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Physiological Sexual Dysfunction

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Physiological Sexual Dysfunction

Ray Moynihan (who previously gave us the invaluable book "Selling Sickness: How Drug Companies are Turning us All Into Patients") has published a new expose titled "Sex, Lies, and Pharmaceuticals."

Which antidepressants are associated with the highest rates of sexual dysfunction in patients treated for depression? This and more in this week's quiz.

Individuals with a past history of chronic psychiatric illness are often given poor prognoses that can limit their therapeutic horizons for further treatment. This pessimism may be misplaced as is demonstrated by the case of Jay, age 71, and Kay, age 65. The couple presented at the Loyola Sexual Dysfunction Clinic in a program consisting of 7 weekly sessions of 5 hours each with 2 trainee therapists.

From time to time, health conditions emerge that are relative “orphans” when it comes to having the resources of a health care discipline or subspecialty to take ownership or accept responsibility for developing the body of knowledge that underlies their systematic evaluation and treatment. Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is such a class of conditions.

Sildenafil (Viagra, Revatio) reduced antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction in wom­en in a randomized controlled trial, which investigators characterize as the first conducted in women with this adverse drug effect.

"I've lost my interest in sex." As psychiatrists, we hear this concern (if we ask) from women in a variety of situations: those who are depressed, postpartum, menopausal, traumatized, and those who have been treated with psychotropic medications. Thankfully, we have many interventions, both behavioral and pharmacological, to use in addressing sexual issues.

In this article, we examine the relationship between anxiety disorders and SDs, using DSM-IV-TR categories, although we are conscious of the limits of this approach. In doing so, we will consider not only the dichotomy between normal and pathological functioning but also the issue of sexual satisfaction as part of wellness.


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