Sex addiction is about to become formally recognised as a psychiatric illness.
Experts are considering including the `addiction`, in which sufferers have relentless sexual urges that feel out of one`s control, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, reports the Daily Mail .
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) publishes the manual, which is considered the definitive guide to what constitutes a genuine psychological disorder rather than an imaginary one.
Sex addiction became highly publicised when celebrities such as Tiger Woods and Russell Brand sought treatment for the condition.
The shamed golfer underwent a six-week intensive programme at the Pine Grove clinic in Mississippi, designed to treat sexual addiction, sexual anorexia, relationship addiction and sexual trauma.
Meanwhile, gambling addiction has recently been classified as a mental illness in Britain and now the health service is starting a preliminary project for sex addiction treatment.
And the recent discussion of sex addiction could spark a boom in drug companies re-packaging anti-depressants and sex-drive-suppressants, according to experts.
The Priory chain of clinics say its patients: "work on themselves for eight or nine hours a day in group therapy, in individual sessions with their psychiatrists and with a wide range of trained therapists."
Clinical psychologist and sex therapist Janet Hall in Melbourne said patients with sex addiction problems now make up the majority of her clients.
She said celebrity treatment has contributed to the rise and added: "it`s saying `if the famous and wealthy are addicts and get into trouble, I am not alone nor am I a horrible nasty person."