During the 17th century, women’s sexuality was considered as immoral and unhealthy. Women who indicated any sexual desire or presented any form of sexual appetite were shunned and diagnosed with mental illness.
Thankfully we have come so far since this dated stance, yet it remains a hard reality that both men and women continue to suffer from psychological disorders related to sexuality.
We live in an age of high expectations; society expects to be and act a certain way. There is significant pressure on both men and women and often the mention of sexual dysfunction elicits an awkward silence.
Men in particular are afraid of sharing their concerns with their partners due to the fear of being viewed or judged as a sexually incompetent individual so often the avoidance card is used by pretending to be tired, busy or simply in a bad mood. However, they are in actual fact unaware that they are being their own worst critics.
Avoidance of facing the situation is another way that both men and women tend to respond rather than seeking help. Many believe that these problems will disappear on their own however contrarily if ignored, often this ultimately leads to greater and more complex problems occurring.
Undoubtedly sexuality is a private and sensitive issue that many find difficult to discuss openly. According to the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM5), sexual dysfunctions are a heterogeneous group of disorders that are characterized by a clinically significant disturbance in a person’s ability to respond sexually or to experience sexual pleasure. In women, sexual pain disorders, dyspareunia and vaginismus are all classified as genito-pelvic pain or penetration disorder.
In men, sexual dysfunctions include delayed ejaculation, erectile disorder,premature ejaculation and male hypoactive sexual desire disorder. There are several factors to be considered when patients report sexual dysfunctions such as, potential history of abuse, religious or cultural beliefs is prohibiting the individual from feeling pleasure or performing sexual activities, poor body image (for women it could be after giving birth) and medical factors i.e. vascular, diabetes, receiving medical treatments.
Psychiatrists, psychologists and practitioners can only make diagnosis if three conditions are met. Firstly, the client experiences the disorder from 75 to100% of the time. Secondly,the disorder is present for a minimum of 6months, and thirdly, the disorder must cause the client significant distress (Dsm5, 2013).
According to one study, sexual dysfunction is highly prevalent and strongly associated with impaired quality of life (QOL) and peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. Different clinical variables were related to sexual dysfunction in each gender, justifying individualised preventive and therapeutic approaches (Pedro Azevedo, 2014).
As previously acknowledged, sexuality is a private and a sensitive issue that many find difficult to talk about. Subsequently treatment is crucial as it gives clients the freedom they have once experienced. It is essential that practitioners assure clients that all matters discussed between the practitioner and client remains private and is strictly confidential. In addition, the specialized practitioner should always require permission from the client to talk about sex, and present a non judgmental approach, giving the client time to become confident in order to talk about the issue.
AG Confidentiality Therapy specialises in cognitive behavioral hypnotherapy, a form of psychotherapy known to have an exceptionally high success rate.
AG Confidentiality Therapy