Lived Experience of Patients with Sex Addiction: A Qualitative Study

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD student of psychology, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.

2 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of Psychiatry, Roozbeh Hospital, School of Medicine, Tehran University Of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Gachsaran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Gachsaran, Iran.


Sexual addiction is a growing disorder which is accompanied with many personal and social consequences. The current fundamental study aims to investigate and discover the factors affecting the development of sexual addiction, with a qualitative view at the experience, thoughts and feelings of patients with sex addiction. Using a qualitative method, 13 patients with sex addiction (10 male and 3 female) aged 21–50 were selected by purposeful sampling and interviewed in 2019 in Tehran with a semi-structured interview. Then, the data was analyzed by using a seven-step Colaizzi method. The results were categorized into three main categories including personal issues, family inefficiency and inattentiveness of the society about sex education, and further categorized into 11 subcategories. Our findings provide invaluable insights into sex addiction for physicians and other mental health providers. Given the lack of community planning and policy regarding the sex education for teachers, parents and youth, we emphasize the responsibility of parents in teaching healthy sexual behaviors to their children and adolescents.


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