Sexual and mental health remain silent conversations

The emotional relationship between spouses and the “sexual” relationship is interconnected and often strongly influences each other. Thus, a healthy sexual relationship enriches the bond between spouses and may improve their quality of life. It may also help provide a sense of physical, psychological and social well-being. However, there is a growing crisis of increasing sexual dysfunctions globally, affecting about 43% of women and 31% of men.

Despite its prevalence, there is little talk about the same. Most of the time, the causes are attributed to physical factors. However, a lot of sexual health issues also stem from deep-rooted psychological concerns and unresolved complexes.

Sex is not just a physical act as sexual arousal (as well as discomfort) stems from our minds.

Thus, our feelings, thoughts, and hormones affect our sexual performance and vice versa. It is important that these issues are dealt with in a coherent manner. On World Mental Health Day (10 October), let’s start the conversation to understand the relationship between the two.

Impotence and poor mental health

Psychological causes often lie at the root of sexual dysfunction. The issues most commonly overlooked as “bedroom problems” have a lot to do with underlying stress and mental health issues. In fact, mental and sexual health operate as two sides of the same coin.

Unfortunately, the stigma and stigma of cloud awareness is around connectivity.

Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other issues can manifest as sexual dysfunction in many ways ranging from lack of arousal/desire to pain and other disorders for both men and women. Impotence has often been found to co-exist with mental health issues such as depression, significantly affecting a patient’s quality of life. Suffering from any form of mental health problem can make a person feel unwanted and unworthy of sexual attention.

The link between mental health and poor sexual health

The impact of various mental health conditions on general health and quality of life is well known. What they can also do is reduce intimacy, sexual confidence, and satisfaction. For example, anxiety and depression disorders are associated with sexual reluctance, decreased arousal, erection problems, decreased sexual satisfaction, pelvic pain and discomfort, and orgasm (difficulty reaching orgasm). In some cases, compulsive sexual behavior (or addiction) may also occur in patients with mental health problems. Impotence is also an important and troubling side effect of some antipsychotic and antidepressant medications. These issues require appropriate treatment and should not be ignored. Excluding unresolved problems or symptoms can create further communication barriers and contribute to a vicious cycle of declining mental and sexual health. Hence, appropriate treatment by a qualified mental health professional is essential.

Sexuality is a central part of mental health

Sexual or mental health problems can affect anyone, regardless of age and gender. With the increase in awareness, people are starting to get comfortable with discussing mental health openly and destigmatizing it. Now, the dialogue must be expanded to include its relationship to sexual health as it affects a person’s overall well-being.

In addition, since sexual and psychological dysfunction coexist, they must be treated in an integrated manner. Counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and techniques such as “sensory focus” and “unwanted touch” can not only relieve psychological barriers but also help a person reconnect with their sexual feelings. There is a need to develop a positive view of gender and bring these issues into mainstream conversations.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.

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