Depression in Sex Addicts


Sex Addiction Australia dedicates this page to discusses depression in relation to sexual addiction disorder. A smaller number of sex addicts may act out sex to ‘self-medicate’ underlying depression (and/or other mental health issues) while their partners may develop depression as a consequence of intimacy betrayal.

Depression is a treatable disorder. Focusing on best outcomes for our clients, Sex Addiction Australia recommends a dual medical and psychotherapeutic/counselling treatment approach for sex addicts and their spouses. Medication for depression, such as SSRI prescriptions, are available from medical doctors. Counselling is provided by our experienced professional counsellor and sex therapist for individuals, relationships, marriages, and same sex couples alike, who are affected by sex addiction.


A major depressive episode is consistent with at least a two week period of severe sadness. The affected person is easily upset and often teary, with symptoms of depressed mood and may lose almost all interest and pleasure in their daily life activities.

This (depressive) state of mood represents a change from the person’s normal state of mood. Important functioning is negatively impaired by that change in mood, in nearly all aspects of their daily life; e.g. social, sexual, relational, occupational or educational.

Note* A depressed mood caused by any abuse of substances such as drugs, alcohol, medication, or a general medical condition is not considered a major depressive episode. But substance abuse may occur in response to a depressive mood, or may create or deepen a depressive episode.

A major depressive episode includes the following symptoms;

  • depressed mood most of the day
  • markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities
  • significant weight loss or weight gain when not dieting
  • decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day
  • insomnia or hypersomnia
  • fatigue or loss of energy
  • feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness
  • excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • diminished ability to think or concentrate
  • indecisiveness, irritability, lethargy
  • recurrent thoughts of death, suicide, a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide
  • if you have recurrent thoughts of suicide call immediately:
  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Men’s Line 1300 78 99 78
  • Emergency 000

The following symptoms, although less discussed, may also be linked to depression including;

  • anger
  • body aches
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • slow movements


Dysthymia in adults is characterised by a moderate chronic state of depression, with depressed mood for most days for at least a two year period.

The symptoms in this two year period with no more than a month of symptomatic absence include;

  • poor appetite or overeating
  • insomnia or hypersomnia
  • low energy or fatigue
  • low self-esteem
  • poor concentration
  • difficulty making decisions
  • sadness and feelings of hopelessness

The symptoms of dysthymia and depression may cause significant distress or impairment in important areas of a person’s daily life, including areas of social, sexual, relational, occupational and educational functioning.


Depression is a treatable mental disorder. Professional counselling and psychotherapy are powerful tools in treating and preventing depression. In severe cases of depression pharmacological treatment from a medical practitioner is required.

If you are concerned with sexual addiction and depression please call our professional counsellor and clinical sex therapist Heide in Sydney +61 2 9380 4486 during AEST office hours for further information, or book a confidential appointment.