Ozzy Osbourne Says He’s a Sex Addict

In May, many were surprised by the breakup of rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his wife of 33 years Sharon. Rumors spread that the split was caused by marital infidelity.

This was recently confirmed when hair colorist, Michelle Pugh, went on the record that she had a four-year relationship with Ozzie.

And now, Ozzy is speaking up – saying that his infidelity has been caused by a sex addiction. A rep for the Black Sabbath singer told People “Over the last six years, Ozzy Osbourne has been dealing with a sex addiction.” “He is sorry if Ms. Pugh took their sexual relationship out of context,” the rep went on to say. “He would like to apologize to the other women he has been having sexual relationships with. Out of the bad comes good. Since his relationship with Ms. Pugh was exposed, Ozzy has gone into intense therapy.”

Sharon, never one to shy away from what’s happening in her life, spoke about this on her show, The Talk, on Wednesday. Getting emotional, she said:

“It’s hard because it affects the whole family, and it’s quite embarrassing to talk about.. Somehow drugs and drink is more acceptable, I think, but when it’s somebody who has a sex addiction, it’s embarrassing.”

In July, however, the longtime spouses said they were fighting for their marriage of 33 years, and Ozzy had moved back into their home, although Sharon has laid down the law: “Ideally, I would love for my husband to deal with his issues and work at the problems that he has now.  And be honest and open … to be able to come back to us with honesty and respect for the family. That’s what I really wish.”

 Is Sex Addiction Real?

The “Bible” of the American Psychiatric Association, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), does not officially recognize sexual addiction as a bona fide psychological disorder.  That doesn’t mean it’s not a real problem and, in fact, surveys show that about 5 percent of the general population suffers from an inability to control sexual impulses that results in negative consequences for them and their families.

According to Dr. Timothy Fong of the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, “Psychologically, sexual behaviors serve to escape emotional or physical pain or are a way of dealing with life stressors.”  Sex addiction may be characterized as excessive engagement in sexual practices that are common in society.   But sex addiction can also take the form of practices outside of the conventional range of sexual behaviors including exhibitionism, voyeurism, pedophilia, sadomasochism and frotterurism.

How can I tell if I might be a sex addict?

In today’s society, where sexual expression has become a form of accepted entertainment, it may sometimes be hard to draw the line between normal and abnormal levels and types of sexual behavior.  There are online screening tests that may indicate sex addiction and a need for professional help; some of these are listed below.  One of these tests is called PATHOS and is based on six key questions:

  1. Preoccupied – Do you often find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts?
  2. Ashamed – Do you hid some of your sexual behavior from others?
  3. Treatment – Have you ever sought therapy for sexual behavior you did not like?
  4. Hurt others – Has anyone been hurt emotionally because of your sexual behavior?
  5. Out of control – Do you feel controlled by your sexual desire?
  6. Sad – When you have sex, do you feel depressed afterwards?

If you answer “yes” to two or more questions, you may be a sex addict.

Here are some other sex addiction screening tests that may be helpful:

How can sex addiction be treated?

There aren’t any FDA-approved medications for treating compulsive sexual behaviors but CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy, is used to identify triggers and develop coping skills to minimize urges and reduce preoccupations.  There are “12 step”-type programs such as Sexaholics Anonymous that can provide structure, understanding, support and accountability.  Similar programs include Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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