Did you know it’s common to be Anxious, dissatisfied or frustrated with your sex life?
We live in a world where we are bombarded with images of people who appear to be living sexually stimulating and fulfilling lives. It seems everyone on television, in the movies, in magazines and in our fantasies has a rich and exciting sex life! In reality, it is very common for individuals to suffer from all kinds of feelings of inadequacy and real dysfunction with their partners and dissatisfaction with their sex lives.
SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION AFFECTS SELF-ESTEEM
Sexual dysfunctions can have a profound impact on an individual’s perceived quality of life. From issues of self-esteem to feelings of profound loss, these are significant and meaningful conditions to diagnose and treat.
Much of what we classify as sexual dysfunctions are based on the work of Masters and Johnson on the human sexual response cycle, later modified by Singer-Kaplan. We divide sexual dysfunction into categories.
For instance, there are Disorders of Desire, Disorders of Arousal, Male Sexual Disorders (Erectile dysfunction, Delayed ejaculation, Premature ejaculation), Female Sexual Disorders (Female Orgasmic disorder, Genito-Pelvic Pain Disorder) and a few additional. Individuals may have multiple dysfunctions and care should be taken to diagnose properly in such cases.
SEXUAL RESPONSE COULD BE PHYSIOLOGIC
Sexual response has a biological basis and a careful and comprehensive physical evaluation is required to rule out a physiologic basis for many of the dysfunctions before we can attribute a psychiatric diagnosis as the cause. It is essential to have a thorough physical evaluation prior to or concurrent with the psychiatric consultation.
There are also a number of complex sociocultural and interpersonal problems (e.g. relationship or intimacy issues) which are often at the root of sexual dysfunctions. A skilled psychiatrist with sensitivity to psychodynamic and other psychosocial factors is generally a reliable source to find the underlying root causes of the problem.