Sexuality and obsessive-compulsive disorder: the hidden affair

Author(s): Eva Real, Angel Montejo, Pino Alonso,Jose Manuel Menchon

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic condition estimated to affect 1–3% of the population, with older adolescents particularly prone to developing the disorder. It is characterized by the presence of obsessions (repetitive thoughts, images or urges that may lead to distress or anxiety) and/or compulsions (repetitive behaviors or thoughts performed in response to obsessions or according to rigorous rules). It is considered one of the most disabling anxiety disorders, and many aspects of quality of life are negatively affected by the disease. One of the less studied areas within OCD functionality is sexual health and behavior. Sexual problems in people suffering from OCD are multifactorial and can be explored by different (but not necessarily excluding) points of view. This article reviews and discusses clinical and therapeutic implications of the following issues: sexual health in OCD, sexual obsessions, compulsive sexual behavior (paraphilic and nonparaphilic sexual phenomena) and sexual dysfunction associated with pharmacological treatment of OCD


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