Mum diagnosed with sex addiction treated for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
It literally took over her life, but it turned out that she suffered from a medical condition.
When women become mums, often their sex lives take a tragic hit, even grinding to a complete halt. But this was not the case for one mum of three, whose craving for sex was so high that eventually it spiraled out of control.
The 37-year-old native of Tadcaster, Yorkshire, Rebecca Barker has been a sex addict since her early 20s. Her craving for sex has been so high that she wanted it every minute she was awake. In fact, with one of her partners she indulged in it for over seven hours at a stretch and still wanted more.
Her unusual life story became news when she poured her heart out in an interview.
While sharing her story, Barker said, “I’ve always had a really high sex drive. I lost my virginity at 15 and I met the father of my first two children, now aged 18 and 14, when I was 16. It was then my love of sex kicked in.”
She shared that with her first partner she would have sex almost every day. “But as the years went by and I gave birth to our two kids, life took over.”
Barker was 24 when she decided to end her first marriage and relocate to France to live with her mother.
“My mum, Jannine, owned a farm in Vienne, central France. Six months later I was out with mum when I met a guy at a barbecue. It was love at first sight. We were both infatuated and I couldn’t keep my hands off him. We’d have sex most days and in 2010 we had a daughter, now eight, together,” Barker said.
The two quickly moved in together. But Barker continued to feel “insecure and unsettled.” She added that her partner was unable to understand her constant urge for sex and that she often felt misunderstood.
“Eventually I saw my doctor and was prescribed medication for anxiety. It was around then, in 2014, when my sex drive tipped over into addiction,” she told the daily.
In her startling tale, Barker explains that craving for sex was an underlying sign of a mental disorder. Something she says, she couldn’t understand before.
“Every minute I was awake I had obsessive thoughts about sex. When I gave in to temptation I briefly felt better about myself, less stressed and anxious, but there was no longer-term satisfaction — as soon as it was over, all I could think about was doing it again,” she shared.
Barker added that when her then fiancé couldn’t stay at home with her, she would beg him to stay.
“By now my mental health had descended to such a state I was suffering from a severe bout of depression,” she revealed as she shared that she soon moved onto another relationship.
“Feeling insecure and in the grip of despair – sex was all I could think about. It would drive me crazy. I’d struggle to hold a conversation with someone. I’d stare at their lips. Everything reminded me of wanting to have sex,” she shared.
Barked added that she would often see herself as a failure. “I needed my partner’s approval and craved sex around the clock to get that,” she further stated adding that while her new partner was thrilled at first, even he gave up quickly on her.
So she began seeing a psychiatrist who suggested that she take anti-depressants. So Barker finally decided to open up to her mother about her addiction. “I needed to escape my fixation with sex and concentrate on feeling better about myself.I did a lot of online research about my thirst for sex and concluded that I was a nymphomaniac – a woman with an uncontrollable sexual desire,” Barker explains.
After a string of rebounds and failed relationships, Barker decided to wean herself off anti-depressants in 2015.
“I met with two psychotherapists who both said my fixation on sex was an obsessive compulsive disorder. While I’ll always feel uncomfortable being labelled a sex addict, it was a relief to have a diagnosis. Finally I could understand how lost and scared I felt,” said Barker.
In May 2015, the mum-of-three moved out of her mother’s house and rented a house nearby. And she finally met somebody who has helped her through her ordeal.
I realised I didn’t need sex to validate myself as a person. I could be loved and desired without needing constant sex.
“My landlord was Jean-Marc – straight away there was a spark between us. Within a month of moving in he asked me out on a date,” revealed Barker who now lives with her 54-year-old partner in Vienne, France.
Barker is now in a stable relationship and hopes that one day others like her would also reach this stage in her life. The 37-year-old’s story has come as a reminder of how sex addiction was often misunderstood as a taboo and not studied enough as a mental disorder.
However, things are finally going to change now.
In July this year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) finally recognised sex addiction as a mental disorder. This means those who suffer from it can now check in for rehabilitation and will be encouraged to ask for help.
For the uninitiated, sex addiction or hypersexuality as it is medically called is a disorder where the patient craves excessive amounts of sex and becomes distressed if left unfulfilled.
Its common symptoms include reoccurring sexual fantasies, increased time spent in the act, lack of emotion towards sex, increased frequency and urge for sex. The treatment usually involves rehabilitation where emotional well-being of a sex addict is given priority.
All images courtesy: Screengrab, The Sun