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  • The Timothy Center

Sexual Addiction and ADHD: Is There A Connection?

Research & Article by: Richard Blankenship and Mark Laaser

This blog is a summary of the scholarly article by Blankenship and Laaser. Only main points are included.

Sexual addiction does not exist in isolation. As with most addictions, there can be co-occurring disorders. This study was conducted to investigate whether or not there is a connection between sexual addiction and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The importance of trauma model treatment with sexual addiction and ADHD will be considered

“Jim” is a man in his 22nd year of marriage. During this time he has acted out sexually with a number of affair partners. Jim has a family history of substance abuse and addiction. When he was arrested for sexually acting out in public he sought treatment for his sexual addiction. Behavioral approaches to the treatment of Jim’s sexual addiction were ineffective. During the course of treatment it was discovered that Jim had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with predominantly inattentive symptoms. Jim was sent to a psychiatrist for a medical evaluation. The psychiatrist placed Jim on a psychostimulant medication. Therapy for both sexual addiction and ADHD continued. Jim is now 8 years sober from his sexual addiction. He had his wife have renewed their wedding vows and continue to do well in recovery.

The connection between ADHD and addiction has been well documented. We believe that the treatment of ADHD and other underlying disorders, when present, is essential in the effective treatment of addictive disorders.


There are similarities in some characteristics of sexual addicts and people who live with ADHD. Both groups of people, for example, report difficulty tolerating boredom. There is a tendency in both populations toward high-risk behavior. Both groups seem to have stimulus seeking brains. Both groups may have difficulty in calming the brain and controlling mood.

The focus of this study involves the relationship between sexual addiction and ADHD.

As the addict begins to address issues of sexual addiction and trauma, we believe that treatment of ADHD may help them do better in therapeutic settings.

The Study

72 participants were surveyed from a treatment program for sexual addiction. Tests were given for sexual addiction and ADHD.


Our research indicates that there is a possible correlation between men suffering from sexual addiction and ADHD.

Sex addicts who suffer with ADHD will need effective medical assessment and treatment of it. Sex addicts with ADHD will also need effective treatment of early life trauma.

The impact of sexual addiction and ADHD on families needs to be considered. ADHD children of sexually addicted parents need to be observed to see if they have tendencies toward sexual addiction versus ADHD children of non-sexually addicted parents. Trauma in the sex addict and the ADHD child or adult must be treated or you will not heal the wounded heart and spirit of the person.

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