Michael Fassbender
Irish actor Michael Fassbender's remarkable performance in the sex addiction film Shame has led to a development he may never have anticipated - a spike in the number of people seeking help for their own compulsive sexual habits.

According to a report in the Irish Examiner this week there has been a marked rise in the number of Irish people seeking help for sex addiction since the release of the new movie.

Fassbender, 34, plays an Irishman living in New York City who's life is ruined by his inability to emotionally connect with others due to his compulsive behavior.

Now Irish therapists say that many Irish movie-goers connect with Fassbender’s character and his struggles.

Declan Fitzpatrick, who runs the Dublin-based Addictive Behaviors Centre Ireland, told the Examiner that the movie had actually doubled the number of enquiries he has received about the problem. Many thousands more are suffering in silence he added, because they are either unaware they have a problem or they may not be aware that help is available.
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Fitzpatrick speculated that the number of Irish people coping with sex addiction could be as high as ten percent of the population.

'I’ve seen the film and I think it’s very realistic. What it does well is debunk the myth that people who are addicted to sex are having the time of their lives by going around bonking everybody.

'That’s not the case. It’s a nightmare scenario for those who suffer it. The addiction is typically driven by emotional pain and those going through it typically have low self-esteem and poor relationships.

'Unlike other addictions like alcohol, drugs and gambling, it’s less understood and often trivialized. The numbers seeking treatment have been increasing year on year since we set up 12 years ago - typically now we’d have between 200 and 300 clients in a year. And we’ve been a lot busier in the past month. Since the film came out we’ve been getting about 20 enquires each week, which is twice as much as the normal weekly average,' Fitzpatrick said.

Here's the trailer for "Shame":