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Christian Counseling - Hypoactive Sexual Desire

Those who have a low sexual drive and a deficiency or absence of sexual fantasies, as determined by a clinician, that also causes personal distress or interpersonal problems would be diagnosed with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. Self or partner determined diagnosis doesn't make it so. A lesser problem would be that the person has only traits of the disorder. From time to time, we all experience some lessened desire.

Low sexual drive or desire may be global or situational (experienced only with one's partner or one type of sexual activity). This person would rarely, or not at all, initiate sex, be reluctant to participate unless pressured by his or her partner and infrequently engage in sexual activity.

The causes of a low sexual desire are many and often include more than one of the following:
       Biological - thyroid, gonadal, adrenal, menopausal, medications (SSRI anti-depressants), pain, etc.
       Psychological - guilt, disgust, stress, fear, anxiety, depression, being sexually used or abused, etc.

The research on this disorder is anything but conclusive regarding effective treatments. It seems to me that an individual plan for each couple is best suited. That is not unlike the approach Jesus took in talking with people about their problems or questions--no single approach works for all people because everyone is unique. Research suggests that increasing a person's sexual desire is anything but easy to do. This is not meant to discourage people from pursuing help, but to align their expectations with reality. Treatment can provide at least some help, sometimes significant help.

It is a common belief that if a couple can work out their non-sexual relational problems that sexual desire and activity will follow. The research doesn't support this. It seems sexual desire and activity are separate, to a good measure, from the quality of one's emotional relationship. However, this is not often  the case for a new relationship where sexual desire grows in the garden of a loving and safe relationship. Down the road a few years couples who experience a good amount of sexual conflict must learn again how to develop their sexual relationship.

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