Impotence long after stopping recreational drugs
Sep 19, 2012
I read your answer to the person who had a problem with sexual addiction and drugs and your recommendation of Patrick Carnes' books. I looked on Amazon at the description of over 200 books by Patrick Carnes and others and all the books had to do with recovery from addiction, not loss of sexual desire after stopping the addictive behaviors. It has been over three years since I have abused any substance or had sex. I have some desire for sex but I am completely impotent. The doctor has found nothing wrong physically. Can you give me any advice about this problem or recommend something to read to help deal with it? Life without any sex is beginning to seem worthless and I am starting to feel like my only answer is to start using again or stopping my HIV meds and giving up completely. I am very depressed over this situation and the psychiatrist has been of no help. Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated as I am absolutely desperate. Thank you.
Response from Dr. Fawcett
Thanks for writing. You describe one of the greatest frustrations and emotionally painful elements of recovery from addictive behaviors, particularly amphetamines and or sex addiction. The brain rapidly fuses sexual desire with an altered state so that the two become interdependent. Take away the mood changing behavior and sexual desire often goes with it. It is also not unusual for the arousal to become linked to very specific behaviors.
There is no easy solution for this situation. You might want to check out Carne's book "Facing the Shadow." Most people in recovery find that time is critical, but that alone is not enough. First, the old behaviors must be totally eliminated. Many people continue to compulsively masturbate or switch addictions, thereby keeping it alive. I've found that one's relationship with oneself is essential. By that I mean really looking at issues around intimacy, power, shame, and one's comfort level with a variety of emotions that can also become associated with sex. I think progress can best be made with individual and group therapy. Check out the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists or sexhelp.com to find someone specializing in this your area.
Don't give up hope - there are solutions.
Response from Mr. Vergel
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