Voyeuristic disorder

By: Thea Louise Jordal Vikanes

A person can be diagnosed with voyeuristic disorder if they experience intense sexual arousal from observing an unsuspecting person who is disrobing, naked, or engaged in sexual activity for a period of at least six months. In order to consider it a disorder, the individual must have acted on their urges with a non-consenting person or have trouble functioning due to their strong fantasies.

In other words, not everyone who has voyeuristic tendencies suffers from voyeuristic disorders. For example, there is no secret that the use of pornography is common practice today, but that does not necessarily mean that people who watch porn have a Voyeuristic disorder. However, there are many pornographic videos that could account for voyeurism because it involves violating someone’s privacy, for instance, rape.

There is no specific cause to why someone develops this disorder, but hypersexuality, substance abuse, or history of sexual abuse are common in people diagnosed with Voyeuristic disorder. Although people with this disorder often discover their specific sexual urges during adolescence, they cannot be diagnosed until they are 18 years old because it can be confused with puberty-related sexual curiosity and activity. It is common that someone with these intense sexual desires is referred to treatment by someone else or the legal system if they are caught breaking the law. At last, treatment usually involves the use of psychotherapy, support groups, and medication such as antidepressants or something that minimizes their sex drive. (Psychology Today, 2017)


Martins. S (2021) Psychopathology of impulses.

Voyeuristic disorder, Psychology today (04.07.2017) retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/voyeuristic-disorder

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