Hypersexuality and bipolar disorder

Jan 10, 18 Hypersexuality and bipolar disorder

Hypersexuality and Bipolar Disorder

These conditions do not have a cause and effect relationship. Hypersexuality and bipolar disorder (BPD) are not the same and can’t be used interchangeably. Being bipolar does not cause someone to be hypersexual. Being hypersexual does not mean someone is bipolar. However, an increase in risky behaviors is related to bipolar manic episodes.

What is Hypersexuality

But what is hypersexuality? To be honest, we’re not really sure. And that is the collective “we”. What would be considered “hypersexual” to one person (say a very conservative and religious person) may not be considered hypersexual to someone with a more fluid and liberal view of sexuality. That’s not to say a religious person can’t have a healthy sense of sexuality and a healthy sex life. That’s not the point. The point is sexuality (and extreme behaviors) is based on many factors. But, since the term hypersexuality is meant to describe an excessive behavior that is likely to result in harm, the important thing to consider is RISK. Is the sexual activity risky based on the person’s life situation combined with common sense standards. For example, it would certainly be risky for married man to engage in unprotected intercourse with strangers.

How are Hypersexuality and Bipolar Disorder Related

How does this relate to bipolar disorder? Someone experiencing a manic episode can engage in many behaviors that put them at risk, for example fighting, binge shopping, or gambling. In terms of sexuality, hypersexuality is a behavior that can be described as a‘‘pattern of recurrent, intense, and excessive preoccupation with sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior that individuals struggle to control along with associated consequences” (Kingston, 2017).

Not a Definition but a Behavior

This does not mean that everyone diagnosed with bipolar disorder will have hypersexual behavior. Hypersexuality and bipolar disorder are only related not prescriptive. What bipolar disorder looks like is individualized, but can be managed with proper supports.

To further discuss further visit the Bipolar Disorder Forum.



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External Resources

Administration for Community Living

Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Center for PTSD





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