Psychological Trauma and Sexuality

The word “trauma” is used to describe experiences or situations that are emotionally painful and distressing. Often these experiences overwhelm people’s ability to cope and deal with what they have witnessed. Examples of this can include childhood neglect or abuse, sexual abuse/coercion, domestic violence, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a myriad of other human experiences and situations. Sometimes trauma is defined by circumstances that are outside the realm of normal human experience but this is not always true.

Psychological distress following a traumatic or severely stressful event is variable and effects different people in different ways. However, it is common for this type of distress to have an impact on a person’s overall sexual health and ability to physically perform. This may even be happening without the person’s ability to pinpoint when the stressful event took place or without much memory of the event.

Talk with both your primary medical provider and a licensed mental health practitioner
(Psychologist, Licensed Therapist, Licensed Social Worker, or Licensed Counselor) about any issues you think may be related to past or recent traumatic or stressful experiences. Psychological stress has the potential to greatly influence a person’s physical health and wellbeing if left untreated.