Early trauma, neglect or depression may be factors.

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Sex addiction is described by the relationship counselling service Relate as any sexual activity that feels out of control.

It could involve sex with a partner, but it may also mean activities such as viewing pornography, masturbation, visiting prostitutes, or using sex chat lines.

For many people, these habits don't cause them a problem.

But sex addicts are unable to control these urges and actions, despite the problems they may cause in their relationships, finances and professional lives.

It involves identifying and changing behaviour that's painful and damaging.

Relate offers advice, relationship counselling, sex therapy, workshops, mediation and consultations.

It provides support face-to-face, by phone and through its website.

This addiction is similar to substance abuse because it is caused by the powerful chemical substances released during sex.

Love addicts become dependent on the emotional stability provided by romantic partners.

They often have low self-esteem and lack self-identity, and their addiction can result in obsessive, controlling behaviour.

The cause of love addictions and sex addictions is often rooted in childhood or adolescence.