It is normal for people to feel anxious at times, but people with Generalized Anxiety disorder are different; they worry excessively about daily events and activities and they cannot control how much they worry. Physical symptoms such as upset stomach, headaches, and muscle tension often manifest in addition to mental and emotional distress.
While anxiety can make you uncomfortable or even miserable in general in life, it is also at the root of many sexual problems.
Many people have “General Anxiety” and are unaware of it. If you have a low libido, or find yourself reluctant to engage in sexual activity with a romantic partner, anxiety may be part of the picture.
Signs and symptoms of general anxiety
- Your worrying is out of proportion to the events you are worrying about
- A tendency to see the worst possible outcome in any situation
- Difficulty handling situations where you don’t know exactly what will happen
- Ruminating about what you said or didn’t say, or did or didn’t do
- Thinking that things are more dangerous than they actually are
- Problems making decisions because of a fear of making the “wrong” choice
- Difficulty letting things go – like minor upsets with a significant other
- Feeling restless, unsettled, or on edge
- Inability to relax or sleep
- Problems with concentration
- Feeling your mind “goes blank” when asked a question
- Easily startled
- Muscle tension – back, neck aches
Effects of anxiety
What many people don’t know is that anxiety can actually cause you to feel down or depressed. If you think about an existence filled with symptoms from the list above, it is not a very happy one. Some will say that they are “high strung”, or are “worriers.” You may even say that you tend to “overthink” things – without realizing that what you are describing is anxiety.
Severe anxiety is usually diagnosed or identified. When this happens the suffer usually seeks treatment as the disorder has begun to interfere with daily functioning and physical health. But lower levels of anxiety can still do a lot of harm. Eventually, anxiety may start to negatively influence your sexual and romantic relationships.
Anxiety at the root of many sexual problems
It’s difficult to relax the body and feel pleasure when we are anxious. An anxious and worried mind needs to be tended to before sex. This is not a choice! Your body, and moreover, any anxiety that you feel affects the autonomic nervous system, and when activated, it can interfere with sexual desire.
The relationship between anxiety and a low desire for sex is relevant for both men and women. If anxiety is affecting you or your partners’ ability or desire for sex a sex therapist can help you manage your anxiety as well as address any other issues you may be facing in the bedroom. Therapy can help improve your life and your relationship.
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