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J Clin Psychiatry. 1988 Oct;49 Suppl:21-5.

Anxiety and sexual dysfunction.

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Human Sexuality Program, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, NY 10021.


Anxiety is a major factor in the etiology of sexual dysfunction. Anxiety concerning sexual performance or relationship issues, such as intimacy and partner rejection, is also the critical element in sexual avoidance patterns. In susceptible patients the intensity of sexual anxiety can reach panic proportions. When those patients seek sexual therapy, their underlying panic disorder often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Many treatment failures with sexaphobic patients can be attributed to the failure on the part of the clinician to detect and treat underlying panic disorders. The prognosis for patients with the dual diagnosis of sexual dysfunction and panic disorder improves significantly with the combined use of psychosexual therapy and antipanic drugs that allow highly anxious patients to cooperate with and to benefit from treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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