickly after every relationship, the self-devaluation.

These are sex addicts. 82% are men (there are also women, but the percentage is very low), who lead a normal life, often married or life partners, seeking compensation to escape the stress, duped by the many social networking provocations, meeting sites , chat with the result of encapsulating the sexual need and sacrifice everything else without being able to manage everyday life. “If the search of professional success is compensatory of emotional problems – explains the psychiatrist Tonino Cantelmi – it can happen that a sexual addiction develops.” even suddenly. Employees come to lose contact with their emotions and, despite the euphoria during sex, later feel a great emptiness and experience a deep feeling of worthlessness.

In the United States it is called sex addiction and is a real drug for those who can not live without sex 20-30 in a week. It is the drug that also ruined people like Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, Kate Moss, Burt Reynolds, because it is an addiction, an obsession during all day and night, needs a cure. The Roman psychiatrist Tonino Cantelmi for this reason has created a few years ago in Rome a center for research and treatment of sexual addiction, the first of its kind in Italy, based on individual and group psychotherapy instead of pharmacological treatments.

How to recognize sexual addiction?
“It is a pathological relationship with sex, through which the person takes refuge in search of a pleasure that can relieve stress, it allows to escape from negative or painful feelings, from intimate relations who is unable to manage. In the person addicted to sex we find the obsessiveness about the behaviors or sexual ideation; impulsivity or restlessness and anxiety associated with the failure to regulate sexual desires. Finally we observe the compulsivity that is, the repetition of sexual behaviors that the person feels driven to act, even against his own will. ”

How old are your patients?
“Sexual addiction has no age limits. Obviously there are different ways, but the fact is that even young and very young can have these problems. Sexual addiction affects about 5% of the male population and there is no doubt that many sex addicts spend time, money and energy looking for sex even for paid sex, often using websites, chat rooms and pornography”.

Those sexual disorders that lead men to paid sex is more frequent after age 40?
“Among the patients, many refer to frequent prostitutes, more or less occasionally. Today the sexual offer, also through chat, apps and meeting websites, is almost obsessive. However female prostitution is still a fast mode and disengaged attracting a particular clientele: that of adults, who lead a normal life, often married or life partners “.

What do you think about the increase of minor priming online and research of virgin girls? What are the causes?
“The search for sex with minors is a perversion, it has always crossed with violent methods in some cases or exploiting poverty. Today we see  victim girls fascinated by the possibility to receive money or luxury items. This is a serious negligence of adults who should protect them much more.

Among the patients that you have taken care  in these years there are also men who do not use condoms in casual sex? In your opinion why men seem increasingly indifferent to the risk of spreading infectious diseases and how is it possible that this will happen even if the person has an apparent married life?
“In this case we speak of Samos Syndrometakes its name from a Greek island where lepers were confined. It is said that the risk fascinated girls went to Samos to kiss the lepers to challenge the sickness. Behind these behaviors are hidden reasons ranging from the need of omnipotence and challenge to death. There are people who pay twice or three times just to have relationships at risk. ”

Why a double life even in those who appear satisfied by a relationship and a stable job is becoming more widespread ? It is really necessary to transgress for being happy?
“No it’s the opposite. We transgress driven by a kind of unhappiness that generates more misery! In fact the transgression, that within certain limits and in certain phases of the life can be experimentation and knowledge, it is most often an emotional mode, a wrong way to manage the discomfort. ”

In the therapeutic path proposed in your center also women of the men sex addicts are involved, often unconscious of their husband, companion or boyfriend’s disorders.
“Women after the first shock and help to address the problem, they turn into real therapeutic resources: we have seen the rebuild and rediscover lost equilibrium. The paths of forgiveness and rebuilding their intimacy made by some women were surprising. “

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