Sexual disorders involve psychological issues related to sexual adjustment and impaired sexual functions. When discussing mental disorders, it is important to remember that they are maladaptive. This means that they impair a person’s day-to-day life and their ability to adjust to different kinds of situations.
There are many different kinds of sexual and gender identity disorders, including:
A person may even be sexually aroused by non-consenting people, in the case of the following disorders:
Another category of sexual disorders is sexual dysfunction. This is when a person has psychological problems specifically related to their sexual desire and arousal. They are unable to become sexually aroused in normal sorts of ways. This is not necessarily the same as biological impotence, which is specifically something within the body that impairs function, but rather any mental issue that results in sexual dysfunction.
Gender dysphoria refers to when a person's sexual identity within their mind, or psychologically, doesn't match their physical sexual identity. This can result in transsexualism, which is when a person has feelings of being a different sex or gender than what they are biologically. People with this gender dysphoria may try to surgically change themselves to match their psychological identity.
Another category of mental disorders comprises substance-related disorders. This refers to the abuse of or dependence on different kinds of substances that affect a person's brain and mental state.
Any drug that affects the brain is referred to as a psychoactive drug. The most common of these are ones that you're probably familiar with, like alcohol or caffeine, which are the most widely used psychoactive drugs. The term also includes nicotine and THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, as well as other kinds of drugs like opiates, morphine, or cocaine. It includes amphetamines, like methamphetamine, and hallucinogens, like LSD.
These drugs need to be considered because they have major effects on our brains and mental states. It is important to note that substance-related disorders can often result in physical dependence. This means that if a person stops using the substance after a prolonged period, they might suffer withdrawals. Withdrawal symptoms can include shaking, vomiting, sweating, headaches, and sometimes even death.
Now, there can also be psychological dependence on a substance. A person might experience a strong feeling of need or an intense craving for the substance, so much so that they can't control themselves and must use that substance. This is one of the hallmarks of a substance-related disorder.
Recent studies show that a lot of substance-related disorders, and what is called addiction, may actually have a strong biological component.
EXAMPLEFor example, people within families with a history of alcoholism may be more likely to actually develop alcoholism themselves. The knowledge that someone may be biologically predisposed for addiction can help to treat them in the future.
Source: This work is adapted from Sophia Author Erick Taggart.