There has been a lot of discussion on the Sisterhood web site about the concepts of Sexual And Intimacy Anorexia.  Many opinions have been voiced, so I thought I would bring that topic over here and see what some of you might have to say.

So, here is what I wrote as a topic on the Sisterhood site:

 

Let’s talk a little about ‘anorexia’ as it seems to be a hot topic in the forums lately.

Simply put, anorexia means ‘lack of appetite’.

Some of the Sex Addiction gurus have coined this word and tacked it onto all sorts of ‘symptoms’. In my opinion this is done to confuse all of us, label things that already have a name and package it and make is seem new so that new and expensive treatments can be initiated.

Repackaging and re-branding is a very common and very powerful marketing tool. It’s done all the time. For example, let’s look at yogurt. A plain and simple food that just a decade ago no one would even consider eating except us health food nuts.

Look at yogurt today. It’s all packaged up to appeal to almost every segment of the population; babies, kids, teens, women, men, retirees, the elderly and the sickly. It comes in all shapes and sizes; custard, Greek, low fat, non fat, live or dead cultures, frozen, liquid, shakes and smoothies. It comes in tubs, jars, bottles, tubes and on sticks.

But, it’s still yogurt. But by repackaging it and re-branding it the yogurt business is booming.

This type of marketing is seen in almost every segment of our culture from aspirin to zippers.

But, what I see with this anorexia label, and Sex Addiction treatment in general, is much more complicated, and certainly more harmful than just a simple marketing technique.

We are not talking about products here, we are talking real live people and relationships in crisis.

I see the treatment for Sex Addiction exploding into a giant cash cow and there are opportunists on every street corner. By labeling and treating a symptom (and this includes the Sex addiction itself, which I consider a symptom rather than a disease itself), rather than looking at the larger picture of the background, genetics, symptoms and traits of the addict–and then addressing these as diagnosed disorders and treating them with tested psychiatric or psychological methods implemented by professionals, the addict, and the partner are left without adequate treatment and a much lighter wallet.

Sounds like ‘snake oil’ to me.

A simple review of the traits of Personality Disorders shows that many disordered people become withdrawn, solitary, have no desire for human attachment…oh hell, I could fill this entire page with symptoms that would mimic this so called ‘sexual or intimacy anorexia’.

If you would like to see the list just click on the ‘Resources’ menu on the right and download the DSMIII list of 14 Personality Disorders. The DSMIV had decreased the PD’s to 10, but I think this list is much more comprehensive and it is the best list I have found.

So. that’s my rant for the day. What do you think?