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Hypersexuality?


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Hi everyone,

I am a long time lurker of the board and I'm still chasing a diagnosis (of what I don't know, but SOMETHING is up!).  I have been tested for ADHD (which my son has) and am currently on Adderall (25mg/day currently), HOWEVER I'm wondering if ADHD isn't my problem.  I have some "issues" which I have had periodically since I was a young teenager related to sexuality.

I am currently under a P-doc and a T-doc and haven't told either of them (or the psychologist who initially tested me) about any of this stuff as I am a) ashamed and b) enjoy it so much when it happens that I'm not sure I want to be "cured".  However, it is technically illegal where I am and I'm in danger of being arrested if I ever get caught.  So, every now and then, infrequently and for varying time periods, I have episodes of exhibitionism.  I do usually try NOT to get caught (although I push that envelope the more I do it when I'm having an episode) although I have deliberately flashed the mailman and then spent the whole night lying awake, sweating and shaking, because I thought he would call the police on me.  These episodes are so few and far between that I didn't really think they were a problem but I now wonder if they are related to bipolar.  I had them when I was pregnant with my first child but before that not since I was a child, it seemed like the birth control that I had been on since I was 15 completely squashed most of the sexual side of me, however, I still had extreme aggressive outbursts.

This is the first time I have given to voice to any of this to anyone as I am ashamed and embarrassed.  I am due to see a new psychologist for an evaluation next week, do you think I should mention this?

Thank you in advance for your time!

Confucious :) 

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Yes I think you should mention it even though it may be a difficult conversation. Maybe print out this post and show it to pdoc. Keep in mind pdocs aren't always comfortable discussing sexual issues so you may need to emphasize that this is a problem. When I first told my pdoc about my hypersexuality issue, he brushed it off. When he finally grasped the severity of the problem, I was having a manic episode, unbeknownst to me. Speak up and maybe it will lead to a diagnosis. And I get that at the time it doesn't seem as bad, but at some point the realization will kick in. 

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Thanks guys!  Yeah, it's damn awkward!  I seem to have always had the occasional exhibitionist episodes but didn't seem that big of a deal when I was younger and living in Europe but now I'm in the Deep South and have children, it's more of an issue.  And I've definitely taken more risks as I've gone on.  I have hinted to my Tdoc that I have sexual problems but have yet to bring it up...perhaps now is the time?  

I don't even know if bipolar is my issue but when I started reading about hypersexuality being part of manic episodes, it did make me wonder.  I guess the docs can't really help you unless you're totally honest with them.

Thanks again for your assistance! ^_^

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It doesn't sound like hypersexuality with BP disorder, but if it is something that bothers you I would definitely talk to the professionals that are helping you. When the real thing descends it is total hell. There is literally nothing that can make it go away, it doesn't matter what I'm doing, nothing stops it, not even pain, exhaustion, actual injury, drugs, medications, boundaries/integrity etc etc. i have literally wasted days of my life when it happens, done all kinds of very inappropriate things in the most inappropriate places, seduced coworkers, friends, bosses, doctors, every age, gender, etc. if I have a chance to mess with someone's head when I'm in this place I cannot help but take it. It is clearly a biological and physiological brain problem because it accompanies a hypomanic or manic (usually hypomanic for me) and literally nothing can make it better until the mood episode lifts. It isn't an isolated behavior like what you described. It's a state of torture IMO, frankly. Maybe I just have a harder time than others, so that's why what you're talking about doesn't sound like it to me. What you are describing sounds more fetish-like to me. BP disorder is not just a mood problem, it's a disorder of drives - sleep, sex, food etc etc and the voracious need for those things or the rejection of them plus the mood problems and potentially problems understanding reality.

Edited by Renarde
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Renarde, thanks so much for the insight!  It definitely doesn't sound like what I'm experiencing although when it happens, it's a compulsion I can't stop.  I'm so sorry you have to deal with that, it must be hell to deal with.  I wish you all the best.

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For what it's worth, from what was shared, my opinion of your behavior falls somewhere between fetish or potential symptom of... something?

Obviously, the activity has many implied consequences. Shame, embarrassment, guilt, fear. So, that makes it an issue that should definitely be addressed.

Since I have also been known to take similar risks.. I am curious to know how you feel in the moments that lead up to the decision to follow through.

Also, since the behavior is recurring.. and progressing, in your mind, what justifies those known negative consequences that follow? How do you rationalize your behavior?

Are there any other temptations in your life that you can't seem to abstain from? Is there a connection between life events and feeling the desire or impulse to act inappropriately? Is your behavior a response or reaction to anything in particular? Could you be compensating for a lack of connection with those who are truly important in your life by seeking a heightened sense of approval or acknowledgement elsewhere?

Knowing the root cause is often the beginning of any recovery process. 

In terms of any concern that there may be a bipolar connection, I believe there would have to be much more in terms of symptoms/patterns of behavior/ or a more advanced stage of activity associated with exposure.

Rather than standing in a window naked at mailtime, the bipolar affliction is ruthless and possessing. In its frenzied state of mania, it would have somebody mailing large packages to themself and pleading with the mailman to help you bring them to the bedroom.. with absolutely no regard for decency and no fear of consequence for what followed. But, the same self-loathing reaction eventually sets in. What was I thinking!?

If you can picture that scenario in your mind, how likely do you believe it might occur? Where do you draw your line of what would be too dangerous or risky or demeaning to yourself?

I think questions along those lines is what could be expected from a visit with the psychologist when revealing your concerns. There are no easy answers.

 

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Hi Lms-Kaz, sorry for the late response.  I don't think it's part of bipolar, it's too easy to restrain myself.  I've discussed with the therapist and she thinks it may be some kind of biochemical mood disorder instead.  As for your other questions...I'd have to have a think about that and respond when I've got more time to do so!  I have no idea where it has come from, it's just kind of there, and I can go years between it happening.  It's very odd!

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