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Do you talk to your pdoc/tdoc about sex?  I'm embarrassed to do so.  My pdoc is a fatherly/grandfatherly figure (I'm a woman), and I'd just as soon discuss my sexual urges with my dad.  (Ick.)  Mind you, I'm not getting any, so there isn't all that much to talk about, but I have been thinking about it ALL THE TIME, likely in part because of a medication decrease.  It seems weird to avoid talking about something that is taking up so much of my head space but equally weird to avoid the subject altogether.  ("Hello, I used my new vibrator over the weekend, how are you?")  How does one handle this?

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I've never talked to a pdoc about sex unless there is a side effect that is bothering me. 

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Posted (edited)

I’ve been with my tdoc for way many years. Had to one point discuss some very negative sexual stuff. Starting it was difficult, but he showed absolutely no emotions out of the ordinary, we may as well have been discussing the weather. So, it became more comfortable. I doubt your tdoc would be surprised, or would react really in any way, but I know breaking through that glass wall is hard. 
 

Maybe start with “I need to talk about something but I’m embarrassed”, he can sort of take the lead on how you talk about it? Good luck. 
 

ETA: tdoc is roughly my age, maybe a tad older (I’m 57). Don’t think I would *ever* bring up sex with pdoc, he’s very British-like in his manners. 

Edited by Rabbit37

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Thanks @Rabbit37, that's a good idea.  I feel like I'm leaning towards hypersexuality and thought it might be a good idea to discuss it before I throw myself on some poor unsuspecting man, like my parents' friend coming to dinner tonight.  (I will be practicing some serious social distancing/restraint.)

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40 minutes ago, Rabbit37 said:

Maybe start with “I need to talk about something but I’m embarrassed”, he can sort of take the lead on how you talk about it? Good luck. 

That’s a terrific way to start.

This is your doctor’s job, hon. If he’s grandfatherly, I take that to mean he’s older, and that probably means he’s been doing this a long time. He’s heard it all. And therapy is your safe place. You can talk about anything you need to say.

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I'm currently amid a series of conversations with my tdoc about sex.  I'm dealing with little to no libido and although we are covering it from a medication angle, my gynecologist recommended the book Come as You Are, which is all about female sexuality.  And there's a related workbook if you like such things.

So, so far with tdoc we've both read a chapter and then I've done the workbook piece and we've talked about both aspects.  It only takes about 10 minutes out of a regular session--enough to give it its time, but not so it's overpowering and drowning out other stuff. 

I thought it would be harder than it was.  That said, my tdoc is probably a few years older than me, so I have that advantage.  That said, I did raise it with my pdoc who is probably in her 60s (I'm 37).

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If I am heading to mania but still self aware, I usually mention any feelings/ideas etc. about hypersexualiy ... but beyond that I am hesitant. Doesn’t mean I never will, but I don’t love bringing it up. Of course I am not in a sexual relationship and don’t have an SO, so it’s not like there are a lot of talking points 

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Posted (edited)

shells, I see in your signature that you are dealing with some sort of bipolar, so I think it's important to bring up with your pdoc and/or tdoc. I say that because pre-menopause, my desire for sex, or lack thereof, was an excellent objective indicator to determine if my mood was headed up or down. When I hit menopause, it's like somebody flipped a switch in my head, and even Brad Pitt with a hard-on wouldn't do anything for me. 

I think Rabbit37's idea is an excellent approach. I think you just have to keep reminding yourself that you're not talking to a friend who might come up with a negative judgement about you, but a trained professional who has heard everything, especially if they're older. Plus, you don't have to get into graphic details if you don't want to - you may not want to describe your new vibrator if you're not comfortable doing so. I have moved many times for work over the years so have seen a variety of doctors, and not once has any of them ever looked surprised at anything I've said, graphic or not.

Having said that, I will admit that it's been a little weird for me for the opposite reason - my pdoc who also does therapy is a handsome younger man. probably in his mid-forties, while I'm a 60 year old straight female. My biggest concern was that he would think bringing up sex was a back-handed way to come onto him, so I awkwardly explained that though he is a very attractive man, that I'm not attracted to him, which I think I apologized for because it felt like I was insulting him. He is attractive, but much too young for me. I prefer to fantasize about Dr. Fauci or Andrew Cuomo, myself!

During my recent ECT treatments, while I was lying there in the treatment room while the pdoc was sticking sensors on my head, I couldn't resist the fun of saying, "You know, doctor, instead of all this maybe I just need to smoke a joint and get laid." He was bent over me, and that made him stand up straight, but he did have a good come-back: "Um, I'm sorry I can't write a prescription for that." 

Edited by Catnapper
{edited for typos}

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I have had therapists I could talk to. I could bring it up to a former pdoc and he kept pretty neutral and recognized it as a manic issue at one point. Now, my current pdoc—he only wants to hear enough to know it’s an issue for me, I sense he’s uncomfortable with any talk beyond that. Not that I ever gave him details beyond the fact that I was getting into unsafe situations or that sort of thing. I think if bipolar is in the mix, you should mention it somehow. Even if it’s to say you’re feeling impulsive and concerned about starting behavior you might later regret (my pdoc’s way of rephrasing what I said) or some such lead-in to start. I know I regret not insisting on talking about sexual impulsivity at the start of a pretty extreme episode, in retrospect I didn’t pursue the issue as soon as I felt uncomfortable. It’s not an easy topic to discuss, at least for me. But if it concerns you, probably best to discuss it. 

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