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So this is a question that requires maturity and discretion. I present it as an authentic point of research for a class I am taking. I understand the basic principles of mania, psychomania, and manic episodes. However one thing that pops into question are possible explanations for nymphomania. To the scientific community I ask:

  • Is the condition of nymphomania coupled as a symptom of mania?
  • Or is it some kind of hormonal/biochemical imbalance that presents itself as it's own issue?
  • Or is it just some addiction to the hormones released via copulation?

I am not referring to women or men with high sex drive, clearly nymphomania is in it's own class. I personally have postulated to my class that it is something that is coupled together with mania, or as a symptom of bipolar/mood disorder in patients that are not well controlled on their medications. My professor then instructed me to post it up here to gather knowledge and present it to my class at some point. Any thoughts and/or opinions must be clean and professional, any nasty/vulgar language will be reported.

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  • $\begingroup$ For those who would DV this question: hyper-sexuality is a well recognized symptom of mania and at least arguably a valid psychiatric disorder itself. Asking about the relationship between the two is a reasonable and interesting question. Martin Kafka's work is a good place to start. $\endgroup$ – Susan Sep 26 '14 at 0:13
  • $\begingroup$ Hypersexuality may well be, but the use of the term 'nymphomania' raises eyebrows, as it is clearly a socially and politically loaded choice of phrase. $\endgroup$ – lea Oct 1 '14 at 7:15
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::: It seems like you're trying to get to the root cause as either organic or functional? Maybe a bit of both. They jury will forever be out thus we have the stress-diathesis model for comfort. Here is some interesting discussion on the norm-referencing in assessment of manic behavior such as hypersexuality and the implications of various factors like gender. OOhh - this is a good one too actually- a very large study on the whole range of abnormal sexual activity.

In working with individuals who are hypersexualized, i've found that it's learned, it's reactive attachment gone awry...co-occurring borderline meets cyclic dysthmia.... it's never just hormone or just addiction. I have not looked at extreme cases really, though...

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Mania and nymphomania are related in the same way that nut and donut are. In other words: don't let a partial homophony or possible common etymology fool you.

A mania is a psychiatric disorder that appears to be caused by overactivity of certain brain processes.

Nymphomania is currently not a recognized disorder in the DSM. It is, in the ICD-10 ("Hypersexuality"), and its inclusion in a future edition of the DSM is being discussed. This shows that there is disagreement about the status of nymphomania and hypersexuality and that scholars have not yet reached a clear understanding of the phenomenon.

One possible perspective is that hypersexuality is nothing but a possible symptom of certain different disorders, such as neurodegenerative diseases, autism, or bipolar disorder. It can be one symptom of a manic episode.

In this it is similar to coughing, which can be caused by a wide variety of causes, from particles in the healthy lung, to an infection, to psychological causes such as simple nervousness or a tic disorder. A cough is not a disease, and nymphomania is maybe not a disorder. It is a behavior which may by symptomatic for a disorder, but it may also be caused by a person's attitude, upbringing, life circumstances, and so on.

It may acutally be, by itself, just an extreme form of a completely healthy behavior, similar to people who need only four hours of sleep.

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  • $\begingroup$ That the DSM does not cover hypersexuality says little for its validity. The DSM is a mess of politics and business. And concerning the "extreme form of completely healthy behavior", the current definition of a "disorder" is a set of behaviors or internet patterns that cause some problem in an individual's life. If someone was completely functional and has no presenting problems, no matter what would otherwise be the diagnosis, few in the field would have concern. $\endgroup$ – Attackfarm Oct 7 '14 at 7:14
  • $\begingroup$ I wrote: "by itself". No behavior in itself is pathological, only if other factors come to bear. So, of course, as soon as the person behaving in a certain way suffers from that behavior, then that behavior is considered pathological. I was just making a case for not considering a behavior pathological merely because you don't feel like doing the same. Lay people define mental disorders by comparing a behavior to their own behavior or to moral standards, which would make having sex three times a day a disorder, while a professional sees no problem if that person feels happy. $\endgroup$ – user3116 Oct 7 '14 at 7:42

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