Preliminary observations of DSM-III-R axis I comorbidity in men with paraphilias and paraphilia-related disorders

J Clin Psychiatry. 1994 Nov;55(11):481-7.


Background: We describe a comorbidity study of DSM-III-R-defined Axis I diagnoses comparing male outpatient paraphiliacs to men with nonparaphilic forms of sexual impulsivity designated as paraphilia-related disorders.

Method: Data were prospectively collected from 60 consecutively evaluated outpatient males, aged 21-53 years, seeking treatment for the principal disorders of paraphilias (N = 34) and/or paraphilia-related disorders (N = 26). Subjects completed a semistructured psychiatric Intake Questionnaire and Sexual Inventory. The lifetime prevalence of DSM-III-R Axis I diagnoses, including disorders of sexual impulsivity, was assigned by follow-up psychiatric interviews.

Results: Both groups of men were diagnosed with an elevated lifetime prevalence of mood disorders (76.7%), especially early-onset dysthymia (53.3%); psychoactive substance abuse (46.7%), especially alcohol abuse (40.0%); and anxiety disorders (46.7%), especially social phobia (31.6%). The predominant forms of sexual impulsivity reported by both groups were "nonparaphilic" paraphilia-related disorders: compulsive masturbation (73.3%), protracted promiscuity (70.0%), and dependence on pornography (53.3%).

Conclusion: There were no major differences in lifetime Axis I diagnoses to differentiate men with paraphilic disorders from those with paraphilia-related disorders. Both groups were likely to acknowledge multiple paraphilias and/or multiple paraphilia-related disorders suggesting that sexual impulsivity has diverse manifestations, which can include culturally "deviant" as well as "normative" behaviors. Several hypotheses regarding the possible etiologic relationship between depressive disorders and sexual impulsivity are suggested.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / diagnosis
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Paraphilic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Paraphilic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology