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Jesse James enters treatment facility

Jesse James has reportedly entered a treatment facility to deal with personal problems.

March 31, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Jesse James has reportedly entered a treatment facility to deal with personal problems.First the cheating then the rehab, it wasn't just one affair Jesse James had that caused his split from Sandra Bullock. Tiger Woods admitted to multiple mistresses.

But is sex addiction a real disorder, or a cop out?

"It is easy to say that it is just bad behavior, control your bad behavior," said psychiatrist Dr. Charles Sophy.

Dr. Sophy says there is debate in medical circles. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is considered the Bible amongst medical professionals. There is a lot of information that addresses alcohol and drug addictions, but not on compulsive sex.

Dr. Sophy says that does not mean it is not an addiction.

"The bottom line is that you still have to take responsibility for that behavior," said Dr. Sophy. "You still have to look at yourself both from a brain perspective, as well as from a behavioral perspective. You have to control yourself because it crosses the line. It infiltrates into other areas of your life that are going to fall apart."

Clinical psychologists are inclined to agree.

"If you got caught having one affair it could be something different than addiction," said psychologist Dr. Shirley Impellizzieri. "But when you are getting caught with various women having various affairs that is more likely an addiction."

The celebrity status of this condition is generating more therapies and more Internet Web sites offering everything, from help to diagnose a condition to rehab centers. Recovery takes therapy, going into the addict's history and needs.

"The motivations of those behaviors are issues of self-esteem, self-respect, narcissism and intimacy issues," said Dr. Sophy.

So it is more than the act of sex which creates the addiction.

"The addiction is just a symptom of what is going on underneath," said Dr. Impellizzieri. "And like most addictions you are willing to take a look at it when you get caught."