Ive had PTSD due to childhood trauma for a very long time. It has absolutly effected my inimate relationships. I also have a pelvic condition(a few of them) which cause chronic pain. Although i have these conditions I also believe my PTSD worsens the pain psychologically when i try to be intimate with my partner. Its happened many times before but I also wasnt in relationships that were good or healthy for me. Almost like I would choose a partner I knew i wouldnt have to be truely in love with so that I didnt have to grow a true intimate connection.
Im taking pain killers for my pain until my surgery and even then i find myself not being able to have sex. The love and deep connection with my fiance are defenitly there. I've never had such a true relationship before. She is aware of my issues and I even went as far as to go on lexapro and klonopin to help improve my anxieties and panic attacks. The problem is that after I was triggered by someone who was innapropriate with me as a child I began falling into old patterns. I began having night terrors and getting angry at everything. my fiance has stood by my side working on this with me. taking baby steps with me. But I feel so incredibly guilty that Im not able to share my love with her in that way. I find myself trying to make up for it in other ways. cooking dinner every night, refusing to let her pay the bills...just trying to take care of her in any way i can as I'm afraid she'll find intamacy somewhere else and leave.
My question is this...Does anyone else have this issue with their partner? and what are some of the things I can do for my PTSD to help get back to a place where we're enjoying our sex life again?
Firstly, I am very sorry for what you are experiencing, it must be difficult.
Child abuse is horrific, I have seen the effects first hand of severe abuse (physical and sexual) and neglect.
As for your physical medical conditions, I know nothing.
I do know however, that while PTSD is a useful diagnostic category for many people that have suffered a broad range of psychological trauma, however it can not define or precisely explain whatever it is that is the exact nature of your psychological injuries, distress and anxiety.
I do not know enough about your situation, but if you have been seriously abused, then it is possible that some of your sexual problems have a significant psychological basis, however not understanding your physical problems, they could also account for any extend ot it.
I will caution you that benzodiazepines such as Klonopin cause cause problems with sexual functioning / performance.. I don't want to say it directly (I am shy about talking about such personal details) but Klonopin may cause sexual performance problems such as "floating the boat" and "finishing the race". Lexapro an ssri, also is known to potentially cause sexual problems most frequently difficulty in "finishing the race" (no matter how hard you try) and potentially I have heard it may cause problems "floating the boat".
I will warn you the Klonopin is an extremely addictive medication. If you become physically dependent on it, the withdrawal symptoms are very severe. People who are impulsive, addiction prone, or have in general "poor self control" often have problems with this group of medicines, and in some cases so do people with anxiety.
I suggest getting all the help you can, but in regards to sexual performance, I would talk as much as you can with your partner, gradually explain your feelings and anxiety, and take the process slowly and gradually (lots of mucking about or as its called "foreplay").
Don't feel too sorry for yourself though, I am a 38 year old male, and I still have never been "laid" or had a girlfriend (I am obese, poor etc). So at least you have a good opportunity to practice "firing the cannon" :)
Hi there. Welcome. Oh, so very sorry about the past horrors inflicted on you! So very terrible.
PTSD is treatable dear. It really is. Medication has special indications that treat this---- several have this indication at this time. That means they've done many and extensive clinical trials on patients that suffer PTSD symptoms and the medication has a positive effect in treating those symptoms. So, you mention that you took Lexapro. How long did you take and do you still? did it help/does it help? There are other medications in that class that can be very helpful with both PTSD symptoms as well as anxiety. It is a good route to take to treat the disorder fully including medication. The other part of treating PTSD is therapy. Talk therapy with a psychologist along with medication is the best way to conquer this. I would find someone trained specifically in treating PTSD and make sure they have a phd. I'd throw yourself into this process.
I know that is hard when the subject matter is sexual abuse. My dear friend was abused as a child sexually and refuses to look into the abuse closely because she finds it so painful. However, she stays stuck in her symptoms. She married and put on almost 100 pounds in her first year of marriage. This is common for a sexually abused person to do as it creates a REAL physical barrier to intimacy. It makes me sad for her.
I don't want that to be you too. So do some talk therapy even though it is really hard.
Also, be careful of the pain relievers. I know they are currently needed but so often when someone is vulnerable emotionally/psychologically--- dependence can occur. Self medicating starts to take place. Addiction follows and you don't want to go down that road.
Again, so sorry you are suffering and wishing you all the best.
thank you both so much for your replys. Sorry its taken me a few days to reply. work has been crazy and I'm in alot of pain but can't take my medication during the day and do a good job. Double edged sword...i dont do a great job in pain and I wouldnt do a great job under the effects of pain medicine. so i have to just keep heating pads on and sit alot.
modafinil- please dont count yourself out of finding someone special because of your weight and financial situation. My fiance is overweight and I love her dearly and am very attracted to her. Neither of us make much money, just enough to get by...and barely that. but as long as were together that doesn't matter. i know the world today seems really cruel and unfair. But I'll tell you something...people that you think have it all...looks, money, sex...alot of times there just as if not more than unhappy than those of us who are "flawed". I've seen it so often, they put all their worth in such surface material things that they have little else to offer. But those of us who don't put all our worth in those things have other gifts that I see as more worth while. So please dont count yourself out just yet!!
Thank you also specialmom. I really think i should go talk to someone. I've seen someone a few times but she doesnt specialize in my specific issues and from some of the things she's said i dont think we're a good theraputic match.
Thanks also to you both for the medication warning. I stopped the klonopin because i didnt want to take it for too long and have to taper off it. I switched to ambien for sleep. as for the pain meds, I only take them at night to help me sleep when the pains bad. I had to rescheduel my surgery because the pains so bad during the day i have to take loads of ibprofen which is a no no before having surgery. But I'm working 12 hr days and theres no one to cover so i have little choice.
I've been on the lexapro for a few m.onths. It does make a difference. I can cope better with my anxiety and fears.
My fiance is very understanding, I'm very lucky and I want us to have the best possible life we can. So I find myself trying to push past these issues, but sometimes i push myself before im ready and end up shooting myself in the foot. I'm going to have to work on that. Giving myself a break and stop punishing myself for things that have happened. I feel for your friend, I know what its like to try and keep people away. its painful and lonely, but those fears are so powerful that you can't get ahold of them. i hope she can find some peace.
This has turned into quite a reply lol. thank you both, you both gave me some really great things to think about and remember1
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