It’s just psychological…or not.

Fortunately, the normalization of psychotherapy has facilitated a shift in stigma reduction of mental health issues. The good news is that disorders that were never talked about are now household names, warning signs of emotional instability are now taken more seriously, and the general attitude towards seeking help has improved.

However, the bad news is that people may look for solely psychological reasons to explain a physiological problem.

Here at the Center, we see this phenomenon often. A woman will come see us after months or years in therapy for low libido, only to find out now that she has serious hormonal imbalances that are responsible for her lack of sexual interest in anyone, let alone her partner. All along, she assumed that her sexual dysfunction was solely due to intimacy issues, problems with trust, or that she is just an “asexual person” (which is highly unlikely statistically). In some cases, she may have even left her partner, feeling like the relationship lacked all hope and should thus be dissolved.

Certainly there are times when psychological reasons can be responsible for a woman experiencing sexual dysfunction. And in those cases, she should be in therapy with a therapist who is skilled to deal with her issues. However, ruling out medical problems can be an invaluable tool not only in ensuring that the woman does not waste her time and money, but in that it can help inform treatment planning on the part of the therapist.

Sometimes it’s not all ‘in your head’, but in a culture that often promotes psychotherapy as the solution to life’s problems, people may conclude that it is.

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