Mental Illness Effects on Sexual Dysfunction
In patients that suffer from mental illness, sexual dysfunction can result from both the illness as well as some of the medications used to treat it. With differing degrees of mental illness and subsequently numerous medications used to treat it, each may have it’s own carry sexual dysfunction as a side effect. With each type of mental illness, it is important to understand its effect on the mind as well as libido.
Many mental illnesses can affect the ability to form sexual as well as interpersonal relationships. Schizophrenia, depression and eating disorders, just to name a few, can all carry psychosomatic symptoms that can make bonding and intimacy difficult. Many times the desire for sexual intimacy is limited or becomes non-existent. This can be due to an inability to concentrate, a change in priorities, or a lack of sexual partner.
Treating psychosomatic symptoms, such as those seen in schizophrenia, can involve anti-psychotic medications that have sexual dysfunction as side effects. Most first generation anti-psychotic medications as well as antidepressants such as SSRI’s have well known and documented sexual dysfunction inducing side effects. If you or someone you know if on such medications and is experiencing sexual dysfunction, speak with your psychiatrist to see if alternative medications with fewer side effects are available.
Understanding mental illness and its effects on different aspects of the body are key components to finding the right treatment plan. Often, a combination of pharmacotherapy, behavioral therapy as well as strong social support is necessary to create a synergistic approach treatment. If you or someone you know has a mental illness and may be suffering from sexual dysfunction, speak with your primary car doctor or psychiatrist today.
As important as medical treatment for mental illness is, psycho-sexual therapy is an important component for some that can be used in conjunction other behavioral therapies. It is imperative to understand and distinguish which specific sexual dysfunction the person is suffering from and to tailor their therapy treatment custom to their symptoms as well as underlying psychopathology.