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What causes sexual dysfunction?

Bonnie Lynn Wright, PhD
Geriatrics Nursing

Anything that causes frequent or prolonged activation of the stress response causes toxic stress which can quickly lead to any type of dysfunction, including sexual. 

For simplicity, the areas of your whole self can be labeled physical, mental/emotional, social and interdependent. These areas are 'wrapped around' a spiritual core that cannot be seen or measured except through the other areas of your 'self'. This description guides your thinking so you don't overlook any potential causes. So now that you have a little background, what causes sexual dysfunction?

Physical.  Drugs, both prescribed and recreational; diseases such as high blood pressure, anemia, etc.; lack of sleep, exercise and proper nutrition.

Mental/Emotional.  Depression; fear; anxiety; any psychiatric condition that separates you from reality.

Social.  Significant changes in your social world, such as the loss of a loved one or winning a lottery; wearing too many hats or spreading yourself too thin every day; adding another role to your inventory such as wife or mother.

Interdependence.  Lack of resources in your environment to support your health; inability to choose the most helpful resource; being able to reach out to others in a meaningful, mutually beneficial way.

Spiritual.  Dissonance or conflict between your world view and those around you; staying true to yourself in the presence of pressure to otherwise.

All of these items can cause sexual dysfunction. Sometimes it is hard to sort out exactly what the real cause is and when you do, you may be unable or unwilling to fix it. Even so, there may be solutions from another area that can help to alleviate or compensate for the sexual dysfunction.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.