Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sexual Medicine and Sexual Addiction

I was originally trained in Sexual Medicine. I taught Sexuality at the University and was one of the original lecturer participants in the series of sexual medicine provided to medical students.
As a family physician the majority of sexual complaints I saw were related to dysfunction and pain. As a psychiatrist the majority of sexual complaints were related to negative attitudes towards sexuality, fear of sex and traumatic memories and anxiety as a consequence of sexual abuse and rape.
As a psychiatric marriage therapist almost all my cases had a sexual component but the concerns were most commonly about disagreements about frequency and rarely about variety. Mostly couples needed to make time for each other and address the psychological problems which were interfering with what had usually been a very successful part of their relationship.
Human Sexuality and its Problems, 3rd edition, 2009 by J. H.J. Bancroft MD FRCP FRCPE FRCPsych is presently the leading textbook in Sexual Medicine. It's a tomb, a regular encyclopedia, and really an amazingly well researched and organized book that reflects the author's vast experience in this field. That said there are less than a dozen pages of this nearly 600 page book specifically related to Sexual Addiction.
Sexual addiction in contrast is specifically as sub set of Addiction Medicine and Patrick Carnes PHD is a leading researcher. His book, Out of the Shadows was cornerstone in bringing help to those who suffered this very difficult disease.

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