Do you know someone with a sex addiction, or an overactive sex drive? Recent research has shown that sex addiction can be linked to hyperactive stress systems.
In a stress regulation test using the cortisone drug dexamethasone, men with hypersexual disorder showed higher levels of stress hormones than controls, a finding that the researchers hope will contribute to improved therapy for this patient group.
The study involved 67 men with hypersexual disorder and 39 healthy matched controls. The participants were carefully diagnosed for hypersexual disorder and any co-morbidity with depression or childhood trauma. The researchers gave them a low dose of dexamethasone on the evening before the test to inhibit their physiological stress response, and then in the morning measured their levels of stress hormones cortisol and ACTH. They found that patients with hypersexual disorder had higher levels of such hormones than the healthy controls, a difference that remained even after controlling for co-morbid depression and childhood trauma.
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