The challenges amongst sexual functioning
What are Paraphilic Disorders?
Sexual interest and sexual desire is a normal aspect expected of human nature. When certain behaviors are outside of the normal range of sexual behavior, a Paraphilic Disorder may be present. In order to fully understand the definition behind Paraphilic Disorders, it is important to understand the terminology involved. The Fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) explains that the term paraphilia refers to any "intense and persistent sexual interest other than sexual interest in genital stimulation or preparatory fondling with phenotypically normal, physically mature, consenting humans partners" (Key, 2012). A paraphilia is not recognized as a potential disorder for diagnosis. When a paraphilia begins to cause distress or impairment to an individual due to sexual desire, urges, or fantasies, it may be the beginning of a Paraphilic Disorder. These conditions must be present for at least six months to be considered under a diagnosis. The sexual arousal from an individual will typically revolve around an object, children, non-consenting individuals, or the suffering or humiliation of onself or a partner (Key, 2012). The prevalence of Paraphilic Disorders generally includes more diagnosis in men as opposed to women. In addition, Paraphilic Disorders typically emerge during childhood or adolescence.
Disorders Recognized as Paraphilic
The following disorders are described by the American Psychiatric Association (2015):
- Associated with patterns of spying or watching other's during private activities in order to receive sexual gratification.
- Associated with strong urges to expose one's genitals to other individuals. Individuals may arrange to be observed while having sexual intercourse.
- Associated with the attraction and sexual focus on children.
- Associated with recurrent, powerful sexual urges involving nonliving objects including: shoes, women's undergarments, or other items made from materials such as leather, latex, or silk.
- Associated with the act of touching or rubbing against a non-consenting individual for sexual arousal.
- Associated with powerful urges in which an individual is sexually aroused by cross-dressing. Cross dressing can be described as the act of wearing items of clothing that is generally associated with the opposite gender. Transvestic Disorder is commonly confused with gender dysphoria and homosexuality. Although they may sound similar, a transgender relates to an individual who feels as if they were born the wrong sex. Transvestic Disorder, on the other hand, relates to sexual arousal from dressing as the opposite sex (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014). This does not necessarily mean that an individual wants to change their gender.
Sexual Masochism Disorder
- Associated with becoming sexually aroused by being humiliated, bound, or made to suffer. Masochists will often times may ask someone to shock them, whip them, clothe them in diapers, urinate on them, and perform abusive acts. In addition, individuals typically inflict pain on themselves.
Sexual Sadism Disorder
- Associated with becoming sexually aroused by inflicting physical or psychological pain to another individual. This physical or psychological pain generally includes humiliating, bounding, or making another individual suffer.
(Diseases and Disorders, 2008).
Paraphilic Disorders IN SOCIETY
Common Myths & Misperceptions
When to seek help
In addition to treatment, support groups known as Love Addicts Anonymous, Sexual Addicts Anonymous, and Sexaholics Anonymous are widely available and accessible for all individuals (Sutton, 2009). These groups are able to provide a safe place for support free of charge. To view information related to each group, you may click the buttons below and it will take you directly to their webpage.
As an individual, we often times endure difficult periods in our lifetime. Although we may believe that we can get through it alone, there are some situations that should never be experienced by ourselves. Asking for help can be extremely difficult, especially when we are stressed or afraid of something. However, finding the strength and will power to seek help will provide you the necessary tools to get back to normal functioning. There are many sources that can direct an individual to the correct path. These sources may include friends, family members, doctors, helplines, and or mental health professionals. If you or a loved one is experiencing a possible Paraphilic Disorder, seeking professional help from a therapist may truly affect the outcome of the disorder. In order to gain the most benefit from therapy, it is important to first ensure that the therapist has the correct credentials and licensure. In addition, it is crucial that you feel comfort in talking to the individual. According to the American Psychological Association [APA], the therapist should represent doctoral-level training as well as a clinical internship (2015). Furthermore, the therapist should be licensed by the state or jurisdiction that their practice is in (APA, 2015).
- Visit ADAA at www.adaa.org to find qualified mental health professionals.
American Psychological Association [APA]. (2015). How to choose a psychologist. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/choose-therapist.aspx
Anxiety and Depression Association of America [ADAA]. (2015). Questions to ask: Choosing a Treatment Provider. Retrieved from http://www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/treatment/questions-choosing-your-therapist
Sexual and gender identity disorders. (2008). Diseases and Disorders. Tarrytown, New York: Cavendish Square Publishing. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.bakerezproxy.palnet.info/ps/retrieve.do?sgHitCountType=None&sort=RELEVANCE&inPS=true&prodId=GVRL&userGroupName=lom_falconbaker&tabID=T003&searchId=R3&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&contentSegment=&searchType=BasicSearchForm¤tPosition=2&contentSet=GALE%7CCX4096800262&&docId=GALE|CX4096800262&docType=GALE
Key, K. (2012). The gale encyclopedia of mental health (3rd ed). Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning. p1121-1122. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.bakerezproxy.palnet.info/ps/retrieve.do?sgHitCountType=None&sort=RELEVANCE&inPS=true&prodId=GVRL&userGroupName=lom_falconbaker&tabID=T003&searchId=R1&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&contentSegment=&searchType=BasicSearchForm¤tPosition=3&contentSet=GALE%7CCX4013200342&&docId=GALE|CX4013200342&docType=GALE
Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2014). Abnormal psychology (6th ed). New York: McGraw Hill
Sutton, A.L. (2009). Understanding compulsive sexual behaviors (4th ed). Mental Health Disorders Sourcebook. Detroit: Omnigraphics. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.bakerezproxy.palnet.info/ps/retrieve.do?sgHitCountType=None&sort=RELEVANCE&inPS=true&prodId=GVRL&userGroupName=lom_falconbaker&tabID=T003&searchId=R1&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&contentSegment=&searchType=BasicSearchForm¤tPosition=2&contentSet=GALE%7CCX2288100044&&docId=GALE|CX2288100044&docType=GALE