A sex manual like no other, this book covers a variety of mental health problems and offers ways to overcome them when they threaten to undermine a loving relationship.
Based on available figures, mental disorders affect the sexual relationships of millions of couples. Yet, little has been written to serve those couples and the professionals who offer them care. While not everyone with a mental illness will be able to sustain a long-term, intimate relationship, many do. This book is a guide toward that end.
Until now, the marketplace has offered little valuable information for couples in which one or both partners suffers from mental illness with resulting sexual problems. Sex, Love, and Mental Illness: A Couple's Guide to Staying Connected is for all of those couples. It will help both parties understand the effects of mental illness—and of the medications used to treat it—on sexual desire and performance and provide ways to maintain both physical and emotional intimacy.
The first section of the book centers on common sexual concerns and loving someone with a mental disorder. The second addresses a wide range of mental disorders, their effects on relationships, and ways couples can work together to overcome those effects. Among the conditions covered are mood disorders; anxiety disorders; chronic pain; eating disorders; substance-related disorders; post traumatic stress; ADD; Asperger's Syndrome; and even severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia. The emphasis throughout is on each partner developing empathy and communication skills to enhance the sexual experience and preserve a healthy relationship.
Features • Composite case examples that highlight both the types of problems couples confront and how they resolve them • Helpful exercises to maximize sexual pleasure and connectedness • Sidebars on etiology, assessment, and treatment of various mental disorder diagnoses
Highlights • Provides hard-to-find information and actionable advice for couples whose sexual-relationship issues are related to a mental disorder diagnosis • Confronts the taboo of sexuality and mental illness • Addresses difficult-to-treat mental illnesses like Asperger's Syndrome, anorexia, and pain disorders, in addition to mood and anxiety disorders • Offers mental health professionals, social workers, and sex therapists a resource they can use in their professional work and recommend to clients
Stephanie Buehler, MPW, PsyD, is director of The Buehler Institute, Irvine, CA, and an internationally recognized psychologist and sex therapist. Dr. Buehler is the author of Sex & Passion: The Essential Guide, Now and Forever, former editor of the Women's Sexual Health Journal, and an active blogger on the topic of sexuality. She has been featured in the popular media including Esquire, TIME, Woman's Day, and many others.
Reviews "In summary, my view of the volume is positive, and it is recommended as a useful resource for clinicians and patients alike. The metamessage here is that even in the face of significant mental illness, love, intimacy, and sexuality are possible, manageable, and worthy. That is an important message for clinicians and patients: All are deserving and capable of intimacy and sexuality, including the mentally ill."—PsycCRITIQUES