Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder and Bipolar Disorder often accompany one another. CSBD can be a symptom people with bipolar disorder experience when in a manic state. It can make it difficult for them to maintain a healthy sexual relationship.
CSBD and Bipolar Disorder are complex diagnoses. It’s essential to learn more about each disorder and its treatment to understand why CSBD can be a common symptom of Bipolar Disorder.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder consisting of drastic mood swings that also affect thoughts and behaviors.
The mood swings that come with Bipolar Disorder can affect all areas of a person’s life. These swings can look like changes in thought patterns or impaired judgment, possible speech disruptions, or even sudden changes in energy and activity.
There is no definitive and agreed-upon cause of Bipolar Disorder. But it’s most likely a combination of factors, like genetics, environment, and brain function.
Symptoms of bipolar mania include:
- a decreased need for sleep
- racing thoughts
- talking excessively
- being easily distracted
- impulsive, risky behaviors
- increased sexual desire
Symptoms of bipolar depression include:
- prolonged periods of sadness
- feelings of guilt or hopelessness
- extreme fatigue
- sleeping excessively
- suicidal thoughts
- loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
What is Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder?
Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder is a preoccupation with sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors that are difficult to control. CSBD, also known as hypersexuality disorder or sex addiction, can affect many areas of a person’s life, like their job, mental and physical health, and relationships. CSBD can exist as a symptom of Bipolar Disorder.
There is no universally-acknowledged cause of CSBD. CSBD may result from an imbalance of brain chemicals that regulate mood. Changes in brain pathways may also be a cause.
Signs of CSBD include:
- Sexual fantasies, urges, and behaviors take up a lot of time and feel out of control
- A drive to engage in specific sexual behaviors that release tension but also cause guilt and remorse
- Unsuccessful in reducing or controlling your sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors
- Use of compulsive sex as an escape from problems
- Engaging in sexual behaviors despite consequences
- Trouble maintaining healthy relationships
CSBD and Bipolar Disorder
CSBD can often be a sign of Bipolar Disorder. There isn’t a clearcut definition of what hypersexuality looks like in a person with Bipolar Disorder. But it’s generally agreed that it is being more focused on sex and engaging in risky behaviors. CSBD and bipolar look differently at various times in the emotional cycle.
CSBD during Depressive Episodes
During a depressive episode, a person with CSBD may experience a low sex drive. They may have a complete lack of interest in sex or feel physically unattractive or undesirable. They also may have a complete disinterest in personal hygiene or grooming. They may feel sexually worthless, keeping them from engaging in the activity. And because depressive episodes include fatigue, the physical exhaustion they feel may make sex difficult or unappealing.
CSBD during Manic Episodes
During a manic episode, a person with Bipolar Disorder and CSBD will feel hypersexual. This hypersexuality could look like having a high sex drive that isn’t easily satisfied, leading to them seeking multiple partners to satisfy their urges or engaging in frequent masturbation. A person experiencing hypersexuality is never satisfied by sex and can’t feel the release they would if they weren’t manic.
Manic episodes and CSBD can lead to risky and out-of-character behaviors, like having unprotected sex with strangers, having affairs, or engaging in sex acts in public.
There are multiple ways to treat CSBD. It’s essential to work with a doctor or mental health professional to determine what treatment will work best for you. Treatment can help manage sexual urges and reduce extreme or excessive behaviors associated with CSBD while also helping to maintain a healthy sex life.
In some cases, a doctor may prescribe antidepressants to help treat CSBD. These drugs also treat anxiety, depression, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Mood stabilizers are a common treatment for Bipolar Disorder. When used to treat CSBD, they can help reduce sexual urges.
There are also many therapy options when it comes to treating CSBD. Therapy can help people with CSBD notice unhealthy patterns in their thoughts and behaviors and replace them with better coping methods.
Psychotherapy, sometimes called “talk therapy,” can help someone with CSBD improve their emotional self-regulation. And working with a therapist helps people internalize self-regulating behaviors they didn’t learn in childhood.
Group therapy is another option. A group of people comes together to support each other with the help of a therapist or counselor. In this setting, it becomes easier to confront rationalizations and excuses people use to deny CSBD.
How Begin Again Institute Can Help
When it comes to CSBD and Bipolar Disorder, you don’t have to work through them alone. Begin Again Institute provides a safe space for treatment. There is no judgment, and Begin Again Institute believes in treating the root cause of the problem to truly help you heal.
Begin Again Institute offers a 14-Day Men’s Intensive program to help you stop destructive sexual behaviors. We use various sex addiction treatments to help you build a solid foundation for your recovery.
Maintaining a healthy sexual relationship with Bipolar Disorder can be difficult. Begin Again Institute is here to help. Reach out today if you’d like more information on how we can work through CSBD and Bipolar Disorder together.