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"There are so many models or theories that we can look at to help us understand HD," Reid says."An addiction model is just one of them." There isn't much research on what treatments work best.It also could be tied to abnormal levels of the brain chemical dopamine or serotonin.Or, problems related to attention, impulse control, or emotional regulation could also be involved.
For some people, the crisis brings relief from distress caused by their behavior and constant fear of being discovered.
You've probably heard of sex addiction, but you might be surprised to know that there's debate about whether it's truly an addiction, and that it's not even all about sex.
"That's a common misconception," says Rory Reid, Ph D, LCSW, a research psychologist at UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.
"The world comes crashing down," says Reid, "and some say, 'I'm glad that I got caught.'" There are no reliable estimates of how many people have the disorder.
Some studies suggest that it's more common in men, and gay men in particular, than women.