Is Sex Addiction Real? Jada Pinkett Smith Struggles With Hypersexuality

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith disclosed in a new episode of her "Red Table Talk" Facebook Watch series that she struggled to overcome several addictions, including hypersexuality, more commonly known as sex addiction.

"My sort of addictions jump. They jump around," Pinkett Smith, 46, said on the show Monday. "When I was younger, I definitely think I had a sex addiction of some kind, yes—that everything could be fixed by sex. You know what I'm saying?"

The World Health Organization (WHO) added compulsive sexual behavior disorder to its latest classification of diseases on Monday. The condition stems from an inability to control sexual urges and impulses, and has been estimated to affect 3 to 6 percent of adults in the United States.

However, the notion of someone being addicted to sex remains controversial. The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the standard guide for American psychiatrists, does not include the term "sex addiction" because "clinicians and researchers agree there is not enough empirical evidence to support this diagnosis," according to Psychology Today.

Pinkett Smith, whose mother suffered from drug abuse, did not say if she was ever officially diagnosed with sex addition or compulsive sexual behavior disorder.

Compulsive sexual behavior can be caused by various factors, including chemical imbalances in the brain, according to Mayo Clinic. People who are hypersexual typically experience recurrent, intense sexual fantasies, urges and behaviors that feel uncontrollable and disrupt their life. The most common treatment option is therapy.

Pinkett Smith also spoke about her struggles with drinking and said she hit "rock bottom" when she tried to drink a third bottle of wine while home alone. She said she decided to curb the behavior immediately.

"I went cold turkey. That's the thing about me: I can go cold turkey. I am a binger, and I always have to watch myself, and I can just get obsessed with things," Pinkett Smith explained. "It's not what you're doing but how you're with it. Why you're doing it. It's the behavior that's attached to it, because if you want to have a lot of sex, that's great, but why are you having all that sex? That's what you've got to look at."

WHO's decision to classify compulsive sexual behavior disorder may be highly beneficial to sufferers. "It is a behavior that tends to be hidden, as it's shameful, and often sex addicts don't come forward," Dr. Valerie Voon, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, told The Sun. "Adding this to the WHO list is an excellent step for patients, as it allows them to recognize that they are suffering from a problem—it takes it out of the shadows, and they are able to seek help for it."

Pinkett Smith isn't the first celebrity to speak about a personal battle with sex addiction. Charlie Sheen, Russell Brand and Rob Lowe have also said they struggled with it.

Jada Pinkett Smith
Actress Jada Pinkett Smith attends an Artist at the Table Cocktail Reception and Dinner on January 18 during the Sundance Film Festival. Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images
Is Sex Addiction Real? Jada Pinkett Smith Struggles With Hypersexuality | Culture