The Relationship Between s*xual Dysfunction and SAD
If you suffer with social anxiety disorder (SAD), you may also experience problems with s*xual dysfunction.
s*xual dysfunction may include things such as avoiding s*x, erectile dysfunction, and decreased enjoyment. In addition, some medications used in treating SAD, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can sometimes cause s*xual dysfunction.
Research is still in the early stages about the relationship between social anxiety disorder and s*xual dysfunction.
This relationship makes sense when you think about the fact that people with SAD are afraid of performance and social situations: s*x can draw out both of these fears.
However, while there is some evidence that social anxiety disorder and s*xual dysfunction are both present in some people, studies do not show that this is always the case.
How Do Men and Women With SAD Experience s*x?
Initial small studies suggest that there may be a link between SAD and s*x.
In a study of 40 people with social anxiety disorder and 40 without, men with the disorder were found to have moderate impairment in s*xual arousal, climax, enjoyment and satisfaction.
Women with SAD were found to have severe impairment in s*xual desire, arousal, activity and satisfaction. In addition, men with social anxiety disorder were more likely to have paid for s*x and women with SAD had fewer s*xual partners.
Researchers compared 30 people with SAD and 28 people with panic disorder, and found that 75% of those with panic disorder, versus 33% of those with social anxiety disorder, had s*xual problems. The most frequent problem in males with SAD was premature Release.
In a study comparing 106 individuals with social anxiety disorder, 164 people with s*xual dysfunction, and 111 normal controls, men with SAD were found to be less sexually active but just as satisfied as male normal controls. Women with social anxiety disorder were not found to differ from female normal controls.
In a 2015 study, a history of childhood s*xual abuse or comorbid depression were predictive of problems with s*xual functioning in those with social anxiety disorder.
What Does This Mean for You?
If you have been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and are also experiencing problems with s*xual functioning, it is important (although probably nerve-wracking) to tell your doctor or therapist. Remember that this person is a professional and has probably heard it all before.
Issues such as s*xual performance anxiety can be treated along with SAD in therapy (after medical causes have been ruled out for problems such as erectile dysfunction), so it is important to talk about problems you are having.
In addition to addressing s*xual problems in therapy, medications can be tailored to your particular situation. For example, SSRIs may be a good option if you suffer with premature Release as they can help to delay climax.