Mental health problems within sexuality are significant issues that receive little attention. I wrote Sex, Love, and Mental Illness almost two decades ago, and now I’ve updated this information in my newest book, What Every Mental Health Professional Needs to Know about Sex, 2nd Ed. (2017).
The world is continuously changing, and with it comes new challenges for people of all walks of life. For example, anorexia nervosa often first appears in adolescent females as their bodies are taking on the proportions of an adult female. Ambivalence about becoming a woman balanced with a need to appear attractively slim as modeled in the media can contribute to someone becoming anorexic. People with anorexia typically don’t wish to feel any type of hunger—not for food, not for sex.
Anorexia also causes the cessation of menses, another indication that sexual activity is consciously or unconsciously unwanted. Eating behaviors and thoughts about food are often hidden, as are emotions, impeding the formation of intimate relationships.
In women who were also sexually abused, researchers found higher levels of sexual dissatisfaction in all areas of the FSFI (Female Sexual Function Index) which appeared to be correlated with high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
There is so much more information about anorexia and other eating disorders in the textbook—as well as depression, anxiety disorders, and even personality disorders. Plus, you will learn how to assess, diagnose, and treat all sexual problems using the “sexological ecosystem,” a way of looking at the influence of family, church and school, healthcare systems, culture, and laws on sexual development.
You can earn eight (yes, eight!) CE units by reading the book and taking chapter quizzes. All you have to do is purchase the second edition of What Every Mental Health Professional Needs to Know about Sex from your favorite bookseller (e.g., Barnes & Noble). Then, sign up for the course online, read the book, take the quizzes, and a certificate of completion will be delivered directly to you!or
How cool is that?
BTW many people miss out on the packet of awesome patient handouts that accompany the book. You can find them located on the site.
In the last newsletter, the subject line was “What Are Your Preferred Pronouns?” A few kind people contacted me to suggest that “preferred pronouns” is outdated and even offensive.
A person’s pronouns are their pronouns. They said, “Pronouns are not a preference. If pronouns were a preference, then one’s gender would be a preference, too.”
Many transgender people do not care for the idea that their gender is a preference because it suggests things like, “Oh, your desire to change gender is a phase.” Experiencing oneself as being a gender other than the gender assigned at birth isn’t chosen—it is just the way it is. All that to say, the sexual landscape is rapidly changing, and all of us who are interested in sexuality need to change along with it!