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Modern Intimacy and Mental Health

Modern Intimacy and Mental Health

Modern Intimacy and Mental Health

We have all had those days when you feel too anxious and distracted to be aroused – even when your partner is doing their best. Then there are beautiful evenings of closeness with your partner culminating in the best sex you’ve had. Clearly, the connection between intimacy and mental health is undeniable.

Let’s find out today about modern intimacy and mental health conditions – and how to fix major problems that impact them.

Impact of Mental Health Conditions on Intimacy

Modern intimacy isn’t just a sexual connection. It involves the meeting of minds, having a spiritual connection, and building emotional and physical intimacy. You see, Mind (intellect) and spirituality are ingrained in your personality. But mental health is essential in shaping emotional and physical intimacy.

a) Impact of Mental Health on Emotional Intimacy

Have you ever found it difficult to bond with someone in fear of abuse, engulfment, betrayal, abandonment, etc.? Mental health issues and past experiences may lead you to avoid intimacy. Sometimes, depression can make you too tired or scared to socialise and get close to people.

b) Impact of Mental Health on Physical Intimacy

Psychological conditions like depression, anxiety, and other disorders can make it challenging for you to engage in physical intimacy. It can cause low libido, distraction, difficulty arousal or orgasm, etc. What’s worse is that even medicines for these conditions can make things worse.

Let’s look at the most common mental health conditions that affect intimacy.

  • Anxiety
    Anxiety can make your mind and body fall out of sync, causing distraction, self-consciousness, fear, and more. It can overwhelm you so much that your pleasure sensations will become dull and prevent arousal. As a result, sex will feel emotionally uncomfortable and physically painful.
  • Depression
    Depression has many types, from seasonal affective disorder to major depressive disorder. Women suffer from depression during pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, etc., due to changes in hormones, body, or life in general. These can affect your desire for intimacy.
  • PTSD
    Traumatic experiences in the past can affect your satisfaction during sex or lower your libido. PTSD can result from sexual, physical, or emotional abuse or distress. If you have PTSD, you can experience post-coital dysphoria as a result. Due to PTSD, arousal can cause guilt or disgust.
  • OCD
    If you have obsessive-compulsive disorder, you’ll tend to be obsessively stressed about unwanted sexual thoughts. You’ll worry about sexual orientation, developing inappropriate desires for the wrong people, or having improper mental images, which hamper your sexual experiences.
  • ADHD
    The symptom of ADHD that’s the hardest to handle is the attention problem. It causes mood swings and impulsive behaviour. This neurodevelopmental issue leads to either an extremely high sex drive and obsession in the partner or non-existent libido with no interest in your relationships.
  • Bipolar Disorder
    Bipolar disorder might cause you to experience extreme sex drive during manic episodes. It can lead to compulsive sexual behaviour and impulsive desires for risks. This is followed by massive dips in libido, along with shame, fatigue, dissatisfaction, and disinterest in forming connections.
  • Eating Disorder
    The association of eating disorders with self-esteem and body image is well-established. Together, these problems lead to emotional and physiological issues that cause fear about intimacy and opening up to someone. Your insecurities can come in the way of your sexuality.
  • Substance Abuse
    If you have drug and alcohol problems, you may be prone to extreme sexual behaviours. While inebriated or high, you might indulge in risky sexual acts. But the physiological changes caused by substance abuse can also lower libido. Some drugs prevent arousal unless you’re addicted.

It’s clear that psychological issues can prevent healthy physical and emotional intimacy. But that’s not all. Medicines used for treating these conditions can affect your ability to establish and enjoy intimacy. Hormonal changes, fatigue, euphoria, nausea, etc., cause hypersexuality or hyposexuality.

How to Deal with the Effects of Mental Illness on Intimacy

Mental health conditions may affect your intimacy levels and chemistry with your partner. But don’t lose hope yet! There are ways to fix the problems so that you can enjoy a healthy sex life and find a safe space in your relationships. Let’s have a look at the ways to deal with the problem.

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  • Consult a Sex Therapist: Sex therapists are licensed to provide a specific type of psychotherapy that helps you with intimacy issues and understand the problems causing these.
  • Ask for a Change in Treatment: Since conventional medicines for mental health conditions can affect your sex drive hugely, insist that your doctor change the dosage or treatment means.
  • Get General Psychotherapy: Anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc., are recognised medical conditions. You can’t treat them with a walk or a hobby. There’s no shame in getting treated.
  • Work on Your Relationship: Your relationship may be going through a rough patch or has hit a phase of boredom. Make an effort to change things, preferably with couples counselling.
  • Have Open Communications: Whether it is with your partner or your therapist – an open conversation regarding your experiences, insecurities, etc., can help you find an answer.
  • Go Beyond Normal: Since women hardly talk about sex, they nurse many myths about it. Do not fall into the trap of living up to such ideas. Find out what satisfies you and your partner.
  • Focus on Yourself: A change in your lifestyle with proper diet, exercise regime, and self-care can influence your mental health, sex life, and relationship in a positive way.

Impact of Intimacy on Mental Health

It’s evident that your mental health conditions can have a profound impact on your physical and emotional intimacy. But do you know that it’s also true the other way round? This means that the level of intimacy you share with your partner can also affect your mental health and help manage symptoms.

Trust, support, and compassion are essential for your journey to find yourself. A warm relationship feels like a safe space to help your mental health, right? Physical intimacy releases neurotransmitters to cut stress hormones, boost relaxation, and alleviate depression and anxiety.

Thus, well-nurtured emotional and physical intimacy where a woman can take charge helps create a positive impact on your mental health. It would be wrong to claim that intimacy is the only tool to treat psychological issues. But when paired with proper treatment, intimacy can do wonders.

Intimacy and mental health have a deep impact on each other. The cycle they form can either be vicious or virtuous. It is only upon you to accept that you are going through a serious issue that needs professional help. The right choice, though often difficult, can truly save you.

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