Psychiatric comorbidity and compulsive/impulsive traits in compulsive sexual behavior

Nancy C. Raymond, Eli Coleman, Michael H. Miner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

248 Scopus citations


In recent years there has been an increase in identifying and treating a clinical syndrome that has been given many different names, including compulsive sexual behavior (CSB). The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in a sample of individuals with CSB, as evaluated by a structured psychiatric interview. A secondary focus of this research was to determine if individuals with CSB exhibit obsessive-compulsive characteristics or exhibit impulse control problems. Participants were 23 men and two women who responded to newspaper advertisements and met criteria for CSB according to diagnostic criteria established and assessed by expert clinicians. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III, patient version (SCID-P) and the Structured Clinical Interview for Axis II Disorders (SCID-II) were used to interview all participants. To study compulsive or impulsive traits the authors developed a semistructured interview. Standardized rating scales were also administered. Eighty-eight percent of the sample met diagnostic criteria for an axis I disorder at the time of the interview, and 100% of the sample met criteria for an axis I disorder at some time in their lives. The most common diagnoses were mood and anxiety disorders. The sample exhibited more traits of impulsivity than compulsivity. The data are consistent with the suggestion proposed by others that argues for conceptualizing these disorders as impulsive/compulsive spectrum disorders. Attention must be given to addressing these traits, as well as to the treatment of other axis I and axis II disorders, when treating CSB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-380
Number of pages11
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2003

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